The various speeches, statements, pronouncements and pontifications by the president and the political class arrayed around him on this seventh anniversary of the September 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon serve as a reminder that –despite silly suggestions to the contrary – nothing has changed.
George Bush and Dick Cheney were running things on September 11, 2001. And George Bush and Dick Cheney are still in charge on September 11, 2008.
Democratic leaders in the House and Senate were ridiculously deferent to Bush and Cheney on September 11, 2001. Democratic leaders in the House and Senate continue to bow to Bush and Cheney on Sept. 11, 2008.
Major media failed to serve as an effective watchdog on the White House on September 11, 2001. Major media still fails to effectively counter or contradict the White House on September 11, 2008.
So cynical and self-serving spin remains the order of this September 11, as they have been the case on every day since September 11, 2001.
Far from everything changing, everything has remained depressingly the same.
So similar, in fact, that it is reasonable to ask whether anyone has learned from the experience of a terrorist attack on American soil.
Indeed, of all the statements made in anticipation of and on this day, few evidenced even the slightest awareness of a need to move forward from the politics of ignorance and fear to something more appropriate to a functional nation seeking to make its place in the world of the 21st century.
The exception is the statement of Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich, a man frequently dismissed by fellow Democrats and the media because of his resolute refusal to join in the flat chorus of complacency.
Kucinich may not have all the answers.
But he is looking forward rather than backward on this September 11th. And that, more than anything else, is what America needs from its so-called leaders.
America must move from the errant, retributive justice of 9/11 to a healing, restorative process of truth and reconciliation.
Before the Congress adjourns, I will bring forth a new proposal for the establishment of a National Commission on Truth and Reconciliation, which will have the power to compel testimony and gather official documents to reveal to the American people not only the underlying deception which has divided us, but in that process of truth seeking set our nation on a path of reconciliation.