11 Sep 2014 08:15 AM EST
- by Jorge Vargas, Editor
It's been 13 years since the events of September 11, 2001.
In New York City, despite the passing of time, the memory of the dead still lingers. Downtown Manhattan, where parts of the city's streets have been turned into a virtual shrine that seems out of place with the rest of the city's fabric, is a place wherein the memory of the terrorist attacks is hard to forget. The city's subways still implore riders to say something if they see something.
The scars remain.
Unfortunately for the world, it's almost as if the pain of those terrible times in the Fall of 2001 has been forgotten outside of New York City.
The world remained paralyzed for too long as Islamic State (ISIS) rampaged through Syria and Iraq. The Taliban is still a force in Afghanistan. Militants routinely attack military installations in Pakistan. Hatred for the West continues in Palestine following yet another ill-advised Israeli onslaught on the occupied territories. Egypt is falling deeper and deeper into Islamist chaos.
And, on the eve of September 11, President Obama gave a speech that could just as easily been given by President George W. Bush, filled with jingoism and bravado as he promised to ignore Syria's borders in order to wage all-out aerial attacks on ISIS.
To be precise, despite having seen the intense evil that can come about from unhinged hatred, the world continues to be in a state of interminable war, wherein the West has found itself pitted against an Islamist extremism that is able to turn around and blame the West for its faults in order to gain a never-decreasing flow of recruits.
Solutions are scarce on the ground but Obama's turn from empathy and an attempt at peace, to indecisiveness followed by last night's hawkish bravado are not part of the solution.
Instead, in the absence of a change in behavior from Islamist extremists, it's up to the West to come up with a new approach that genuinely engages the Muslim world and encourages the Muslim world to turn its back on extremism once and for all, a move that nations like Saudi Arabia continue to resist.
September 11 is a day for remembrance of the dead. September 11 should not be a day for tough talk and challenges.Comments
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