Friday, September 10

The True Lesson of 9/11 - It's Just Us.

It is so much better to now have a President that can, off the cuff, articulate the true American heart in such a clear and heartfelt way.

Everyone has talked about this in the last day, but listen to him - really listen to him.

"I think I've been pretty clear on my position here. And that is, is that this country stands for the proposition that all men and women are created equal, that they have certain inalienable rights; one of those inalienable rights is to practice their religion freely. And what that means is that if you could build a church on a site, you could build a synagogue on a site, if you could build a Hindu temple on a site, then you should be able to build a mosque on the site...

On the day nine years ago, America was attacked, America was wounded. America was broken and in response we lashed out. We attacked and invaded Afghanistan in pursuit of those who attacked us.

Then America got off track. And we connected Saddam to 9/11 and al Qaeda. We began to go after them - everywhere. We invaded a secular nation, in search of a pack of Sunni Religious Extremists. Finally that war is winding down, nearly ended - the first Afghanistan War is beginning to reach it's conclusion.

And our new President, even if not entirely according to his plan, is leading us out of that darkness and back into the courage and the light of our true ideals.

"We are not at war against Islam. We are at war against terrorist organizations that have distorted Islam or falsely used the banner of Islam to engage in their destructive acts. And we've got to be clear about that. We've got to be clear about that because ... if we're going to successfully reduce the terrorist threat, then we need all the allies we can get. The folks who are most interested in a war between the United States or the West and Islam are al Qaeda. That's what they've been banking on.

We are at War not with Islam, but with Extremists who would distort Faith into Hate. Who would kill in order to "save" us from ourselves. Islam is not our enemy and never has been. Some of us have known this all along, others still seem to be ignorant of it.

On this day, we should strive to remember not only our collective shock, horror, pain and grief on that day, but also what binds us all - what common hopes we all have, what common values. We should not let those who wish to continue to divide us, be they American Conservatives who wish to Demonize Islam as Rachel describes here, or be they radial Islamicist radicals overseas who attempt to do the same.

We can only defeat and out argue all of these forces if we do so together - rather than separately.

"And fortunately, the overwhelming majority of Muslims around the world are peace-loving, are interested in the same things that you and I are interested in: how do I make sure I can get a good job, how can I make sure that my kids get a decent education, how can I make sure I'm safe, how can I improve my lot in life. And so they have rejected this violent ideology for the most part, overwhelmingly.

"And so from a national security interest, we want to be clear about who the enemy is here. It's a handful, a tiny minority of people who are engaging in horrific acts and have killed Muslims more than anybody else.

A tiny minority of people. Just 19 guys on a set of airplanes. Just about 100 guys in Afghanistan. Just about 30-50 people in Gainseville Florida. All it takes is a few people will to stand up against that hate, like those who fought through the smoke and fire on that day, to undo all the harm that they wish to do.

"The other reason it's important for us to remember that is because we've got millions of Muslim-Americans, our fellow citizens, in this country. They're going to school with our kids. They're our neighbors. They're our friends. They're our coworkers. And, you know, when we start acting as if their religion is somehow offensive, what are we saying to them?

"I've got Muslims who are fighting in Afghanistan, in the uniform of the United States armed services. They're out there putting their lives on the line for us, and we've got to make sure that we are crystal clear for our sakes and their sakes: They are Americans. And we honor their service. And part of honoring their service is making sure that they understand that we don't differentiate between 'them' and 'us.' It's just 'us.'"

Ultimately this battle moving into the future is not simple a War of bullets and bombs, but a War of Ideals and Ideas.

It is not "Them" vs "Us" across a religious gulf. It's Just Us!.

That is the true lesson of 9/11. Many died during the attack on towers. Many more died in the invasion and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. In then all of those people - combatants, non-combatants, military, civilian, innocent, guilty - are just us.

We live on one world. We are one people. We are one race - the human race.

God bless us all.


Obama's Weekly Address on This Day.

My own Video Retrospective/Tribute to all of what we've seen and done these past 9 Years:

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