The world lost its innocence a bit over a decade ago. The attack on the towers and Washington DC left us with a new world, a world of suspicion, insecurity and harassment.
The United States felt for the first time in its history what it is to be vulnerable. And so did the world.
The decade that followed had Osama bin Laden written all over. He is dead, no doubt about t it, but what he did changed us forever. History started to be written with a different ink.After that day, fear took over the country and became an obstacle to rationality.
The US launched the patriot Act as an effort to avoid such future attacks but in reality spied on people, to the point of checking what folks were reading from their libraries. In the name of security, the government extended its attributions, even if it meant to interfere with privacy.
The fear to whatever was different, especially towards persons of Arab descent, took over the collective mind of the nation. The Muslim community stared to be seen as a threat by the majority of folks who professed to have no idea as to what their beliefs were. They simply labeled them all to be suspicious of being terrorists.
To take a plane was never to be the same. In fact, it became a nightmare. The security in airports was beefed up, with new machines that would look even into private parts in search of explosives oranything that raise an eyebrow. Nobody escaped the searches, not even old ladies and babies.
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan claimed thousands of lives among the troops, not to mention the civilian casualties that according to some Human Rigths´s groups, may have reached the hundreds of thousands. Billions of dollars were destined to support the war instead of building new schools and hospitals.
Let's not forget Guantanamo, the prison that was opened in Cuba to house the hundreds of suspected terrorists without the same guaranteed rights that inmates had in prisons in the US. Human Rights groups screamed to the top of their lungs against this measure because it allowed the government to imprison people without due process.
The day after the September 11 attacks, an Argentine paper had in its front page a huge photo of the remains of WTC that showed a man, dwarfed by the scene, watching it all. The headline read: A New World. Prophetic.
Bin Laden is dead, no doubt about it. But the legacy that he left behind left an indelible mark in our world, forever.