The enemy is us | AspenTimes.com

The enemy is us

Fundamentalists don’t need to depend on bin Laden to terrorize the United States. We’re self-destructing all on our own.

Yesterday, with fires raging throughout the West, skies hazy and tinged with orange, I witnessed a woman in a green Metro casually flicking cigarette ashes out of her window.

Our forest fires, for the most part, are started by fellow citizens. Regardless of the reasons, they’re our neighbors.

We’re still selling fire works but have outlawed their use.

Our economic maladies are exacerbated by our own greed, apathy, mismanagement and lack of political resolve. More people have been killed or injured through corporate misrepresentations and mismanagement than by forest fires.

Think of the irony. Al Taubman was sentenced to prison for rate fixing at Sothebys and Christie’s, a crime that will affect less than 1 percent of our population. Enron, Tyco and a myriad other U.S. companies have left hundreds of thousands unemployed, impoverished and have helped to cripple our economy. Few if any will be held accountable.

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Votes are purchased by whomever promises the most.

Terrorism must be stopped. Elected officials are struggling with options to secure borders of democracies from terrorists throughout the world. No predictions on the outcome.

Our greatest enemy is from within and we can correct it. We need the resolve to think beyond quarterly returns. Create remuneration based on performance after the fact, not before. Make people responsible for their actions – civilly, corporately, fiscally and politically.

It’s a great country. As citizens, we can do little about bin Laden but we have an opportunity to improve from within. Selfishly it is in our best interest to correct our behavior, for our growth as a people, and for respect within the international community upon whom we are becoming increasingly dependent and for our own survival.

Andy Modell

Aspen