"After we honor the 10th anniversary of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, we need to leave the day behind," says E.J. Dionne in The Washington Post. During the last decade of looking backwards, we've made mistakes that have left America "weaker, more divided and less certain of itself." And "if we continue to place 9/11 at the center of our national consciousness, we will keep making the same mistakes." That would do "nothing to honor those who died and those who sacrificed to prevent even more suffering." Here, an excerpt:
In the flood of anniversary commentary, notice how often the term "the lost decade" has been invoked. We know now, as we should have known all along, that American strength always depends first on our strength at home — on a vibrant, innovative and sensibly regulated economy, on levelheaded fiscal policies, on the ability of our citizens to find useful work, on the justice of our social arrangements.
This is not "isolationism." It is a common sense that was pushed aside by the talk of "glory" and "honor," by utopian schemes to transform the world by abruptly reordering the Middle East — and by our fears. While we worried that we would be destroyed by terrorists, we ignored the larger danger of weakening ourselves by forgetting what made us great.
We have no alternative from now on but to look forward and not back.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How Ronald Reagan turned America into a nation of children
- The Nazi smart bomb that inspired China's most dangerous weapon
- Why Mitt Romney is perfectly poised for a comeback in 2016
- The crusade against Iraq War supporters has forgotten someone: Hillary Clinton
- 8 things the world's most extraordinary survivors can teach you about resilience
- This week I learned the moon might be littered with dinosaur fossils, and more
- Why is the West so afraid of Islam?
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- Why scientists can't kill HIV
- 8 secrets to steal from power networkers
Subscribe to the Week