I have been doing September 11 posts every year for over a decade.
I have not run out of things to say; only the heart to say them.
On September 11, 2001 millions of Americans were abruptly introduced to the kind of murderous zealots the Middle East has endured for generations.
The kind of zealots that carefully plan and ecstatically cheer the deaths of unarmed, non-military men, women and children.
The kind of zealots who demand that the world reshape itself to suit their ethnic grievances, whether real or imagined.
The kind of zealots for whom purity is never pure enough; the kind who will violently punish anyone who deviates from perfect compliance with their beliefs.
Zealots like that murdered thousands of innocent, unsuspecting Americans in multiple locations in just a few hours.
At first we were stunned.
Then we were angry.
Then we took up arms and went out to meet them.
The result has been neither success nor failure, but a kind of toxic stalemate.
Like a sick body kept alive and suffering while the twin toxins of chemotherapy and cancer fight it out.
Like many Americans I had hoped we could spread democracy and freedom to millions of like-minded individuals. But once those concepts passed through the overseas looking glass, they kept turning into "freedom for my gender/ethnic group and oppression for all others!"
We had barged into a broken region that can never be repaired from without. But what's worse is that we seem to have taken some of the poisonous shards back home as toxic souvenirs.
Our political parties have fractured into zealous cults. Cults that demand complete purity and absolute fealty. Cults that would rather cling to radical and illogical concepts than actually work together to solve problems.
Don't agree with the President? You're a racist. Worn down by an economy that produces only minimum-wage jobs? You're a taker, not a maker.
Right now the American people are ruled by warring zealots that know more about each other than they do about the people they represent.
And many of them somehow think that the most important thing to do right now is return to a broken region and help break it further.
What was that famous definition of insanity again?