I saw the movie yesterday morning with my16 year old son.
As Oliver Stone movies go this was at the top of the heap. It had great restraint. It wasn't manipulative and it kept the focus on humanity. (Compare this to Natural Born Killers and see the breadth of Stone's personality.)
Since there is no army or nation which attacked NY on 9/11 it follows there was no way to retaliate in force. Consequently, rage and frustration sent a lot of people into a tailspin looking for a vent for their purpose.
As is usually the case with all of us each person finds their own way of dealing with the blows life deals.
People trained to fight and kill.....fight and kill. People trained to protect and serve.....serve as best they can.
And so on. Each entity responds as it is constructed to respond. Armies seek war, diplomats seek discussion, bureaucracy creates more bureaucracy, etc.
Manmade institutions must have focus to function. A war of "terror" gives no focus to any of these normal vehicles for response. There is no "there" there to fight.
Consequently, our nation has figured out a way to exorcise itself. We find ourselves a bad place to heap opprobrium upon and the political factions start stinging each other incessantly with scorpion tails.
Without a singular bullseye target of a conventional war there is nothing but impotent flailing which can occur.
The Afghanistan and Iraq wars remind me of those wacky, waving, arm-flailing inflatable tube men you see in front of car dealerships frantically gesticulating for attention. It has the semblance of purpose, but, is really motion and hot air.
Back to the movie...
This is a good and honest movie. It could have been a recruiting film for ideology. Instead, it had heart, humanity and a constructive central messege: life only has value when you surround yourself with people you love and who care about you.