“Lessons learned since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001”
SouthtownStar, September 7, 2008 A6
By Lauren FitzPatrick and Kim Janssen
Osama Bin Laden’s on the loose. There were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Al-Qaida continues to plague Afghanistan. U.S. troops are still in Iraq. More than 4,000 of them have been killed.
“What we have not learned exceeds unfortunately what we learned,” said Peter N. Kirstein, a history professor at St. Xavier University on the Southwest Side. “One of the lessons of 9-11 that we should have learned is war and violence are not the answer. We are an occupier, and we haven’t had much success with war.”
“I don’t think we really ask the basic question, ‘Why did Al-Qaida do this?’ and we jumped to the conclusion they were evil and they wanted to destroy our way of life, without looking at this as a battle and a very long war which preceded Sept. 11, 2001.”
Kirstein cited Al-Qaida’s resentment against the United States’ support of Israel, U.S. sanctions against Iraq and deployment of troops in Saudi Arabia, home of Islam’s two holiest cities Mecca and Medinah, as reasons why airplanes were launched into buildings.
“I think it was a terrible, disgusting tragedy, but I think we have not learned the lesson,” Kirstein said. “What we did do was merely develop a larger military and a Department of Homeland Security and wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. It made us more violent.”