Asking Questions…

I read two very interesting editorials today.  One from Learning From Lance by Thomas Friedman and the other was Fearful Times Fe by Charlie Suisman at MUG (Manhattan Users Guide).  Although they were very different topics, there was something about the articles that made me link the two.

Friedman, like everyone else, is awed by Lance Armstrong’s 7th straight victory.  His perseverance and his well planned strategies allowed him to achieve his goals.  Friedman asks the question about achieving goals.  If you were the President wouldn’t you want to continue to change and mold your goals based on outside factors.  If the war doesn’t work, don’t you change your strategies. If we are seeing more suicide bombers, wouldn’t you ask yourself if the course we are taking is making sense.  Should we look for ways to not be as dependent on the Middle East for oil to push those countries to reform?  Shouldn’t we think out of the box on how to use new energies in the 21st Century?  If we are not educating our kids to be the best to compete with the best globally, should we be looking to change our goals? 

I do not believe that history will be kind to George Bush and his administration.  They have not done anything positive except stay the course with their ideologies of what should be not what is.  Documented information is inconsequential to them, if they don’t agree with the data, then the data must be wrong. They have lied, and created more anger at home and abroad.  They have made the rich richer and the poor poorer.  Bigger lines have been drawn.

Suisman writes about the presence of more cops in the subways that are now doing random bag checks in NYC.  I agree with him that this will not necessarily keep terrorists out but make people just feel safer.  What we haven’t done is changed how we manage our subways.  Why haven’t we added cameras, made underground communication better, create better subway cars with glass that is resistant, etc.  We have really done nothing to improve our underground since 9/11 but just thrown rhetoric around and put in more men and women in blue to make us feel safer. 

What has happened in the NYC subways is no different than what the Bush administration has done for our country.  Lots of talk, great speeches, but no execution.  All smoke and mirrors.  We virtually changed our entire military after WWII in a matter of years because we needed to.  We haven’t done anything in the same amount of time since 9/11.  Lots of talk, no action.  Status quo and our fingers crossed. 

At the end of Suisman’s article he asks a question which is what made me put the 2 articles together.  "Isn’t asking questions, what Primo Levi (an anti-fascist voice after and during WWII)  learned, one of the fundamental elements of freedom"?   Anyone who reads my blog regularly knows that our kids to go a progressive school.  Asking questions and challenging the norm is the mantra.  This administration doesn’t ask the questions and they certainly don’t want anyone else asking them.  My question to both articles is why aren’t the citizens of this country asking the questions?  Will there be a backlash to all of this?  Have we become that numb and accepting to whatever they say goes.  Will the college campuses rise up and say we have had enough? 

There will be another serious terrorist attack on this country.  My guess is that we will learn that not much had been done after 9/11 to focus, prevent, strategize, change and lead us to different defenses.  Instead, we did nothing except a lame attempt to make us feel safer.  In the end, we will all suffer.  I hope our children’s generation will at least be smart enough to ask the questions.