MY 9/11 REMEMBRANCE AND WHAT ELSE WE SHOULD NEVER FORGET

Like many of you, I  remember exactly what I was doing when I heard about 9/11. I was grabbing breakfast at Murray’s Bagel’s on 6th Avenue that morning as everyone ran out into the streets shouting. I joined them and actually watched the second tower fall. I will never forget it. Like most, I ran home and turned on the news, which I stayed glued to for several days trying to comprehend the horror as the grisly details rolled in. I took this photo today of workmen observing a moment of silence near St. Vincent’s Hospital where many 9/11 victims were rushed to. I’m sure these workmen felt a special kinship to the tragedy since in times of trouble, we often look to their bravery and brawn to rescue us. Were the rescue workers risking their health with exposure to fiber glass, smoke, flames and wreckage? Yes, but they placed others’ needs above their own. Heroes.

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It’s hard to imagine anything as sinister as hi-jacking planes to flying them into buildings. Yet, equally sinister forces were already at work within the Bush administration. George W. Bush had cluelessly ignored warnings only weeks before that Osama Bin Laden would use planes to launch an attack on American soil.  Cluelessly, unless Bush wanted the attacks to happen. I’ve never really delved much into the conspiracy theories surrounding the World Trade Center fiasco because what we know happened after 9/11 is  disturbing enough. Bush used the 9/11 attacks to scare us into thinking there was a need for war. A war with Iraq–which had nothing to do with Al Qaeda and which possessed no weapons of mass destruction. The USA lost thousands of soldiers in this pointless war and many more returned injured physically and psychologically. Up to one million Iraqis were killed by us–for absolutely no reason. Torture and other war crimes were committed under our name and with our tax dollars. This was our nation’s biggest foreign policy blunder in decades and it has created generations of terrorists who may seek to attack us for the rest of our lives. And our news media failed to keep us informed–both CNN and the New York Times both apologized after the war was in full swing for not asking harder questions of the Bush administration in the lead-up to invading Iraq.

Many of the career politicians running for president today were active in our national government in 2001. And many of them are now clamoring for a war with Iran, a country in the Middle East with only one letter different from it’s neighbor Iraq. Almost all GOP candidates want war over diplomacy in Iran. As most Republican politicians normally rally for war over diplomacy. Hillary claims she backs Obama’s Iran deal, with a few caveats. And she’s stated hawkish positions towards Iran in the past.

Senators Clinton and Joe Biden voted to go to war in Iraq. Senators Barack Obama and Bernie Sanders did not. Hillary was representing the state of New York, so it would have been hard for her to not green light an attack on the group behind 9/11. Except that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. I’m a drag queen with no access to government intelligence–how could I possibly know that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq yet somehow that fact escaped her? It would have been unpopular for her to vote no on the Iraq war as a senator from New York. But sometimes leaders must make unpopular decisions in order to do the right thing. In hindsight, we all know the Iraq war was wrong and that some senators were brave enough to vote against almost a decade of senseless carnage. Never forget that either, or the US is doomed to repeat it’s same mistakes.