Today, 10 years after, we still live in a 9-11 world.
It’s a world of diminished expectations, a world darkened by fear and shadows.
But it’s also a world with a few surprises up its sleeve.
The mastermind of 9-11, Osama bin Laden, is dead. You could argue that the War on Terror is over.
And Muslim nations, one after the other, have turned their backs on Osama’s bogus jihad, opting instead for freedom and rebirth: The Arab Spring.
We, er, won.
But the cost has been almost too much to bear. America, not long ago the self-declared greatest nation in the world, is a spent force.
The War on Terror has drained the treasury, and no one’s cheering for the man who tracked down bin Laden and ended the ruinous detour into Iraq. Barack Obama is down so low that everything looks like up to him.
It will take a long time for the shadows of 9-11 to dissipate.
Since that day, Canada has spent an extra $92 billion on security, too much of it frisking little old ladies and small children in airports. But do we feel any safer? Despite all the tedious precautions, one terrorist almost managed to blow up a plane, failing only because he was too clumsy to set his shoe on fire. With guys like that on the loose, it would be foolish to let down our guard. Is that a nail file in your purse, lady?
One of the darkest shadows of 9-11 is the spin. Otherwise enlightened people think it was our own fault, that Osama bin Laden was the instrument of our chastisement. Because we depend on Mideast oil. Because we support Israel. Because of our attitude.
Then there are those who seriously believe that 9-11 was an inside job, and proclaim it on lamp posts and the walls of buildings. That the Pentagon attacked the Pentagon to manipulate public opinion into approving another war.
Weapons of mass delusion.
Still, 10 years after, Osama bin Laden is gone, there are fledgling “democracies” in Iraq and Afghanistan, and just try to smuggle a bomb onto an airplane in your undershorts.
Somehow, we endure. We’ve learned that resilience and determination aren’t pretty, but they work. And on our good days, we can look forward to a time when the light fills all the dark corners, where freedom and prosperity are the antidotes to danger and despair.
That’s our mission. And it is not accomplished. Not even close.