This is part of an article on www.LewRockwell.com from a NY couple
who were vactioning when 9/11 hit. A good friend of theirs was
supposed to be working on the 97th floor of the WTC on a consulting
practice. But fortune intervened and their friend for once was late
because he stopped to vote for Mayor that morning.
After the events they sat at their vacation hoem and did some
thinking. These are there thoughts and the fork in the road the US
had and the one taken.
September 12th, like the previous day, dawned brightly. I took stock:
I was still in shock over the attack, and concerned for the state of
the city, and the families of the victims,
I was still angry, and wanted to find and severely punish the
perpetrators....but most importantly,
I was still a libertarian, a peace-preferring free-marketer, a
defender of civil liberties, and a global non-interventionist.
Unlike the overwhelming majority of pundits from the New York Post
("kill them all"), to WorldNetDaily ("hallelujah, Armageddon is
here!"), I didn't toss my moral and philosophical principles out the
window upon viewing the first video clip of the planes hitting the
We sat on our deck that morning, listened to the river flow past,
and appreciated what we realized was an "unnatural" silence caused
by the lack of commercial jets flying overhead, due to the FAA-
ordered lockdown. That silence became symbolic for us, in a way
we've never forgotten.
Within that moment of preternatural quiet, we could literally
visualize the fork in the road for our nation and our culture...
We bury and honor our dead
We refrain from knee-jerk responses, and resolve to move
thoughtfully, with specific goals in mind
We take a long hard look inside ourselves to determine the root
causes of this horrendous, gut-wrenching attack, in terms of our
long-term policy decisions over the previous 50+ years
We reaffirm America's founding principles that made her great to
begin with (particularly the commitment to protecting individual
rights and freedoms)
We make the appropriate (and fundamental) alterations in our foreign
policies, to ensure that the root causes of terrorist acts are
We make use of the overwhelming good will offered us by the rest of
the world that day, by enlisting international aid to track down,
capture, and bring to justice the perpetrators, and doing so in a
way that, to the best extent possible, doesn't undermine the
sovereignty of other nations
We bury and honor our dead, then callously use them as emotional
hostages for domestic short-term political advantage
We invade other countries (mostly Muslim) in a savage response, and
mindlessly destroy innocent people and infrastructure
We clamp down on civil liberties at home, claiming it's
for "security" warrantless searches, secret wiretaps and records
gathering, national IDs, the works
We squander that international good will by unilaterally throwing
our weight around, abrogating treaties, rattling the nuclear saber,
and insulting our allies
In so doing, we run up huge budget deficits, paid for by our
economic adversaries carrying our debt, and thus placing our economy
and even the stability of the dollar itself at huge risk
Well, we obviously know the path taken the words "war on
terror," "Homeland Security," "Patriot Act," "Afghanistan,"
and "Iraq" pretty much say it all. I have nevertheless refused to
give in to bitterness and cynicism over this course, as it would be
so easy to do. Instead, I have given what I can to add my light, as
I see that light, to fight the darkness threatening to descend
around all of us.
There is an area of spiritual philosophy which teaches that we all
choose our path, our destiny, and even create our own reality,
reflective of our own conscious thought. Each new decision creates a
new reality; all that we dwell upon, whether good or bad, we magnify
and manifest in our lives. (Quantum Physics actually supports this
notion.) So by that token, it wasn't so much the country had chosen
a path (although it clearly did), but that we had, ourselves. We
opted to go along for this ride instead of that one over there...we
could have chosen a different direction for our own consciousness,
but deliberately chose that which we currently share. As my wife and
I have frequently asked ourselves over the last five years, with a
certain sardonic wit: Why would we choose this one?
The only reason we can come up with, is that it is our path, our
purpose, in these uncertain and tragic times, to observe, record,
and bear witness to the treasonous perfidy of our officials, and
others who pretend to act in our names. It is our task to do our
best to set right things that have gone terribly wrong with the
American soul, and proffer a way out, to peace, stability, and
abundance, all of which provide "security" as a welcome byproduct.
As you contemplate the path this country has taken in the last five
years, do not despair. These times shall pass. And when they finally
do, there will be a record kept by the uncompromising, freedom-
minded people who survived them people like you and me a record
of those who publicly, on principle, went against the prevailing
political winds of the era. A record that will both enlighten, and
warn future generations against engaging in what Barbara Tuchman
called "The March of Folly." This is why we are here. This is why
LRC is here, and TLE, Antiwar.com, the Huffington Post, news anchors
like Keith Olbermann, and many, many others. Our ranks grow by the
day. The Bad Guys aren't on the run yet, but it is clear their time
We shall bear witness to that, as well.
In concluding I am reminded of the poem by Robert Frost:
The Road Not Taken
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth.
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same.
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
The US did not take the right road when it had an opportunity to do
so - yet we can re-direct the US to the right road - it will take
time - relentless hard effort - but I believe we can get on the
right path for America.