Alternative responses: 9/11: Ten years later

Read more reflections on the 9/11 anniversary.

Many commentators said that the world changed for Amer ica on 9/11, that we "lost our innocence," that we needed to find a "new normal" to accommodate our heightened sense of vulnerability. Some said we had woken from a slumber and that this attack would give us a new sense of clarity, focus and unity. Ten years later, I think the most significant change that occurred on 9/11 was that America became a victim, and since that day we have faced the moral hazards of negotiating that status.

The situation is particularly complex because America is not a powerless, voiceless or marginalized victim. We were (and are) the most powerful military force in the world. Thus it is not surprising that we quickly gave in to the temptation to mix a lethal cocktail of righteous anger and unbending power.