Torture in the Age of American Innocence

The events of September 11th were unspeakable. We were attacked by a band of radicals hellbent on making a supreme and everlasting point. In more ways than one, that point was made. 

Just as important as the attack was the response. We responded in the characteristic American way. Brute force backed by the might of the American military complex, we invaded Afghanistan, an Al Qaeda stronghold. We also entered Iraq. We threatened Iran and North Korea. We created secret detention centers. We opened prison camps throughout the world; some as close as 90 miles to our shore. 

We did all these things in the name of American innocence. Over 3,000 perished on 9/11, but the cost of battle would run deep as we lost another 6,600 in the wars of Afghanistan and Iraq. Beyond the treasure of human life, we have spent over a trillion dollars waging a seemingly endless war. 

In the defense of the innocent, we have sacrificed blood and treasure, but something else happened. We lost our innocence. We found ourselves in the grasps of debates over torture. We humiliated detainees. We argued over the building of mosques and tried to stop our own radicals from inflaming the Middle East by burning Islam's holy book. We, time and time again, ignored the opportunity to take the moral high ground. Instead, we stooped to the level of those who attacked us. All in an effort to protect the homeland. 

It is here, I can't help but wonder, if this was a part of Osama Bin Laden's plan. Did he know American society would drastically change, because of his attack? Did we play the cards he dealt for us? Did he force us to lose our American innocence? 

 

Thanks for entering my world,

-Nathan