In the coming days, the historic scenes of tragedy and devastation will be replayed in the minds of people throughout America.
The images of one of the country’s largest edifices crumbling to its demise in a fiery cloud of ashes will constantly be emblazoned on television screens and newspapers across the country.
These images act as reminders, further solidifying America’s national decree that “we will never forget.”
But the question is not whether we forget, but what have we learned. In the years following that day of catastrophe, the attacks have been condemned as acts of unmerited evil.
And while that is a reality in the analysis of the 9/11 attacks, an even larger element of this reality deals with our country’s foreign relations policies, or lack thereof.
So what did we learn? Apparently we did not learn that a war derived on invisible pretenses would probably lend itself to a negative viewpoint of America. We didn’t learn that countries don’t like to be invaded, even if it is under the veil of deploying democracy. We didn’t learn that maybe a war in a Middle Eastern country could be a rally cry for terrorists, not a deterrence.
On Sunday, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said, “I think it’s clear that we are safe – safer – but not really yet safe.”
So after 9/11 we haven’t even learned how to adequately protect the country. However, we learned that threats can be broken down into color codes that offer no recourse to Americans other than to “be more careful than you were before we changed the color.”
So what have we learned? The only definite answer to that question is we learned that America will never forget. Sadly enough, we haven’t learned much else.
Akeem Anderson for the editorial board.