What we’ve lost since 9/11

Six years ago, many of us woke up to news that would have previously been regarded as fiction. On Sept. 11, 2001 four commercial airliners were hijacked and used in what would become the largest terrorist attack of the new millennium. What followed was a “war on terror” that would have global consequences, with lasting effects that still dominate many aspects of our lives.
We won’t go into the details of the attack, because we know that you haven’t forgotten them. We will show you what that day changed for us.
The war in Iraq, obviously, is one example. Many of our American friends have been sent over, and while we’re not saying that all of them don’t want to be there, some of them don’t. To date, the U.S. has lost more soldiers in Iraq than civilians lost on Sept. 11.
Of course, Harper is just as willing to send our Canadian soldiers over the pond the way Bush has dispatched his military might.
You ever get really thirsty on a flight, and there’s no flight attendant around? Maybe you want to freshen up a little before you land; put on some gel, some cologne, make yourself presentable after hours behind a crying baby? Grab a bottle of water, take your carry-on bag and head to the bathroom. Oh wait, we can’t because they take away any form of “contraband” at customs.
Then there’s that ridiculous wait at the border- having to spend three hours in gridlock, and then having some border security guard tear your gear apart because you’re traveling with your Sri Lankan comrade, for example.
Everybody has a budget, and every one of us needs to be mobile. Whether you have a car or take the bus, it’s a safe bet that one way or another you’re paying more for gas, or the cost of your bus pass has gone up every year as a result of rising crude oil prices.
The Canadian Security Certificate permits the government to remove a person considered to be a security threat. In fact, they can be held for several years without due process.
There were a number of Canadian citizens who were held in jail without charge on “secret” evidence that they weren’t allowed to see.
Just look at Maher Arar. The U.S. government deported a Canadian citizen from their country and sent him to Syria where he was tortured. Talk about total erosion of civil liberties.
He wasn’t even allowed a phone call before he was shipped out to the Middle East.
Don’t forget to bring your passport if you travel anywhere.
Almost all of us take it whenever we fly, but soon enough you’ll have to remember it if you want to visit our neighbours to the south by land.
Years ago the disadvantages in journalism were the long hours, low pay and the threat of harassment from a disgruntled reader on the street.
Now, we can add the chance of a little post traumatic stress disorder on the list.
So, the next time you see some footage of 9/11 and say we remember when that happened, remember that in a way it’s still happening.
And when some of us are old and gray, and hopefully not bald, it may still be going on.


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