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The Missed Opportunity

BY HAMMOUDI ABDELWAHAB

In the end, we wonder if the 9/11, 2001 attacks on the USA weren’t a cultural message shipped through a cultural behavior and therefore should be decoded as such. And as a consequence, the USA had their cultural reasons to not understand this because of a difficulty in decoding the other psychological behavior. And finally they had their cultural reasons to respond in the way they did?

These attacks were the head side of a vision by the attackers of this world power that are the USA. They were the outcome of a way of thinking, of seeing things. And this is the proof of how devastating visions can be!

And History teaches us that the USA was born to promote a vision that was contained in their “declaration of independence”. And this is the proof of how constructive visions can be too! And the principles carried by this “declaration of independence” were behind the American way of life which became the dream of millions of people around the world.

But the question that the world should pose is the following:

Has the USA replied to these attacks, in a civilized way?

Partly, yes, when we see Al Gore defending the future of our planet through his documentary on the climate warming, running around the globe to make people aware of crucial issues that are facing the future of our kids. When Bill Clinton flies to remote countries devastated by earthquakes and floods to stretch a helping hand to needy people..

They show us a face of America that is genuine and matches their history:

Born to create and preserve life, not to destroy it.

And this would have been the most suitable answer to the 9/11 attacks and to the whole world. A lesson of magnanimity.

Besides that, some other actions, from Mi lai in Vietnam to Abu ghrib in Iraq, must be looked at as just road accidents if not missed opportunities to show the real face of a great people.

People around the world, from Jakarta to Tangier, from Bombay to Johannesburg, still appreciate a good film coming from Hollywood or the high tech behind the construction of this very Boeing that is presently taking us to the place we have chosen for our holidays. Even if it is written on this plane “Air……..”, it is still the genuine product of the highly advanced American brain.

And as far as the USA keeps on feeding our hopes with the principles written in their “declaration of independence”, their homeland security‘s concerns will be our concerns too, as will be the case of any other nation whose primary concern is to make this world a better place to live in for our children.

The injury inflicted to the American collective imaginary will drag for years and will find its place in the cultural space of the USA. There will be films, books, sculpture etc… to deal with it. Maybe these artistic activities will exorcise the trauma and dilute it through time.

But the USA, in many respects, was, and still represents a hope and a model for the human kind. Its people have reached the best in many areas of what humanity has succeeded to achieve up till now. The USA’s principles, its history, position, advancement in all fields, their political system considered as one of the best that the humankind has built up, their endless love for freedom, impose them moral handrails in their actions.

I hope this would not be another missed opportunity, too. For the sake of America, for our sake, for the sake of the world.

 

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