I hate bin Laden, for what he did six years ago this morning, certainly, but mostly for what happened subsequently to the actual attack on September 11, 2001. He won.
The goal of a terrorist is to fuel and spread terror. Fear. And he succeeded, with a not inconsequential helping hand from the leadership of this country. No one has done a better job of spreading fear and terror than President Bush and his minions. Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rove, Chertoff, Ashcroft, Gonzales. They all had much more of a hand in crafting this Orwellian nightmare than bin Laden did. All he had to do was sit back and watch.
A month or so ago, Rudy Giuliani, who, up until 9/11 was considered to be a pretty shitty mayor, said in a speech that if you didn't want another terror attack in America, you have to vote Republican. That's what he said. He said that if you don't vote against the Democrats, you will die.
That is exactly the kind of world bin Laden wanted us to live in, and we are. A world where our so-called leaders spend every moment of every day thinking of new ways in which to scare the citizenry of the United States. They want to frighten us in the worst way, because they believe that with unbridled fear comes unwavering support. They believe that they can continually use the bogeyman of 9/11, the spectre of another terrorist attack on America, to cow their opposition, to quash dissent and to stay in power, uncontested, forever.
Bin Laden knocked a couple buildings down and murdered 3,000 people. Bush and his cronies have willingly and willfully killed nearly 4,000 American soldiers by sending them into an impossible, never ending war, and they tell us our soldiers must stay there, dying, because "we have to fight them over there so we don't have to fight them at home."
My niece was born six years ago tonight, into a world I barely recognize anymore. A world changed not by Osama bin Laden and some crazy assholes from Saudi Arabia, but by the people we charged with protecting us.
Happy birthday, Charlize. I'm sorry for what we let happen to your future. We're trying to fix it, but it might take a while.