Empowering people through education and engagement

Twelve Years Later

Azher Quader 

Twelve years ago America suffered an act of horrific magnitude which has permanently scarred it On that day it woke up to a new reality: that hate could hurt, that trust could turn into terror, that the happy days of freedom can change into an endless night of insecurity. We cried revenge and went after whoever we perceived as enemy. A sleeping giant had been woken with pain and the world witnessed the fury and the wrath of a nation going to war. Our rage was great, our reason subdued. At first it was the menace in the mountains, later it was the despot in the desert, then it were the insurgents by the roadside, now we have the gas killers in our cross hair.

Twelve years later as we contemplate to strike once more in defense of prudence and principle can we really make the moral argument in support of throwing more bombs? We live in a dirty world inhabited with demonic despots and ruthless dictators. Can we right every wrong, can we solve every strife? More than 3000 of our brave sons and daughters have died in distant soils as we sent them to fix a broken world. That world is now more broken than ever before: with violence, with destruction, with displacement and despair.

We pride ourselves in being the arbiters of truth and justice, the peace makers of our times, the defenders of the oppressed, and the protectors of the powerless. Yet when Darfur happened we watched in silence, when the Kurds were poisoned we looked the other way, when our drones killed women and children we did not cease to play our war games.

So as we commemorate the anniversary of yet another 911 listening to the rhetoric of our leaders seeking to engage in another war, can anyone blame us for being the skeptics that we have become.

Too much water has gone under the bridge these past few years for us to believe in the words and assurances of those who march to the drumbeat of their personal agendas.

Some day we will shed our mantle of pride and ego, let go our anchors of partisan politics, to embrace our role as just power brokers, in a part of the world where our credibility is suspect, not because of what we say and promise, but because of what we do and deliver. That day when it comes, we will truly be free from wars and truly be brave in the eyes of the world.

May He inspire our leaders to become such folks.
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