September 13, 2005

by Reb Yudel
Four Years After

Scott Rosenberg notes the 9/11 anniversary with a little timetravel:

Here is how the conversation might go if we could step into a Wayback Machine and travel back to, say, a couple of months after 9/11 to have a little conversation with our previous selves:

"2005?!?! My god, fill me in. These last few weeks have been rough! Give me some hope, okay?"

"Well..."

"Come on! Four years! Where did they finally find Osama? And what did they do to him?"

"Well..."

"I assume the Taliban are long gone from Afghanistan, right? This war we're fighting can't take too much longer."

"Well..."

"And what with the outpouring of international support for the U.S. these days, there must be some wonderful achievements in global cooperation!"

"Well..."

"Oh, yeah, now there are these bizarre anthrax incidents... Who was it, anyway? What a relief it must have been to find that out!"

"Well..."

"You're not saying very much. What gives?"

"You remember all that talk about Iraq at the start of the first Bush administration? They invaded."

"Yeah? Don't tell me -- Saddam was behind the anthrax!"

"No, no..."

"Or, what, did he finally find a way to launch his own terrorist attack?"

"Nope."

"They caught him building a nuke!"

"Well, no."

"So...?"

"They told us Saddam had weapons of mass destruction. But we never found the weapons, even after we toppled him. Then they told us it didn't matter because we were building a better democratic Iraq. Then they told us not to give up despite thousands of American casualties, because if we pulled out we'd be dishonoring the soldiers who'd already died."

"Damn. I guess that means Bush lost the election in '04, huh?"

"Well..."

"Anyway, the most important thing is that, four years later, the U.S. has had enough time to plan and prepare for another horror. The next time an American city is endangered, we'll be all set, right? Swift response. Leaders who spring into action. Better communications. Organization. The can-do American spirit."

"Well..."

"Enough! Get back to the future already! You're just bumming me out."

"Hey, you're bumming me out, too!"

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