Eighteen years later, I will fly no flag…

On this day, I will not wave my credentials as an American.

Why? Because I am angry and ashamed of what we have become.

Continue reading “Eighteen years later, I will fly no flag…”

Achilles’ Heel…

Achilles’ Heel…

Achilles’ heel

  • n.
    A seemingly small but actually crucial weakness.

Continue reading “Achilles’ Heel…”

Aftermath (Part 2): Bread and Circuses…

Aftermath (Part 2): Bread and Circuses…

It’s been a while. Sorry about that. With all the distractions and changes between November 9 and January 29, it’s nearly impossible to take in everything that’s happening. There’s another name for these things: Bread and Circuses.

We are so used to paying attention to entertainment, to the spectacle, we’ve lost the ability to concentrate on what’s important. And the far Right know it. In fact, they’ve been working extra hard to ensure we’re too distracted to see what’s really happening here.

I stored a lot of these links when they hit my feed, way back in November. So much feel-good or buck-up media attempts out there, to shore up the losing side of the election, to try and make us feel better. From Dave Chappelle’s appearance on ‘SNL’ and Kate McKinnon’s appearances as Hillary Clinton to that piece about the Kids who sued the US Government Over Climate Change, we thought we had plenty of reason to think things would still be okay, and that this was just the usual more conservative swing.

There’s so much at stake, with freedom of the press (a right so important it came in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution), to assemble peacefully, to separate church and state. And now these rights enshrined in our Constitution are at risk, along with so many other rights we have as citizens of this country. In classic Orwellian double-speak, the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA) is just one of the concentrated attacks put forth in the 115th Congress against our citizens.

How did we get here? Well, if you think it’s all about the Republicans and President Obama, or Trump and his rise to power, truly, you’re missing the big picture in a really big way. There’s a lot more to the story, and it starts with George H. W. Bush, in the Reagan administration.

There are pieces to the puzzle we’re missing, and I know it, but I have to wonder, given the sheer number of racist YouTube clips and other samples from around the Internet, whether Congressman Keith Ellison’s remark in July, 2007 regarding similarity between Germany’s Reichstag fire and America’s 9/11 attacks was correct after all.

I could review all the ways in which the Saudi attack on the US worked to damage our civil liberties over the last 16 years, but reality shows that we’ve simply incorporated all those reductions in rights presented as necessary in passing the USA Patriot Act and other legislation designed to “keep us safe” from terror.

We are witnessing the forced erosion of rights, from the gutting of the Voter Rights Act and CrossCheck purging voter rolls, to cameras tracking our every move on the streets and in our homes, and now the new “Muslim Ban” enacted last Friday, coupled with all the threats designed to keep us “safe” from harm, we are already living our lives in Oceania.

And now, thanks to the massive distraction of Trump’s Muslim ban, this has happened:

Trump orders ISIS plan, gives Bannon role in revamped National Security Council

Enjoying those reality shows? I can’t watch anymore.

Real life is reality show enough for me.

The Times of Israel: Alarmism saved my family from Hitler: Why I won’t tell anyone to calm down about Trump

There’s only one message here: If you’re not terrified, either you’re not paying attention or you are part of the problem.

Related Articles:

On September 11, 2015…

On September 11, 2015…

Next Tuesday will be the 14th anniversary of the piece I wrote below. It used to appear on my web site, but I’ve since redesigned the site and removed the section. Still, the piece should be available somewhere, so I am reproducing it here.

Back then, I predicted there would be terrible consequences to our actions if we didn’t choose wisely, and I was right. We are, whether we admit it or not, in a state of continual panic and fear, thanks to the actions of our own government.

We send our bombs and people to other shores in the hopes that somehow, these actions will make the world a safer place. We fight against ISIL, we turn away refugees, we track our own actions in libraries, on the Internet, over the phone, as we drive. Cameras are everywhere.

We are constantly reminded to be vigilant, wary, concerned when people who don’t look like us interact with us. And we are armed to the teeth, in the fear that something will happen on our own turf, that will be as bad as we’ve made it for people elsewhere.

We asked for this.

It is our fault.

We elected officials who put the Patriot Act in place, and proclaim that our flag is better than any other flag, and yet we can’t feed our people. We drive on roads that are damaged by years of neglect, and celebrate those who take lives because our country has pointed fingers and said we must do unto others BEFORE they do unto us.

It is right and proper to remember the lives lost when the towers fell. It is right to remember those who served and helped the survivors. And it is proper to mourn those changes in our society.

But to me, the phrase “Never Forget” means so much more than four airplanes and their hijackers, and those in the buildings and surrounding areas who went to work or got on the planes with the expectation that they would return home again at the end of the day or the end of the trip.

“Never Forget” also means we should remember that our country was and should still be a refuge for people who had no other place to go, who sought peace from prosecution. It should be a home for all, a haven for anyone seeking a better life. And it should be a place where we all have the opportunity to enjoy the fruits of our labors, in peace and prosperity.

Citizens United, the Patriot Act, No Child Left Behind, Right to Work: These are all symbols of oppression, put in place by the Grand Old Party. These Republican oppressors, waving the flag and carrying the Christian Bible, many of whom cater to neo-Fascist organizations disguised as conservative think tanks, want us to maintain a constant state of war because THEY profit from it. And as long as we remain too distracted by fear, they can get away with murder.

Somalia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Syria, Iraq…it doesn’t matter where they were born. They all want the same things our parents and grandparents want: Somewhere safe to raise a family and to make a place in this world for themselves. We do every immigrant, every refugee a disservice every time we return these people to the hell from which they came.

The very definition of Refugee comes from an organization built on the ashes of World War II:

The 1951 United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees has adopted the following term “refugee” to apply to any person who (in Article 1.A.2):[1]

“owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it.”[1]

(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Refugee)

And these same so-called Patriots would love nothing better than to see the US pull out of the United Nations because they disagree with the policies and protections set forth there. They want us to go to war with Iran. These hypocrites could have stopped North Korea before the acquisition of nuclear weapons, but they didn’t care enough, because there isn’t enough profit in dismantling North Korea’s arsenal.

With Iran, it’s different. They are protecting their oil interests and are throwing our country away for the sake of their own greed. They have hoodwinked hard-working Americans into thinking they give a rat’s ass about their base. Even with proof of the contempt these billionaires hold for their base, they STILL manage to hold onto their positions in Congress and will do whatever they can to win the Presidency in 2016.

You have a choice. You can choose to remember this day, fourteen years ago, as a rallying cry against people who want to destroy our country and look across the ocean to other continents as the source, or you can remember who put these people in business in the first place and hold THEM accountable in the coming election. 2016 is everything.

Iran-Contra Affair: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran-Contra_affair

The Shah of Iran: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohammad_Reza_Pahlavi

Iran-Iraq War: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran-Iraq_War

Saddam Hussein: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saddam_Hussein

The Syrian Civil War: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syrian_Civil_War

September 11, 2001

Saturday, September 15, 2001

On a day that started with excitement about my own little world, the world was witness to an unbelievable tragedy.

It started so simply for me: A phone call from a mother to tell a father about his daughter’s new teeth, and to have a morning chat with him about trivialities.

How it will end is anyone’s guess. There are so many variables, so many possibilities, so vast a sense of loss, anger and shock about the events of the 11th of September, that it is impossible to predict how the landscape of the world will look even a month from now.

On September 10th, this was not the case.

On September 11th, at 8am EDT, this was not the case.

Right up to the point where the first commercial airplane impacted the first World Trade Center building, this was not the case.

We Americans have been comfortable in our ability to simply flit from place to place. There have been vague feelings of concern for the increasingly deadly military actions of other countries, but at such an incomprehensible distance that they were simply not of personal concern to most of us. We have been able to focus on things that now seem trivial and small in comparison.

Seeing the World Trade Center district in the aftermath of this most amazingly evil of atrocities, it’s hard not to think of Beirut, of Bosnia, or even of London 50 years ago.

But not Manhattan.

Not New York.

Not here.

We are now faced with a task which I am not sure is possible to accomplish, at a cost I don’t know if we are prepared to pay.

Until now, the realities of the last World War belonged to the old folks. Those who preceded the “Baby Boomer” generation who are fading fast from age or disease. There are not many people left who can remember what this world was like during the last World War. Not so many who remember Korea, for that matter.

The newer wars, Vietnam and Desert Storm, were different. With all the odds against us, we could never have won in Vietnam. Desert Storm taught us that the next World War must be different. In the wake of the responses to this ongoing tragedy, by all accounts, this war could be different from anything we have ever seen, and could ever imagine, even in the most cynical eye of Science Fiction authors. And yet, it could resemble these actions in so many awful ways. It could even resemble the Crusades, if we are not careful.

There are those who do not understand why we have not already leveled Kabul. There are those who believe that to be a Muslim means that you are automatically a terrorist. There are those who feel that this act is justified because our country condones and backs the actions of the Israelis, and that to be Jewish means that you automatically support Israel’s actions against the Palestinians.

These people are all guilty of oversimplification.

To be sure, those responsible have it coming. I don’t dispute that one bit.

But we have bombed Iraq almost continually since Desert Storm began, and yet Saddam Hussein remains in power.

We bombed Afghanistan after the last action linked directly to Osama bin Laden, and yet he continues to be the source of great pain and suffering.

The President of the United States said, “This conflict was begun on the timing and terms of others. It will end in a way and at an hour of our choosing.” I fear that he may be wrong.

If we move without first being absolutely sure of our targets, we will disrupt the alliances we seem to have forged against the perpetrators of this horrible act. It does us no good to anger the people who have united with us, simply to slake the thirst of those who want blood now. Striking out blindly at targets that are not accurate, and doing no harm to the ones who deserve it most, makes us look foolish and incompetent. This we cannot afford to do.

And while I say that I do not want to explain to my daughter why her father did not come home, I do not want the deeds of September 11th to go unpunished. I cannot in good conscience tell my husband that he must stay here. If he is called, as I am certain he will be, I must support him in any way I can.

But I say now, I will only feel good about making that sacrifice if the result is certain, appropriate and final.

So, I ask the President, the Congress, and the world to be sure that their actions are the right ones. Be careful about what you are doing, because what you could unleash may be much worse than what has already been done, as incomprehensible as that might be right now.

And, when you have decided, move swiftly, so that we can be sure that we do not miss the targets, and so our loved ones can come home.

“Sick of the slant?” Inadequate description…

“Sick of the slant?” Inadequate description…

Truth hurts.

Why am I living in an apartment I can’t really afford, trying desperately to make ends meet and stay afloat in an increasingly hostile world? Because we reacted like the trained monkeys we are when the government told us this was what we had to do in order to protect ourselves.

I said it before and I’ll say it again, because I believe that I’m right: Osama Bin Laden might have chosen the wrong way to communicate his problems with the way the US functions, but I understand the cause behind his actions and I can understand why he did it. That single belief ultimately cost me my marriage.

The USA Patriot Act was, and remains, the single most damaging thing our government has ever done to us, but it isn’t the only thing. I have friends who have suffered permanent physical damage because of our need to Remember. Until this week, when our leaders suddenly pulled a solution out of thin air, we might have gone to war AGAIN. Some of us are actually disappointed (??!?) that we’re NOT going to war against Syria.

Really?

If we had President Romney instead of President Obama, it wouldn’t have been a question, because Romney represented the corporations and they WANT us to be at war.

When it takes the comedians in our world to speak the real, honest truth, because we can’t get it anywhere else, we should be asking ourselves just how much we should believe and we should DO something about it.

Cracked.com: The 6 Weirdest Things We’ve Learned Since 9/11

Jon Stewart Destroys Fox News Over Syria Coverage: ‘Who Cares HOW We Avoided A War…’ (VIDEO)

We could start by voting every last politician who supported and continues to support the USA Patriot Act out of office as fast as humanly possible.

You want your freedom back? That’s where you start. Can’t let the terrorists win? They already have. And the only ones to profit from it are the corporations (including our major news outlets) that make their money from the profits of war.

I don’t know about you but I want my country back.

Now.

Nine Years Ago…

Nine Years Ago…

Nine years ago I was reading email when the reports started coming in. “Did you hear?

Nine years ago I got a phone call from my husband, saying “I’m all right.

Nine years ago I was playing with my baby in the bedroom, watching the news and talking with my aunt to check and see whether my cousin and uncle were okay, when I watched the second tower fall.

Nine years ago I sat, glued to CNN, holding my baby in my lap, in shock as the news replayed the images of people jumping out of the buildings before they fell. Watching as the news replayed the brief clip of a passenger jet hitting the second tower. Replayed the fall of the second tower. All day.

Nine years ago I watched men unfurl the flag over the Pentagon as we stopped to assess the damage.

Nine years ago I heard about the plane that went down in Pennsylvania.

Nine years ago I created an image and put it up on my personal web site.

Nine years ago, in just a few short hours, my life changed forever.

I was one of the lucky ones. I knew people who knew people. One degree away, many times.

My children will never know a time before the towers fell.

My children will never know the parents they could have known.

My children will never understand the changes that swept our country that day.

We lost more than people, more than buildings, more than money or livelihoods or offices.

The changes were more than just the ceasing of flights for a week.

We are becoming.

We could not have imagined the atrocities we have committed against other human beings but we have justified these acts in the names of those who died that day.

We could not have imagined a war on terror, but we have justified this war in the names of those who died that day.

We could not have imagined the public burning of a holy book, even though some of those people lived by that book, but we have justified the burning in the names of those who died that day.

We could not have imagined the security cameras or the patting down or the microchips or the full body scans or the daily invasions of privacy, but we have justified it all in the names of those who died that day.

We are racing toward our own destruction as the rich refuse to understand our peril and hunker down with their wealth.

We are hurtling toward our own destruction as the fundamentalist Christian faiths forget our collective roots, our history.

We are floating toward our own destruction on the wings of hate and discord.

We are flying toward an inevitable conclusion that one hundred years from now we will not be what we were before.

Unless…

We recognize the inherent worth and dignity of every person.
We treat every person with justice, equity and compassion.
We accept one another for what we are, without caveats or excuses.
We allow a free and responsible search for truth and meaning for everyone.
We recognize and preserve the right of conscience and the use of the democratic process everywhere.
We find a way to live in a world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all.
We respect the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

Without these truths we can never establish justice,
Insure domestic tranquility,
Provide for the common defense,
Promote the general welfare
Or secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.

Our people are waiting.

What will we do to remember?

[Edited because while I can write up a storm, I can’t add.]

Does anybody here see what I see???

Does anybody here see what I see???

07/03/2008:

1. It’s the 4th. Anyone want to come over and watch 1776 with me? Like maybe tonight??? I need some serious patriotism infusions (like the right kind, not what we’re hearing from Capitol Hill). [ETA: I want to watch the movie – really, I do – but I have to go fetch roller skates from Laurel. If you want to see the movie with me, head to my place around 9pm tonight!]

2. It’s time for a reminder that this whole big mess we’re in revolves around oil.

The war? We wanted to be sure the oil fields of Iraq were in our control. Right? (Oh, no. It was because there were WMDs on the loose. Yeah, yeah…..)

Now that we’ve got control (or something like it), have we improved our situation? Nope! Don’t think so.

And now, what’s the President and his clone suggesting will be the magic solution to our problem? Invest in new energy technology???? Nope.

Let’s go drill in Alaska.

>.< Maybe it's just me and I'm prone to seeing spiders that aren't there, but this whole mess feels in some way contrived as a means to hold our wilderness areas hostage. And the stupid people are falling for it. I can't help but think that the reason we're in the fuel hell we are right now is that this whole war has been about drilling rights. It's convoluted. I have no proof. But I have gut feelings and very often I'm proven right. Every time the Bush-man opens his mouth and says this whole thing will go away if we just surrender the rights to drill in Alaska, my skin crawls. (I predicted this war when the towers fell. Don't remember? Go read what I wrote back then. It was on my web site in 2001. It wasn’t a surprise. Just a confirmation that Evil took control.)

Stupid Republican Autocrats!

Comments:

RB:
Oh, let me depress you *further*… what if it could be proved that the war was *intended* to drive up the price of oil, because the Multinational Oil Companies (yes, the almost-an-Illuminati group from the Steve Jackson game) wanted to force Americans to begin paying something closer to what Europeans have been paying for a while?

But, seriously… hope you get to see John Adams with company tonight, given that he IS obnoxious and disliked.

BJ:
Considering the research i did for a book called Banking on Baghdad, i can say the oil companies do not care about countries. All they care about is profit. During WWII, at least one, which i will not name, sold to both sides. And there are even more outrageous things done by oil companies during war time.

MB:
For my “patriotic” viewing this year I watched “V for Vendetta”

Highly recommended.

BJ:
Good choice!

On this day….**

On this day….**

CNN: Solemn tributes mark 9/11’s fifth anniversary*

The Washington Post: NINE LIVES, 10 YEARS LATER* (Original article updated)

Snopes – Rumors of War: https://www.snopes.com/?s=war

The American Civil Liberties Union: http://www.aclu.org/

and finally

The League of Women Voters: Patriot Act

Today is a somber reminder that people can and do feel free to abuse the life, liberty and pursuit of happiness of others.

If you’re concerned about your own personal life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, don’t forget that tomorrow is the Maryland State Primary, and that on November 7 we all, as Americans over the age of 18, have not just the right but the responsibility to vote and direct our leaders.

If you haven’t registered to vote, please do. You still have time to vote in the main election. If you have, many thanks!

The only way we are going to change our leadership is if we tip the balance in the senate and house.

Car, rear view (circa 2006)
Car, rear view (circa 2006)

* Edited because I realized the main page is going to change, but the point is September 11th stories.

** I REFUSE to use the words “Patriots’ Day” – patriots know what they’re fighting for, and make a conscious decision to lose their lives. Characterizing victims like this implies choice.

Thoughts on Iraq: What do we do now?

Thoughts on Iraq: What do we do now?

On September 11, 2001, I was moved to write a commentary on the mind-bogglingly horrific disaster that was the World Trade Center attack. Its ramifications were and are as dramatic as I imagined they would be, but in ways I only
suspected would be true at the time.

On this eve, I am marveling at the audacity of our federal government and its leadership. They have been confronted with the reality of war in the very terms I was afraid would be true back when President Bush vowed to catch those responsible.

Shortly after the attacks of 9/11, I wrote a letter to President Bush and Vice President Cheney, begging them to consider very carefully their actions in pursuing the responsible individuals. In the letter, I said the following:

The President of the United States said, “This conflict was begun on the timing and terms of others. It will end in a way and at an hour of our choosing.” I fear that he may be wrong.

If we move without first being absolutely sure of our targets, we will disrupt the alliances we seem to have forged against the perpetrators of this horrible act. It does us no good to anger the people who have united with us, simply to slake the thirst of those who want blood now. Striking out blindly at targets that are not accurate, and doing no harm to the ones who deserve it most, makes us look foolish and incompetent. This we cannot afford to do.

And while I say that I do not want to explain to my daughter why her father did not come home, I do not want the deeds of September 11th to go unpunished. I cannot in good conscience tell my husband that he
must stay here. If he is called, as I am certain he will be, I must support him in any way I can.

But I say now, I will only feel good about making that sacrifice if the result is certain, appropriate and final.

So, I ask the President, the Congress, and the world to be sure that their actions are the right ones. Be careful about what you are doing, because what you could unleash may be much worse than what has already been done, as incomprehensible as that might be right now.

And, when you have decided, move swiftly, so that we can be sure that we do not miss the targets, and so our loved ones can come home.

This evening’s news speaks volumes about why my prediction remains true. As each minute passes, we find more individuals involved in the scandalous treatment of Iraqi prisoners. A Philadelphia man has been beheaded for our crimes. And at this writing Osama Bin Laden, the root of the original evil, is STILL at large!

What, in heaven’s name, are we doing? How can I be asked to support an action that brings our reputation to this? And how can anyone in this country even remotely contemplate supporting an action that has such consequences?

I am proud to be an American. My family has lived here for over a hundred years by choice. They fought hard and paid a price to live here. I have chosen to raise a family here. But when I can’t find it in my heart to respect our leaders because of their failure to respect my beliefs in the sanctity of humankind, when they abuse others in the name of liberty and freedom, what am I to do?

It is the responsibility of the United States to bring its own people to justice for committing some of the very crimes for which their foes have been accused. And it is the responsibility of our elected and appointed leaders to make a swift and sincere apology for the actions of those individuals who are supposed to be in our service.

The revolting photographs and discussions that litter every news service, including National Public Radio, are just the tip of the iceberg. Imagine how we must appear to the very people we are supposedly helping by continuing our presence in the middle east. How can we, in good conscience, continue to claim that we are helping the Iraqis?

To be blunt: This situation stinks. We have to get out of Iraq and quick, before we do any more damage to our already tarnished reputation, but we must avoid making an already horrendous situation even worse.

Regardless, we must spend the time with our military front line representatives and ensure that they clearly understand the Geneva Convention, and the ramifications of their actions. And we must do it before anyone else is killed.

I challenge George W. Bush to detail just how he intends to extract our troops without causing further damage. And for that matter, I challenge John Kerry to do the same. Should he win the election this coming November, Senator Kerry will surely inherit the mess that the Republican administration has left behind. We need to know now how he intends to clean it up.

It is our responsibility as citizens of the United States of America to elect leaders who will act in our best interests. There is simply no good that can come from an extended action in Iraq that will not ultimately result in ill will and financial ruin.

Please consider very carefully before casting your vote during this coming election. And remember that I have a husband who could easily be one of the individuals recognized nightly on The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.

September 11, 2001

September 11, 2001

On a day that started with excitement about my own little world, the world was witness to an unbelievable tragedy.

It started so simply for me: A phone call from a mother to tell a father about his daughter’s new teeth, and to have a morning chat with him about trivialities.

How it will end is anyone’s guess. There are so many variables, so many possibilities, so vast a sense of loss, anger and shock about the events of the 11th of September, that it is impossible to predict how the landscape of the world will look even a month from now.

On September 10th, this was not the case.

On September 11th, at 8am EDT, this was not the case.

Right up to the point where the first commercial airplane impacted the first World Trade Center building, this was not the case.

We Americans have been comfortable in our ability to simply flit from place to place. There have been vague feelings of concern for the increasingly deadly military actions of other countries, but at such an incomprehensible distance that they were simply not of personal concern to most of us. We have been able to focus on things that now seem trivial and small in comparison.

Seeing the World Trade Center district in the aftermath of this most amazingly evil of atrocities, it’s hard not to think of Beirut, of Bosnia, or even of London 50 years ago.

But not Manhattan.

Not New York.

Not here.

We are now faced with a task which I am not sure is possible to accomplish, at a cost I don’t know if we are prepared to pay.

Until now, the realities of the last World War belonged to the old folks. Those who preceded the “Baby Boomer” generation who are fading fast from age or disease. There are not many people left who can remember what this world was like during the last World War. Not so many who remember Korea, for that matter.

The newer wars, Vietnam and Desert Storm, were different. With all the odds against us, we could never have won in Vietnam. Desert Storm taught us that the next World War must be different. In the wake of the responses to this ongoing tragedy, by all accounts, this war could be different from anything we have ever seen, and could ever imagine, even in the most cynical eye of Science Fiction authors. And yet, it could resemble these actions in so many awful ways. It could even resemble the Crusades, if we are not careful.

There are those who do not understand why we have not already leveled Kabul. There are those who believe that to be a Muslim means that you are automatically a terrorist. There are those who feel that this act is justified because our country condones and backs the actions of the Israelis, and that to be Jewish means that you automatically support Israel’s actions against the Palestinians.

These people are all guilty of oversimplification.

To be sure, those responsible have it coming. I don’t dispute that one bit.

But we have bombed Iraq almost continually since Desert Storm began, and yet Saddam Hussein remains in power.

We bombed Afghanistan after the last action linked directly to Osama bin Laden, and yet he continues to be the source of great pain and suffering.

The President of the United States said, “This conflict was begun on the timing and terms of others. It will end in a way and at an hour of our choosing.” I fear that he may be wrong.

If we move without first being absolutely sure of our targets, we will disrupt the alliances we seem to have forged against the perpetrators of this horrible act. It does us no good to anger the people who have united with us, simply to slake the thirst of those who want blood now. Striking out blindly at targets that are not accurate, and doing no harm to the ones who deserve it most, makes us look foolish and incompetent. This we cannot afford to do.

And while I say that I do not want to explain to my daughter why her father did not come home, I do not want the deeds of September 11th to go unpunished. I cannot in good conscience tell my husband that he must stay here. If he is called, as I am certain he will be, I must support him in any way I can.

But I say now, I will only feel good about making that sacrifice if the result is certain, appropriate and final.

So, I ask the President, the Congress, and the world to be sure that their actions are the right ones. Be careful about what you are doing, because what you could unleash may be much worse than what has already been done, as incomprehensible as that might be right now.

And, when you have decided, move swiftly, so that we can be sure that we do not miss the targets, and so our loved ones can come home.

Theme: Elation by Kaira.