We read of the life changing after effects of a brutal rape and we see the victims predictable efforts to cope with the trauma.
1) Her feelings are hurt, anger and there is always fear.
2) Her relationships with men, former friends are now strained as the trauma cast shadows on their friendship. Innocence is lost and it will not be found.
3) Her attitudes are hardened and there is now no tolerance for offenders anywhere.
4) Her behavior is always justified, no matter how unreasonable. She was raped and how could we understand?
5) Her security is now paramount as she double checks the extra locks on the home and cancels certain activities that left her alone at night.
Could a nation be raped and find itself reacting as any victim?
On Sept 11, 2001 nineteen men took advantage of our open free society and took down our symbols of greatness, exposing our nakedness. The shock and the death toll may have been similar to the Pearl Harbor attack, but the emotional damage and our reaction has been far greater and longer lasting.
We declared war on rapists and told the entire world – you are either with us or against us. Our normal relationships with our European allies became strained as they refused to mobilize and join our wars.
We immediately tore up the Constitution and passed the Patriot Act – marking all men as potential rapists who needed surveillance. All banking and commerce now required identification. Our need to know has included the private communications of high value potential rapists like Pres. Merkel of Germany, Brazil’s Dilma and Mexican President Enrique Nieto.
We lashed out at Iraq and Afghanistan – and wasted 4 trillion dollars and thousands of lives punishing the innocent and rewarding the guilty. Water-boarding, Enhanced Interrogation, Gitmo, Enemy Combatant were all new words to sanitize our efforts as we abandoned our own values and ignored constitutional restraints.
We unified and militarized our law enforcement. Our vacation travel now involves long lines to get scanned, groped and fondled enduring one more ignominy after another in efforts to “be safe.”
Fourteen years later those 19 rapists are still winning their war. Their one act has been a gift that keeps on giving. Our response to 9/11 grows and grows consuming more of our liberties, killing more innocents abroad, alienating more of our friends, while consuming more of our budget. Those 19 men were effective at crippling a nation. We gave those men not only the day they took, but we have given them a growing portion of every day since….
A “Costs of War” study group brought together some two dozen academics to account for the wars’ costs that followed 9/11. The study says an “extremely conservative” death toll is 225,000, with 365,000 wounded. U.S. dead include 6,000 troops and 2,300 contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The final tally of the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan will reach at least $3.7 trillion, and could go as high as $4.4 trillion, (add 1 trillion dollars for interest costs) according to a study done by Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies.
And to remind us of the real threat terrorism poses ….Consider your annual odds of perishing by terror compared to two alternatives:
- Dying in a car accident: 1 in 19,000
- Dying in a bathtub: 1 in 800,000
- Dying in a terror attack: 1 in 3.5 million
I hope the new Dept. of Homeland Security makes those bathtub deaths a high priority.