For me, the attack of 9/11, 2001 did not arouse feelings of anger as it did in many of my fellow Americans. I was simply deeply saddened, the same as after the recent shooting in the Sandy Hook elementary school. Perhaps because of this feeling, the military response in the next 12 years (in my view) was at best flawed and at worst irrational. Many of my friends disagree. I think it boils down to how you see the world, the arc of history, and the best way to defend against and deter future violence.
These days, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan seem to have lost any semblance of support among the majority of the American public. But I believe that support can be reignited in a single day of another tragedy. In the rare times when I tune into a video of a MSNBC/Fox/CNN take on a particular subject, I worry that the mechanism of popular media is equipped to stir and ride waves of hysteria. In a perfect world, the media would provide a calm voice of reason: the facts, the context, the several distinct ways to interpret the current events. But in this aspect, we do not live in a perfect world. I fear that any tragedy of the magnitude of 9/11 terrorist attacks will create another state of temporary insanity among the masses. I include myself in that obviously. Anger, sadness, fear can all be exploited intentionally or unintentionally (through institutionalized momentum).
It’s been said by many people in the last 10 years, but our government on many levels is lacking the mechanism to protect us against ourselves when we are in such states of “temporary insanity”. If another big terrorist attack happens on U.S. soil there should be a set of laws that tie the hands of Congress and the president to slow any drastic action and allow a cooling-off period allowing at least a brief chance for rationality and long-term interest of the public to prevail.