Vol. 6    No. 18
SEPTEMBER 8, 2011

The Capital City Hues
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EDITORIAL STAFF

Jonathan Gramling
Publisher & Editor

Clarita G. Mendoza
Sales Manager

Contributing Writers
Rita Adair, Ike Anyanike, Paul
Barrows, Alfonso Zepeda
Capistran, Theola Carter, Fabu,
Andrew Gramling, Lang
Kenneth Haynes, Eileen Cecille
Hocker, Heidi Pascual, Jessica
Pharm, Laura Salinger, Jessica
Strong, & Martinez White
Reflections/Jonathan Gramling   
                   September 11, 2001
Like most important events like the King assassination, I can remember where I was when the
first hijacked airliner hit the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. I was sitting in my home
office writing articles for The Madison Times when Heidi Pascual called me to let me know that the
World Trade Center was on fire. At that time, CBS News’ Bryant Gumbel was reporting it as just a
fire in one of the towers.

I started watching the news as I spoke to Heidi and then, all of a sudden, the second tower
exploded and one could see something flew into it although the CBS camera was filming the tower
from far away. It was clear that this was no routine fire. Over the course of the next few days, we
watched in horror and shock as it became clear what had happened and who had perpetrated it.

I remember feeling relieved at one point when it became clear that “only” 3,000 had died for one
news report had said that 50,000 people worked in the World Trade Center and many may have
been trapped inside. It was a horrific moment that made America feel vulnerable, something that
Osama bin Laden had wanted to achieve. Who knew what would happen next. We were feeling
shock, fear and anger at the same time.

Over the course of the next ten years, hundreds of thousands of people would lose their lives:
victims of more terrorist attacks, American, NATO, Iraqi and Afghani military personnel and the
thousands and thousands of innocent Iraqi and Afghani civilians who lost their lives. We must
mourn the loss of all of these precious lives.

I also want to mourn the loss of many of our civil rights and knowledge of which rights are being
violated. With the passage of the Patriot Act in hasty fashion — I will always be proud of Russ
Feingold for being the loan dissenting vote on the bill — none of us knows or has the right to know
when our information is being collected or looked at. To me, that was the first brick in the
foundation of a 1984 society. In the name of the War on Terror — a war that will never end we are
now told — we lost many of our liberties during the subsequent 10 years. In some ways, Osama
bin Laden achieved his objectives that day. I mourn that loss greatly.

Yes, we are told that the War on Terror will never end. Perhaps it will be this era of world history’s
100-Year War. And I guess we will always be subject to terror attacks as long as we remain the
world’s police force. After all, American military personnel are located in over 160 countries. That’
s a lot considering that there are 196 countries, so we have military personnel in about 82 percent
of the countries on this earth.

I still feel that the Iraq War was unnecessary and a pretense to settle old scores and to ensure that
the world’s oil supplies were in the hands of “friendly” governments, even if those nations were
controlled by military elites and dictators or kings. Libya was attacked to defend her people from
Gaddafi, a ruthless dictator — and to ensure that her oil supplies were in friendly hands and this
war effort was supported by Saudi Arabia, which cuts off the hands of criminals and whose oil is
in “friendly” hands. American news sources spell the Libyan dictator’s name Qaddafi, probably to
create some subconscious connections with Al Qaeda.

It’s not that I have any positive feelings about Gaddafi. He is a ruthless dictator. It’s just that we
invaded a foreign country killing many of its citizens under the pretext of saving its citizens. I’m
scratching my head. It won’t be long before Assad in Syria meets his end as well. It is all about the
oil and who controls it until it runs out in the next 100 years.

There are discussions going on right now about extending the presence of U.S. troops in Iraq and
Afghanistan. I personally feel that they should come home. Osama bin Laden — along with most of
his lieutenants — is dead. Our reason for going to war 10 years ago is no longer. We have
punished and destroyed the perpetrators of the September 11 attack. If the original reason for the
invasion of Afghanistan was to bring the perpetrators to justice, we should feel that we
accomplished that and it is time to come home. If all of this was about the oil and oil pipelines,
then we will be in Iraq and Afghanistan long after Al Qaeda ceases to be a threat to anyone. And
the violence and terrorism will continue indefinitely.

I pray for the families and loved ones of those who have lost their lives to violence over the past
10 years. Many, many people have paid a huge price throughout the world. May they receive
solace and justice as time goes by.