America must move from the errant, retributive justice of 9/11 to a healing, restorative process of truth and reconciliation.
Before the Congress adjourns, I will bring forth a new proposal for the establishment of a National Commission on Truth and Reconciliation, which will have the power to compel testimony and gather official documents to reveal to the American people not only the underlying deception which has divided us, but in that process of truth seeking set our nation on a path of reconciliation.
We suffer in our remembrance of 9/11, because of the terrible loss of innocent lives on that grim day. We also suffer because 9/11 was seized as an opportunity to run a political agenda, which has set America on a course of the destruction of another nation and the destruction of our own Constitution. And we have become less secure as a result of the warped practice of pursing peace through the exercise of pre-emptive military strength.
It is not simply 9/11 that needs to be remembered. We also need to remember the politicization of 9/11 and the polarizing narrative which followed, locking us into endless conflict, a war on terror which has wrought further terror worldwide and which has severely damaged our standing worldwide as an honorable, compassionate nation. As we were all victims of 9/11, so we have become victims of the interpretation of 9/11.
Our government's external response to 9/11 was to attack a nation which did not attack us. Indeed on the first anniversary of 9/11, the Bush administration issued a well-publicized stern warning to Iraq which was part of a campaign to induce people to believe Iraq had something to do with 9/11.
The deliberate, systematic connection of Iraq with 9/11 has led America into a philosophical and moral cul-de-sac as over one million Iraqis and over 4155 US soldiers have died in a war which will cost over $3 trillion. Additionally, soldiers from 23 other countries have died in the Iraq war.
We attempt to unite Iraq by further dividing it. We talk about restoring Iraq while taking steps to place control of its vast oil wealth in the hands of US oil giants. And we intend to impose upon the Iraqi people the cost of rebuilding a country which our government ruined, keeping a once prosperous nation lashed to debt and poverty for a long, long time. Iraq has paid for 9/11. We all continue to pay for 9/11.
The heartbreaking loss of the lives and injuries to America troops further binds us to the Administration's illogic of the Iraq war: We remember our troops' sacrifice by demanding more sacrifice; we support our troops by continuing the war.