`Won't Get Fooled Again'
is hard to put our arms around it,
Later, when Richard Gere
to the backwoods of Oregon.
but in a few days, we'll have to
spoke about seeking peace
Bush spoke to our enemies of
come to terms with the first
the resolve of the American peo-
among tragedy, the invited
anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks
guests booed him.
ple and of how we would find
They didn't want under-
them and bring them to justice.
We'll have no choice. Millions of
standing, and they didn't want
One year ago, America was
words will be written, and TV viewers
comfort. They wanted
attacked and, after all the pos-
will tune in to see 9-11 commemoration
vengeance and they wanted it
turing of the U.S. government,
ceremonies and other special coverage.
not much has changed.
Most networks will offer a day's worth
On Sept 11, Israel's Prime
Eating Minister Ariel Sharon placed the
of event coverage, some of it without
commercial interruption, because of the
country under its highest securi-
President George W. Bush
inappropriateness of selling something in understood the emotions most
ty alert, and everyone, including
the face of a national tragedy.
any would-be terrorists knew
Americans were feeling at the
That night, The Concert for America
what that meant.
time. When he told the world,
will air to pay tribute to the victims and
When President Bush placed the
"You're either with us or you're with the
heroes of Sept. 11.
United States under the highest security
terrorists," he never expected all the
Organized by the White House, First
alert, did anyone know what that
Coalition countries to offer up their
Lady Laura Bush, the event's chairper-
meant? Did he?
armies, and neither did we.
son, will welcome such stars as Placido
Since 9-11, we've come up with a new
All we really expected was a hand-
Domingo, Aretha Franklin and Enrique
cabinet department, the "Office of
shake and a nod. We always knew that
Homeland Security," and we have a new
this was our fight.
Mrs. Bush said she hopes the concert,
As individuals, we have no real control color-coded system of threat assessment.
to be taped on Sept. 9, "will allow us to
We've been at "orange" for a long time,
over what happens across the ocean.
use the arts to soothe our emotions as
but no one knows really knows what to
The war on terrorism has been fought
we remember those whose innocent lives in the shadows, unsatisfying to a public
do if the color changes. Are we supposed
were tragically cut short."
to wring our hands more?
raised in front of the tube.
The program will be a far
cry from The Concert for New
York City which took place on
Oct. 20, 2001, and whose
tone was a little less soothing.
That event, featuring rock
performers Mick Jagger and
Keith Richards, David Bowie,
Paul McCartney and the
Who, was organized to raise
money for the families of slain
firefighters, rescue workers
and police officers. Many of
the invited guests were some
of New York City's finest, tak-
ing a break after six weeks of
digging their comrade's bodies
out of the Ground Zero rub-
With shots of the American
flag and the British Union
Jack framing a screen showing
a film of the gleaming Twin
Towers in the background,
the Who frenzied the crowd
with "Won't Get Fooled
Again," a song originally writ-
Guitarist Pete Townshend of The Who at the Concert for New York City.
ten as an anti-establishment
That night, it aroused a blood-lust
We just don't want results — we
Need For Vigilance
want to see them, too. We want to see
enemy troops running from explosions Since 9-11, it takes a few minutes longer
Harry Kirsbaum won the Detroit
to get through airport security, but this
and gunfire. We want to see liberation
Metropolitan Chapter of the Society of
is "politically correct" airport security
scenes of adoring crowds welcoming
Professional Journalists' first-place award our troops.
that randomly strip-searches an 80-year-
this year for New Media columnist. His
old woman, and hand-searches Al Gore's
But this isn't the Gulf War, and
column, "What's Eating Harry
carry-on luggage because they don't
this isn't the liberation of France in
Kirsbaum?" appears weekly on the
World War II. The bad guys aren't in want to be accused of profiling.
Jewish News Web site, JN Online:
Our borders are still sieves, and the
any one place; they could be any-
U.S. air marshals we've trained in the
place, from the dirt streets of Kabul
past year are reportedly quitting because
Within the past few weeks, we've
learned that terror mastermind
Osama bin Laden could still be alive
and may be somewhere on the
Afghanistan-Pakistan border. We've
also learned that Saudi Arabian roy-
als may have paid protection money
to bin Laden to leave their country
alone and bother someone else.
Now, a United Nations report
announced that Al Qaida is far from
through, and poised to attack us
again at any time it chooses.
We have to put our trust in the
government to let it handle things.
But trust is always a commodity in
It's been one year, and the music
will be more soothing, but the anger
— to many — has never left.
The lessons learned are both simple
and complex. Americans feel angry by
what happened last year and threat-
ened at what could happen. At the
same time, the world thinks the
We have to put
our trust in the
handle things, but
trust is always a
commodity that is
in short supply.
phrase "with us or with the
terrorists" is open to inter-
pretation, but we have to tell our
friends to make a simple choice and
stand with us.
We also have to be vigilant, and
sometimes that means not being
A total of 3,052 people died,in
the attacks on Sept. 11. In a sense,
the terrorists won the day. We can't
let them win another.
We can't get fooled again. ❑