Thursday, January 22, 2009

The United States Will Not Torture...

And then there was a clear change of course...

No more 'Mission Accomplished' statements when the truth was something else altogether.

No more telling the American public that torture was not something we did - when the truth was evident to anyone who would listen or cared to look.

No more lip service to a Middle East Peace process that is going to be difficult and that may well take generations to take hold. But no more letting the fear of progress hinder the call to action.

I can remember September 11, 2001 like it was minutes ago. I know where I was, I remember the fear, the running away from the Trade Centers, the waiting to see which of my friends were okay, and sadly, which were not.

I can remember crying a few days later. Uncontrollable sobbing for what we had lost. Yes, this country has seen our share of wars before, but in our lifetime, we had never seen this. This breach of safety we had been told existed.

Then I remember waiting. Waiting for anything. Waiting for someone to make sense of it all. Waiting for my call to action. What could I do? What could the people I knew do? How could we help. Some of us joined the military. Others, peace groups. Many of us wanted an answer or a million answers, but we wanted to play a role.

We were told to shop. To go about our business. To do what we were doing on September 1oth. The President had everything under control. Nothing could have been more true.

I waited, as did many in the world. The world wept with us. Maybe it was out of true concern, and maybe a part of it was a shattering of their innocence as well. All I know is that at that moment, we could have chosen any course of action and the world would have rushed to help.

Instead, we decided on a course that changed our nation. Maybe we didn't realize it then, but it became clear within months...the inept response to 9/11, became the inept responses to Katrina and the financial industry and every other area of importance that required leadership.

Today, President Obama confirmed something we already knew, we can not be better than our enemies when we become just like them.

Say what you will: You can try to blame liberals for ruining the country, being weak; not understanding....

And yet, here we are after eight years. Not sure if we are more safe. Only sure that within our own borders, we are less secure. Less secure from a recession; less secure in our ability to deal with crises at home; less secure in our ability to respond to crises around the world - and be taken seriously.

The United States will not torture. Serious statement to make. One that may be a turning point.