Cooked Goose

politics and voices from the underground

Five Years Later….And There’s Hope



Five years after the September 11th terrorist attacks and it seems all too easy to despair.  We are at war, which has been grossly misguided and ill-justified at best, and isolated ourselves as a nation on the world stage.  And not only is our foreign policy a nightmare, as the events of Hurricane Katrina and Rita displayed, so is our domestic policy.  Five years ago, I was in my home town of New York — business as usual — when 2 planes hit the towers.  During the first few hours and even the first few days, there seemed a glimmer of hope, of opportunity that perhaps we could turn this tragedy into something better, something stronger, and something positive.  The world supported us, there was an unprecedented unity.  The series of events that would take place took us in the opposite direction and seemingly far away from any unity.  In fact, we are more alone and less secure now. 

Looking back now, five years later, and I am deeply saddened at the direction our country has gone in, with a few exceptions, one being a conference I helped to co-organize with the Brookings Institution and Americans for Informed Democracy and held at George Washington University.  The conference was aptly titled: 9-11 Plus Five: Hope Not Hate Summit. The Hope Not Hate Summit was a three-day conference in Washington, D.C. that brought together young leaders from around the world to commemorate the fifth anniversary of September 11th and to discuss ways to improve U.S.-Islamic world relations over the next five years.  Seeing all those young people so engaged, look for accountability and responsibility, challenging notions and paradigms, and searching for ways to improve our relation with Muslims in America and around the world was incredibly heartening.  With young people like those who attended, we may yet be able to change the course we have been taking and pull this country (and those we have damaged) out of a desperate situation: To quote Gandalf, “There is always hope.”  And that hope is in our young.  We must be careful to nurture and encourage them.  Oh, yes, and to be role models (remember “role models,” it seems like a long time since we had real ones).    Sorry to cut this short, and sorry for, well, not writing anything too prolific, but it’s been a long day in disaster human services and emergency management.  Nice to be back writing….more tomorrow. 


September 14, 2006 Posted by | Homeland Security, Politics | 2 Comments