Well, I thought I'd give mah thoughts on the whole 9/11 business:
9/11 in itself wasn't actually that bad in most respects.
As for death toll and people killed, it killed what, almost 3,000 people?
Now, not to belittle the sufferings of the dead and the ones who survived them, that is a lot of people, but look at the famine in east Africa. That's already killed 30,000 and will probably be killing more before that's over. And I don't see too many news reports about that anymore. I really, really wish we'd put the energy of the emotion we put into this into fixing that famine, a thing that's going on now, and can at least be made to not go any wronger than it already has.
As for money toll, not even close to hurricane Irene, or that shizz, there are many disasters that have cost much more money.
The real reason that it had the impact it did was for several reasons.
The first was conceptual. The thought terrifies people that a hostile organization, especially one claiming to be in the name of Islam, (brown people! Oh no!) was able to commit an act of such unspeakable atrocity on US soil without being stopped.
The second was visuals. As effective as visuals of starving and dying black children may be, they have nothing on 2 of the tallest buildings in the world with planes now inside of them, burning and spewing smoke into the air, and eventually collapsing in gigantic heaps of rubble.
But it did have the effect it did, and the real cost it had came much after the actual attacks.
Now, on bin Laden:
One of his stated objectives was to draw the US into "bleeding wars in Muslim lands" and he completely and utterly succeeded in that particular venture.
The real thing wasn't killing the people, it was the fear it inspired.
But what I really wish he'd realized was that he knew it would inspire hate, but I'm not sure he realized what that would do.
To say that "The US supports Israel oppressing the Palestinians, so I'm going to kill a bunch of Americans" is a vengeful and angry logic, not a pragmatic one. Practically, the attack had no benefit for him or his people whatsoever.
He did succeed in the US's "bleeding wars in Muslim lands", but the end result was the same. At whatever cost America took, we've killed thousands of civilians, repressed the economies over there and trod on an already downtrodden people, and in the end eviscerated Al Qaeda and their Taliban protectors, and after nearly 10 years finally Osama himself.
I wonder often what he thought when he saw the SEALs coming into his room at his compound, when he realized that we'd finally come for him.
Was it a dawning horror, had he not realized that no matter what cost the US took in the War on Terror, eventually we'd come for him?
Or was it more acceptance? He once said that the difference between Americans and Muslims was that Americans love life, while Muslims love death.
Did he accept and even rejoice in his martyrdom?
Had he known that it was going to happen from 9/11 and before?
I always wonder about that.
But I do know that whatever he said about what he did and why he did it, that he had declared a holy war on the US, that he was bleeding us out in costly wars, that was all wrong.
Whatever the justification, all it was was violence and anger unleashed in a purely destructive and non-productive way that destroyed the lives of many people, including many, many of his own Muslims.
However, the US is also not innocent of those things either, although admittedly not nearly as bad. When people like Newt Gingrich objected to the building of Cordoba house near Ground Zero, all that was doing was building hate between our nations, the same thing that 9/11 did, and so I hope to whatever God there may be that people will finally snap out of it, realize that all this vindictive, vengeful, angry behavior isn't doing anyone any good, no matter how good it feels.
In the end all it does is build upon the ignorance and misunderstanding between 2 large cultures, dooming both of them to not reach their potential, and if it escalates enough, might destroy us both.
Well, homework to do now. night night Oasies!