September 11, 2006

FIVE YEARS AFTER



Caption: We're not out of the woods yet.

On the fifth anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks, it is appropriate to remember those who lost their lives that day and those who died in its wake.

According to CNN, 2,973 people were killed that day (the numbers include American citizens and foreign nationals but exclude the terrorists).

CNN also noted that this number has been surpassed by that of members of the US armed forces killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. In Iraq alone, the number is moving toward 2,700 at this writing. For current information, check icasualties.org

The civilian death toll in those countries is difficult to know. Estimates run as high as 100,000. At the very least, tens of thousands of civilian noncombatants have died in post 9/11 military operations, with the majority of these occurring in Iraq.

Although a key justification for the invasion of Iraq was a link between that regime and al Qaeda, documents released last week by the Senate Intelligence Committee show that no such link existed.

The human, financial and other resources consumed by the war in Iraq could have gone a long way towards preventing future terrorist attacks.

It is a great misfortune for the United States and the world that the events of 9/11 were used as justification for political and ideologically driven actions that have little or nothing to do with making the world a safer place and may well have put more innocent people at risk in the expanding spiral of violence.

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