Another 9/11 anniversary. Do we care anymore?
For a "Day That Changed Everything", we've become rather blase about the whole thing. Oh, I know the network morning shows will likely lead with this, and we'll get the usual montages. (Think they'll still trot out the Samuel Barber accompaniment?) But by tomorrow, we'll be back to discussing Britney Spears' lame performance on MTV.
Maybe it's geography. Here in the heartland, the attacks simply didn't have the same impact. We weren't under attack, they were, the East Coast power elite. There is a heightened awareness of our vulnerability, but even the release last week of a new Bin Laden video was greeted with a shrug.
And it's weird how the notion that the attacks were, at least in part, an inside job has gained traction. That's been a poular conspiracy among wackjobs everywhere since the attacks occured, but you here it repeated more often now, discussed at work, in bars and restaurants, overheard from blue collar workers to moneyed professionals. The theory now has thankfully dropped the noxious anti-semitism of its early days (when it was the work of the International Jewish Conspiracy), and seems more and more to be targeting Our Beloved President.
How else, people wonder, could he have gotten us into Iraq? Without the attacks and the climate of fear they created, how could he have found the political backing to go ahead with a boneheaded plan that was already in the works? Viewed in that light, the devastation of 9/11 suddenly looks very...convenient.
Like any good theory, this one has just enough plausibility to seem believable on the surface. But let's face it, Bush would have gone ahead with Iraq anyway. Fabricating links to al-Qaeda made it an easier sell, but they weren't needed. They'd have had the "smoking gun in the form of a mushroom cloud" taglines ready to go, questioned the patriotism of anyone who opposed them, all counting on the willfull ignorance of the American people. It would have worked, too, and we'd be right where we are now.
Today 9/11 is a vague memory to many in the country, a hazy fragment from a time before The Forever War, from a country we used to call home.