Notes From the Fieldby Martin Weil

May 2, 2011

Nine years, seven months and twenty days (and nearly $1T) later

After so many years of waiting for the arrival of this day, we have at long last extracted what we sought – revenge (not justice) on the mastermind of the worst foreign assault ever on US soil, on the man who had repeatedly sworn to destroy our country and our liberal democratic way of life. Our gratitude is due the planners of this strike, and to the military personnel who risked their lives to successfully execute it.

Like most Americans, I was deeply traumatized by the events of September 11, 2001. The world, for us, irreversibly changed that day. This weekend’s killing of the perpetrator of those attacks some ten years ago comes as welcome closure.  But it is also a vivid reminder of the losses of those tragic days, as well as of the subsequent inexplicable turn that events were to take, and of the deep divisiveness the country was to endure in the years to come.

I am left to wonder how things might have turned out differently for our nation’s financial well-being and for our moral authority had we not squandered so much of our wealth, manpower and global goodwill on an invasion of Iraq that diverted us from our real purpose and instead, at infinitely less cost, relentlessly pursued bin Laden with the full force of the US’ military and intelligence capabilities until we had successfully secured his death or capture.

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