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Yeah, you're right, a sense of perspective is important. I felt the need to post maybe just because this is the first year I ever blogged, and the "freedom walk" just really pissed me off. I went to the Pentagon memorial chapel on 12 Sep, and it was strange - didn't feel the same as last year. Maybe I'm getting used to the event (while not forgetting the psychic shock of it all).

I'm not as sure that I can say that it wasn't the "day that changed everything." Yes the terrorists just got lucky, but certainly it transformed us into a different state of mind. And certainly people took political advantage of that situation - not just at the top level, but even the mid-level OSD bureaucrats that took the opportunity to advance personal agendas as a result of a plane sticking out of the side of the Pentagon. You'd be surprised how much that event changed the small, overlooked chem-bio defense community, and at the same time, much has not changed. Lots of posturing though. Not much deliberate thought as to what we need to do for the long-term.

Matthew Shugart

Really good post.

I almost did not post a 9/11 remembrance myself at Fruits and Votes (other than the one remembering the date from 1973). But I relented, mainly because I thought the contrasts between responses to 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina were so interesting.


It transformed us into the wrong frame of mind. As Matt can attest, I worried a great deal about whether Americans were capable of grappling with the moral nuances of guerrilla warfare and terrorism. Our reaction since 09/11/01 has not been heartening in this respect.

Steven Taylor

I must confess: I almost didn't post, but felt semi-obligated (although all I did was re-run the post from last year, and note some links).

I did think, as I was posting, that at some point it has to be time to not memorialize in the same way, to put the date in a different, less raw category.

To put my polisci hat on for a moment: while I concur that the idea that it was the day everything changed is quite hyperbolic, I do think that like it or not, it has re-shaped the logic of US foreign policy for the foreseeable future. I have noted that the new mentality in Washington, and in the world at large, has been altered. If anything, it is the "new Communism" in the sense that if one want aid from US, a great way to get it is to be fighting terrorism. The Colombians picked up on that almost immediately. This in turn changed the US policy to no longer view the drug fight as distinct from the guerrilla fight.

I dealt with a little of this here:

Steven Taylor

On a wholly different note, it is interesting and nice to have the three of us engaged in conversation again.

Ah, the magic of the internet.

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