In the days following 9/11, a group of rock musicians got together and put on The Concert For The Americas, to raise money for the Red Cross. True, a lot of the money was sucked up by administrative costs, but the move was a genuine effort to rally the people together positively.
And how did the right react?
Christianazi religious terrorist Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell told their flock that God allowed this to happen because America had accepted the gay lifestyle. They couldn't come out and say that God is powerless to stop the actions of men, or that there is no God favoring any country, so they took the route that reinforced their political agenda, and exploited for their own gain. No compassion there.
The corporate terrorist media, always looking for a way to pump fear into the television watchers, exploited the terror to keep people tuned in for late breaking stories to boost their ratings. Higher ratings means bigger advertising revenues.
Neofascist neocons in the Bush administration like Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, used the tragedy to start wars with countries that had nothing to do with the tragedy. However, replacing regimes in those countries were part of their agenda before the attacks, they just exploited them for their own gain.
Others in the Bush administration exploited the tragedy to pass laws that took civil liberties away from the citizens they swore to protect. Others, working in concert with the corporate media exploited the tragedy for political gain, to retain their party's hold on the legislative branches of the government.
The president himself benefitted form the tragedy himself, which boosted his sagging approval ratings to the highest of any sitting president. he has since then, at any given oppurtunity, invoked the tragedy to justify every constitutional violation, exploiting it at every turn.
The fifth anniversary of the tragedy was Monday night, and there was Bush, his numbers in the dumpster, his rubber stamp congress in danger of being lost, the support for a war that had nothing to with the attacks dwindling.
He attempted once again to exploit the fear:
"Whatever mistakes have been made in Iraq, the worst mistake would be to think that if we pulled out, the terrorists would leave us alone,"
He attempted to exploit the alleged perpetrator:
"If we yield Iraq to men like bin Laden," Bush said, "our enemies will be emboldened, they will gain a new safe haven, and they will use Iraq's resources to fuel their extremist movement."
He exploited people's ignorance:
"I am often asked why we are in Iraq when Saddam Hussein was not responsible for the 9/11 attacks," Bush said. "The answer is that the regime of Saddam Hussein was a clear threat.
It is the last quote that is the most weak. Saddam was no threat to anybody, outside of his own country. Sanctions imposed on him following the first Gulf War had left the whole country weakened. Which is why those who exploited 9/11 for an invasion thought it would be an easy battle.
What is lacking, in all the right wing responses, is a sense of compassion. Rather than using this tragedy as an oppurtunity to examine the root causes of terrorism, and how to address them, they attempted to root out terrorism by becoming like the terrorists themselves. And that is the real tragedy.