Yes We Can

In the world of post 9/11 we have lived in the shadow of fear and the never ending threat of possible future terrorist attacks. As a parent of five daughters I am fearful of the future they will have to live in if this mindset continues. Our world has changed but the possibilities that they should have as American’s should never be less than what I have had.

America has never been about what we should be afraid of as much as it is has always been about what we can all do together. We as a people will not prosper if we are forever looking ahead of us with a sense of dread and danger with every step. Our world has never been perfect and yet the future is only bright if we look at the future as a new adventure with unknown surprises that together we can all overcome. We can not overcome our fears of the probabilities if the messengers of our government are burning the olive branches offered as kindling to heat the cold halls of our government. Our nation was not built on fear but on determination to secure a brighter and better future for the next generation to come.

We need change and we need inspiration from our leaders. Separation of the people to achieve political objectives is over and the time for new ideas, new dreams, and hope is upon us. Together we can make a difference. “Yes we can” is an American right of passage and yes we can make America a better place together.

This little video from Black Eyed Peas is simply inspirational and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Yes We Can!


Originally posted at Papamoka Straight Talk

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10 Responses to “Yes We Can”

  1. Lisa Says:

    Mat who is living in fear? Not me not my family. The images of 9/11 have scarred many . You should ry telling a friend of a friend of mine who worked right next to the twin towers and could not return to a very high paying job she had as a head hunter and went on medication after that. That was not Bush’s fault she had these feelings.
    My sister in law although didn’t work near there had nightmares for a long time after that. Okay she is a little more vulnerable than most but still it affected different people in different ways. My boss’s son had a classmate who lost both parents. Try telling that boy he has nothing to fear.
    But hey once Hillary is in office our fears will disappear because she will assure us that the threat of a terrorist attack is so small we don’t need to take any precautions like Bill did.Schumer is always pushing for more homeland security money for NYC.He wants bomb sniffing dogs in the subway. Iguess it’s good that some NY senators feel the need.
    You may call it fear but I call it cautionary.

  2. manapp99 Says:

    I do not see us as living in fear either. There is a difference between respect for the facts and fear of them. Look at domestic crime. You cannot deny that gangs exist and that they prey on the law abiding among us. Just because we have police and anti gang units in every city would you say we live in an atmosphere of fear of gang violence or that we recognize that gang violence exists and are attempting to counter it? There is no doubt that there is a group of people that desire to inflict harm to Americans just because they are Americans. There was no direct slight to Bin Laden by the people killed on 9/11 they were just symbols. Just like the innocent people that are blown up in a market by a person wanting to call attention to a “cause”. Should we be aware that there are dangers in sending your daughters to the mall? Sure. There is a danger that they could be the innocent victim of a random serial killer, a gang style shootout, a drunk driver or a suicide bomber among many other random events. Does this mean that you should not send them. I don’t think so. But it does mean that these things exist and like the anti-gang police unit is trying to keep the odds down of your kid getting killed by a stray bullet in a gang war, the anti terrorist police are trying keep the odds down of a suicide bomber.
    I do not see being aware of the threat of terrorist (as we have come to know them) is any different than being aware of the threat of gangs. They are just another threat that has to be addressed.
    You are correct in saying that America has never been about what we should be afraid of and it isn’t now.
    America is about recognizing challenges and working on meeting them.
    I don’t think it would be wise to abandon our war on terrorist any more than we should abandon our war on gang violence or on serial killers.

  3. Craig R. Harmon Says:

    I will confess to one, brief period of (perhaps) irrational, post 9/11 fear: the period when letters were showing up with anthrax (and various other powdery substances that seemed intended to instill fear that the substance was anthrax). For a while there, I would not pick up my mail or open it without one of those medical masks and surgical gloves nor would I go to places with high concentrations of people: shopping malls, sporting arenas, etc. Once it became obvious that these letters were not being sent, willy-nilly, to random Americans, I ditched the mask and gloves and when it seemed clear that the 9/11 attacks was not the prelude to more generalized suicide attacks against Americans, I stopped avoiding malls, etc.

    The possibility that we might become the target of a Palestinian-Israeli intifada, without Israel’s experience and expertise at anti-terrorism and much more porous borders, etc, did not seem irrational at the time. If one is a confirmed Darwinian, fear has proven a highly successful survival trait and not responding to it seems…not courageous but foolish.

    I guess I’m saying that one can, from going on seven years later, criticize the president and administration for being fear mongering but frankly, to me, to not be afraid seemed stupid. I still am unashamed of what seems to me to be perfectly logical protective steps at the time. If people wish to call me cowardly for taking them, so be it. I prefer to call it prudence.

    So to Lisa and Mannap99, to answer your question, I am…or was. Still today, I live in rural Indiana (aka the sticks). Fear (or rather, call it the intentional avoidance of places and situations where fear would be a much more rational response) is not the only reason but it is no coincidence that I am a very far distance from any place that will be hit by a hurricane, has very low incidences of tornadoes, does not sit on or near any known fault line, and is highly unlikely to be the target of terrorist attacks.

    But again, while I admit that fear plays its part, there is, in my opinion, nothing irrational in any of it.

  4. manapp99 Says:

    Craig you say this:

    ‘I guess I’m saying that one can, from going on seven years later, criticize the president and administrati on for being fear mongering ‘

    But this is from the Presidents speech dated 09/20/01

    “After all that has just passed — all the lives taken, and all the possibilities and hopes that died with them — it is natural to wonder if America’s future is one of fear. Some speak of an age of terror. I know there are struggles ahead, and dangers to face. But this country will define our times, not be defined by them. As long as the United States of America is determined and strong, this will not be an age of terror; this will be an age of liberty, here and across the world. (Applause.) ”

    This does not look like “fear mongering” to me. Later int the speech he says this:

    “Americans are asking: What is expected of us? I ask you to live your lives, and hug your children. I know many citizens have fears tonight, and I ask you to be calm and resolute, even in the face of a continuing threat. ”

    Where do you hear him saying to be afraid. Are there quotes from Bush backing up the charge of fear mongering?

  5. Craig R. Harmon Says:

    Oh, I don’t know…just to speak for the liberals around here, for a moment, how about all those raisings of the alert levels…the “We don’t want the first indication that Saddam has WMD to be a mushroom cloud” (a rough approximation of, if I’m not mistaken, Condie Rice)…the aluminum tubes that were/weren’t for making nuclear fuel for nukes…the hydrogen making mobile units in Iraq that weren’t chemical weapons making units as we’d been told they were…the constant uniting of talk about 9/11 with talk about Saddam and Iraq…the raised alert levels (oops, I guess I mentioned them already…the “make your home safe against terrorist attacks” kits of sheet plastic and duct tape (reminiscent of school children kneeling in the hallways with their heads tucked between their knees — yeh, as if…)? Still I see commercials about talking with your kids about what they should do in a terrorist attack.

    As for your quotes, it’s simple enough to pick a few quotes telling us to go on with our lives and ignore the big picture of a constant drum beat of 9/11 this and terrorist that. He never says “Be afraid…be very afraid” but after years of the sort of rhetoric that we heard from the administration, fear was the only logical, rational response…until we’d heard it all so many times that the alert level rainbow became the butt of jokes rather than a meaningful indicator of threat for most Americans.

    But don’t ask me. What do I know? I’m the one that just admitted that I WAS afraid, that I still order my life around the avoidance of places and situations where fear is the most rational response. Given this, I’m perhaps not the best one to ask.

    Finally, I am not criticizing the President for fear mongering. I was, in that passage, speaking more to liberals for whom “Fear-Mongering” is Bush’s middle name. I was acknowledging that there are many who do criticize the president for fear mongering and saying that that’s easy enough to do, after almost seven years without a successful attack on the homeland. My overall point was, criticize him if you wish but, in my mind, fear is a perfectly logical reaction to UBL & Co. and the host of wannabes who have tried and failed to launch an attack on the home-land.

    Does that help?

  6. Craig R. Harmon Says:

    Or how about Bush’s oft’ repeated, “We’re safer but not yet safe”? Well, if we’re not yet safe, what are the implications of that repeated statement if not to make sure that our vigilance as a people to (a) keep our eyes out for possible terrorists among us and (b) raise support for the president’s anti-terrorist policies by (c) raising what he sees as flagging levels of fear — or, alternatively stated, increasing levels of complacency and discontent with his policies?

  7. Craig R. Harmon Says:

    Once again, I emphasize that I do not mean that as a criticism of the president since I think that he’s right. We have, I think, as a nation largely gotten complacent, the victims of (depending on how one looks at it) the success of the president’s policies and intelligence agencies and law enforcement agencies at stopping, in the planning stages (or at least, prior to the execution stage), all attempts at terrorist attacks upon the homeland since 9/11 — or, if you prefer, we have fallen victim to Al Qaeda’s nefarious plan NOT to attack us again on the homeland, at least for now.

    In any case, AQ has repeatedly stated that (a) AQ intends to carry out further attacks upon American soil, (b) that they already have agents in place to carry out attacks in the future, and (c) we will not be able to stop said attacks. Skunk and scoundrel UBL may be, at least from our point of view, but that does not make him a dishonest man. I, for one, don’t think we can afford to assume that his repeated threats are mere braggadoccio, or terrorism on the cheap: causing us to fear and expend vast amounts of money and resources on preparing for attacks that he does not intend to carry out.

    On the other hand, many years separated the first bombing of the WTC and the second so we know that we cannot assume that increasing number of years between attacks means decreased likelihood of another attack at some time in the future. It is at least as likely that increasing number of years between attacks means we are that much nearer in time to the next attack and that our nation’s increased complacency and distrustfulness with his anti-terrorist policies both increase the likelihood that the next attack will succeed.

  8. manapp99 Says:

    “Does that help?”

    Yes indeed. I understand your statement now. Thanks.

  9. christopher Radulich Says:

    When you are willing to give up your liberties you are living in fear. When you are willing to torture people, you are living in fear. When you are willing to start a war because someone may do something, you are living in fear.

  10. Craig R. Harmon Says:

    I can’t argue with that.

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