Everyone can recall where they happened to be that fateful day. There will probably be some words shared by the politicians on Tuesday to remind us of its significance, but who needs reminding?
What Americans need to hear is whether anyone in Washington has learned any lessons from 9/11.
1) Has America learned yet that our “rugged individualism” — “you’re either with us or against us” blustering — is counter-productive and harmful to our long-term security?
2) Has America learned yet that the path to peace and security is to help everyone in the world succeed — food, shelter, a job — and that we all do better when we all do better? It’s not a zero-sum game. There’s more than enough for all if Americans can curb their greed and conspicuous lifestyle.
3) Has America learned yet that we have many sins to atone for and maybe a little humility would go a long way?
4) Has America learned yet that we don’t increase our security by killing a mother and her 10-year old daughter in Pakistan with a drone missile strike, as we did last week?
5) Has America learned yet that we are condemning our children and grandchildren to a life of greater threats and insecurity by not responding to the challenges of climate change seriously and swiftly?
6) Has America learned yet that our reliance on ANY fossil fuels (not just foreign fossil fuels) is a recipe for disaster?
7) Has America learned yet that the planet’s resources are finite and infinite growth will lead to a train wreck much more devastating than the Twin Towers collapsing?
8) Has America learned yet that all of our military might and technology cannot make us secure in the face of threats from non-state actors, from climate change, from an economy imploding?
No. America is focused on what you have in your shoes before you board the plane. We haven’t learned much at all from 9/11 even with all the lessons staring us right in the face.