Liberal response to 9/11
Liberals, who love their country as much as anyone, were devastated by the attacks of 9/11. Responses to the attacks were many and varied because liberal points of view cover a broad spectrum of ideas, from pacifists to those demanding a fierce military response to attacks on the U.S.
Liberals were caught between Iraq and a hard place over 9/11. In the patriotic fervor that swept the nation after 9/11, the public demanded swift military action against the terrorists.
Very few liberal politicians stuck to their principals of seeking international cooperation to back military intervention
Talk of exploring diplomatic channels was seen as hopelessly wimpy. And expressing doubt about the likely success of foreign invasion was likened to treason.
One of the only liberals who refused to back the Iraq War was Dennis Kucinich of Cleveland, Ohio.
He voted against the
9/11 Commemoration, saying he could not support
the lies that took us into Iraq, the lies that keep us there, the lies that are being used to set the stage for war against Iran and the lies that have undermined our basic civil liberties here at home.
We asked a lberal living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to give his thoughts on 9/11, ten years on:
Immediately after the 9/11 attacks, which I followed minute by minute, I was caught up in the demands for an immediate military response. I wanted the United States to poke someone's eye out; it didn't have to be Osama bin Laden so long as it was one of our self-declared enemies.
To hell with the U.N.
To hell with the U.N. and our allies. America needs to do this alone. You hurt us, we'll wipe you out!
I was also incredibly sad about the loss of life in the attacks. I knew this would scar and change us as a nation.
I was impressed by how the nation rallied to clear up the debris at Ground Zero, but I was becoming increasingly alarmed by conservative rhetoric which demanded bombing campaigns without any concern about the long term consequences.
Fears about the future
Over the following weeks, I began to question my initial support of a military campaign against our enemies. War, invasion, and occupation have a long shelf life.
It's not like you identify an enemy, kill him, then you win and everyone lives happily ever after. You can't drop democracy by bomb.
I knew that if we got ourselves into Iraq and Afghanistan it would be a long, unpopular mess that would claim many American lives. We would end up losing our way, not knowing why we were fighting those wars in the first place.
That point of view has been vindicated. Most Americans want us to pull out now. People don't care about unfinished business in Iraq because they have no idea what we're trying to achieve other than get ourselves some oil and keep kicking the people who hate us.
I don't think this 9/11 is more special than any other. Ten is an even number. So what? Is our pain greater because 10 years have passed instead of seven or nine.
America has changed for the worse in many ways after 9/11. I hope we can overcome the trauma of that day and become the nation we should be: strong, independent, freedom-loving, but also able to think, plan, and cooperate with our allies to build a better world.