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Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Have most of the last nine years since September 11, 2001, been spent overreacting to the events of that day?

Asked by Hawaii_Jake (31327points) September 11th, 2010

Ted Koppel has an interesting opinion piece in the Washington Post. (Link) In it he writes, “The goal of any organized terrorist attack is to goad a vastly more powerful enemy into an excessive response. And over the past nine years, the United States has blundered into the 9/11 snare with one overreaction after another.”

He states plainly that our initial reaction and offensive action in Afghanistan was correctly done, but then we lost our way by getting sidetracked in Iraq. In the process, we’ve spent over $1,000,000,000,000 on these two wars.

He quotes bin Laden: “In a 2004 video message, he boasted about leading America on the path to self-destruction. ‘All we have to do is send two mujaheddin . . . to raise a small piece of cloth on which is written ‘al-Qaeda’ in order to make the generals race there, to cause America to suffer human, economic and political losses.’”

Have our actions since that terrible day been out of proportion?

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7 Answers

Mamradpivo's avatar

Probably, yeah. I’m not sure in what way we as Americans are any safer than we were in August, 2001.

Ben_Dover's avatar

After spending $1,000,000,000,000 do you begin to see who actually gained from the destruction of the Twin Towers?

marinelife's avatar

Bush is the one who overreacted. He used 9/11 as the excuse he needed to invade Iraq. Our war with Iraq was and is a huge mistake.

kevbo's avatar

If by overreacting you mean systematically turning over the public largesse to beltway bandits, then yes.

Jeruba's avatar

Yes, I thought so then and I think so now. This is why I say the towers are still falling. We have allowed our entire society to be transformed by this single act, giving it more power than it ever possessed in itself by throwing our entire collective weight behind their jujitsu move. I’ve thought a thousand times that Al-Qaeda must be laughing itself silly over what we’ve put ourselves through and what we’ve done to our own way of life in the aftermath of that one deed. They don’t have to lift a finger to do another thing and we’ll just keep chewing ourselves raw.

I would have liked to see a response that said, “This was a terrible thing, but we’re not going to let it affect everything we do.” Instead we reacted exactly the same way we do to isolated and even minor domestic incidents of any kind that upset us—whether it’s something that happens on a bridge in our city or in our kids’ school or in the workplace: “We must make a new set of rules and prohibitions so this can never happen again.” As if evil and misfortune could be legislated out of existence if we made enough rules. These are nearly always overreactions, motivated (I think) more out of a fear of lawsuits than out of a real belief that future troubles can be prevented that way. An endless erosion of freedoms and loss of personal responsibility doesn’t really make us significantly safer. I think it makes us more helpless. Better we should learn to deal with those things without being brought to our knees by every one of them.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Sweet holy moly, we have spent so much time and wasted so many lives on both side of the fence it is not funny. All the money we, the US didn’t have for schools, health, homeless, etc. that was found in the crack of Uncle Sam’s a** to sink down a Middle Eastern sand alligator could have been put to better use.

There should have been a reaction but done way better and different than the way it was.

@Jeruba I would have liked to see a response that said, “This was a terrible thing, but we’re not going to let it affect everything we do.” This is something American can’t take because it bumps the heads of most of us, in the since that most in the US feel highly insulted and shocked because “we” don’t get bombed or attacked. It was like Iron Mike Tyson in his prime, he was use to destroying opponents in the ring, running roughshod over them, instilling fear in their hearts when they got that 1st right cross, then having some lesser fighter sit him on his wallet for an 8 count. Just as he would have been stunned, confused, and embarrassed so was the US. To have some little peon take down one of the crown jewels of America not only were we shocked but embarrassed because we looked weak to the rest of the world. To re-established our “hog with the big nuts” personal we had to go BIG to use ”shack and awe” to make it clear to anyone else you don’t screw with us or you will be totally destroyed. The US arrogantly thought they would ”mop up” those sand head idiots in 180, 200 days tops, go home, pop the bubbly and toast the victory showing all others you piss off Uncle Sam you will reap the whirl wind and be vanquished. Because that didn’t happen and we have not gotten out “mojo” back every little thing that happens we are off like Chicken Little trying to get back even or to prove we are still top dog.

Ben_Dover's avatar

Where do you think all that money went over the last nine years that didn’t go to schools, healthcare, homeless, etc…

How many trillions have we spent on the futile wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (futile except for the war profiteers making fortunes from these miserable games we are playing).

The pharmacies are raking in the moolah from the Afghnani poppies (heroin and other opium derivatives) ... Arms manufacturers and dealers have been having a field day!

But hey, the American people are allowing it all to go down the way it has and the way it is continuing….

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