Well, I have done it. Purchased the “official” 9/11 report. And read it through, at least at this time on a cursory level. I will re-read it in detail, of course.
There are a few things that trouble me. They are as follows:
1. A war on terrorism will not succeed. That is because terrorism is the symptom, not the cause. The cause is a state of global affairs that gives rise to the belief that terrorism is, for many, a justifiable and perhaps the only viable alternative to advance their agenda to the point where it will be considered.
2. If we are to engage the problem of alternatives to terrorism for those who now employ it as their sole means of communication, we have to start looking hard at the fact that we are a single human family. National “rights”, and boundaries, really must have no meaning if we are to address, fairly and honestly, the grievances of one group of people versus another. The fact is, that as a human species, we are in effect a single family — albeit in some cases only distant cousins.
This makes EVERY war in effect a civil war. Brother against brother — for the majority of religions on this planet accept as one of their tenets some degree of universal brotherhood.
3. With respect to that universal brotherhood. The United States must make a statement to the world, and must lead the other “so-called” civilized nations in one very important point. We must accept Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism, Druidism, Wiccanism, Sufism, Voodoo, Santeria, Ba’hai, Sikhism, Confucianism, Atheism, and all the rest, as absolutely equally viable paths to that exclusively human (at least, human-claimed, for none of the other species that have evolved and existed for millions of years on this planet have found it necessary to indulge in the nuances of comparative theology) province, enlightenment. If we are capable of being enlightened (as we claim), then we need to accomplish it. That means returning spiritual truth where it belongs — to each and every individual.
4. We need to focus our resources not on exerting our influence through military might, or covert operation, or corporate interest, but through demonstration of our principles by enforcing them upon ourselves. Eliminate special interests. Eliminate preconceived biases. Restore (or, rather, considering our own systematic programs of terrorism that checker our own historical national agenda — vis a vis the Comanches, for exampl?) “justice for all.” Not justice that meets our needs or serves the expediency of the moment, but justice that punishes our friends when guilty, and praises our enemies when they are courageous and in the right.
5. Finally, we need to think long and hard about something that G.I. Gurdjieff once said, that was almost echoed in Obama’s recent speech at the Democratic convention: “As long as a single person is in prison, no one is free.” No matter what the reason — because prison population, like terrorism, is a symptom. And to address the cause, we cannot continue to just build more prisons and graveyards. Or schools that teach rigid ways of looking at the world. Or churches that preach hatred and xenophobia in the guise of building their own brand of “chosen people” to pit against the rest of the world.
Ah, I could go on.