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A Lost Opportunity
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Yeah, I been slacking on the blog, I know.

Anyway, the new World Trade Center movie directed by Oliver Stone just came out, and I was struck by a phrase I've heard over and over since 9/11 in the Chicago Tribune review of the film:

But perhaps the most emotionally resonant moment in "WTC" comes in a passage after the collapse of the towers, when the movie flashes to televised reactions from all over the globe. It's a reminder that 9/11 also represents a missed opportunity. In addition to remembering the victims and the many who risked -- and gave -- their lives trying to help others, it's important to remember the intense, "We are all Americans" outpouring of grief and sympathy that united so much of the world on that day, and for just a few days or weeks afterwards, before politicians had reduced 9/11 to an election slogan. And it's a sad, terrible reminder of the enormous good we've lost in the five years since. Had we been able to build on those feelings, it would have been the most constructive and meaningful tribute to those who were killed, and to their families, and to those who survived.

(emphasis mine)

It's easy to say nebulous shit like this I suppose. And I don't really expect a movie reviewer to outline foreign policy, even in retrospect.

But I guess I'm sick of hearing how much the world loved us right after 9/11, and how it was such a lost opportunity. Lost opportunity for what exactly? This guy says we should have "built on those feelings". Okay, again, what the fuck does that mean, in terms of our actions?

The Iraq War was controversial, no doubt. But that didn't happen until 2003. And worldwide opinion didn't turn at that point. We went into Afghanistan in October of 2001. That's when opinion started to turn against us. There were protests not only in the US, but in Europe against our actions in Afghanistan. So instead of overthrowing the Taliban and trying to burn out Al Qaeda training camps and find bin Laden and his lackies, we were supposed to "build on feelings"?

Somebody explain this please.

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