Thursday, August 04, 2005

All the reasons

Random late-summer morning, there was a breeze in the air and the sky was clear. Just before nine in the morning, the world stopped as time ticked on. We froze, glued to television sets, wondering what happened, and why. And why.

They flew planes into buildings, or attempted to, but the true wings of their ideology was their opinion of American involvement in international affairs. They thought us nosy. They called us murderers. They felt they were merely vindicating scores of their own dead, made so by our hands and policy.

After 9/11, enlistments into our armed forces sky-rocketed. We felt violated, helpless, with no recourse other than a gun. I mean, how do you reply to acts of that nature, of that magnitude? How can 20 men bring about so much destruction? And yes, in their minds, they had their reasons, tragically forgetting that no reason is reason enough to condone such acts.

At the core of our call to action was the fact that we were attacked on our home soil, not at international bases or buildings like we witnessed in Africa. This wasn’t like the bombing of the USS Cole, this was an act that made victims out of everyday civilians. We were shocked, appalled, and the fire of vengeance burned within us as a nation.

So we joined up. In record numbers, young men and women throughout this country walked to their local office and signed up to serve in our armed forces. It was our duty as Americans to protect our country.

So how can we not understand the plight of our Iraqi brethren? Isn’t their home soil being attacked? Aren’t their civilians dying in record numbers? And perhaps all the more shockingly parallel to what we endured, don’t we, in our own minds, think that we have all the reasons in the world? And aren’t we, by that token, perhaps, if only just a little, tragically forgetting that no reason is reason enough to condone our acts?