SEPTEMBER 11, 2001
SEPTEMBER 11, 2001
Today, we honor the memory of all those who fell to the terrorists on this day three years ago. It is said that the initial estimates of 5,000 - 6,000 have been lowered to a little more than 2,700. The Bush administration has tied another 1,007 names to that list with the justification for invading Iraq to an unproven connection between al Qaida and Iraq.
Today, three years later, we ask the same questions; how could this have happened on Bush’s watch? By the time al Qaida hijacked those four planes, he had already faced a national crisis when China shot down one of our aircraft and took the crew hostage in April, 2001. There was no question that he did not have the necessary skills to handle enemies like China.
China’s lack of respect for Bush was visible on the face of the Chinese leader the first time they met. His lack of a strong response to the blatant shooting down of a United States military aircraft must have encouraged bin Laden in his mission to attack our country.
Although the “spinners” of the news try to absolve Bush by placing equal blame on Clinton, Bush is the one who ignored the “terrorist czar” Richard A. Clarke’s warnings -- never reading that important PDB of August 6, 2001 because he only had a 45 minute workday and his golf game was far more important than the message contained in that document.
It was Bush who demoted Clarke from a cabinet level post that could demand attention to having to beg Condoleezza Rice for a meeting which she was too busy to schedule.
And it was Bush who couldn’t “gather his thoughts” fast enough to whip up a response to the attack on Washington D. C. but managed just fine to respond to the wishes of Saudi royals and bin Laden’s family to get out of our country.
And it was Bush, not Clinton, who chose to invade Iraq for oil rather than pursue bin Laden. Why did he do all these things and how can they now say they made him tough on terror?
In contrast, Mr. Clarke informs us that 76 days after Clinton took office and the World Trade Center was bombed, President Clinton was on top of the situation. The idea that Clinton somehow “failed” in his duty to protect the United States is false. When he discovered that the plot to blow up the World Trade Center had been caught on tape by the FBI, heads rolled. (By the way, the conspirators had put the plot together during George H. W. Bush’s presidency; not Clinton’s.)
Clinton flatly stated that it would not happen again on his watch and it did not. His terrorist task force stopped three major attacks upon New York, one on the tunnels, one on the subways, and one on the bridges! But, since they did not happen, he gets no credit.
But BUSH, as he often tells us, was “commander-in-chief” during one of the most damaging attacks in our history. Instead of bragging about his part of the attack, he should be ashamed.
HE was the one who did not cancel the school photo op EVEN THOUGH HE ALREADY KNEW THAT A PLANE HAD SLAMMED INTO ONE TOWER.
HE WENT INTO THE CLASSROOM AS IF NOTHING HAD HAPPENED EVEN THOUGH THE SECOND PLANE HAD SLAMMED INTO THE OTHER TOWER AND IT WAS VERY OBVIOUS THAT SOMETHING HAD GONE TERRIBLY WRONG.
AND HE CONTINUED TO SIT AND PONDER AFTER AN AIDE INTERRUPTED TO TELL HIM THAT THE PENTAGON HAD ALSO BEEN HIT.
AND AFTER HE FINISHED THE CLASSROOM VISIT, WHILE BODIES SPILLED FROM BUILDINGS ONTO THE STREETS OF NEW YORK, WHILE BUILDINGS AND DEBRIS RAINED DOWN UPON THOSE CAUGHT ON THOSE STREETS, WHILE SOLDIERS PERISHED IN THE PENTAGON, HE STAYED AT THAT SCHOOL TO HAVE HIS PICTURE TAKEN.
President Bill Clinton would have been crucified if he had done these things.
And the first anniversary of September 11, 2001 was marked by speeches heaping praise upon the leader who did nothing. Bush and his supporters used the deaths of those thousands of people to enhance his political image. They called him strong and courageous when he exhibited neither. Each year Republicans have led the remembrances of September 11, 2001 with praise of George W. Bush’s leadership.
Perhaps the most unkind cut of all was this third anniversary. George W. Bush was in New York, extolling his virtuous leadership in that time of crisis, telling how he had “made the world safer” even though deaths from terrorism are more numerous now than they were on September 11, 2001.
But there was no one there to dispute his claim; it was a gathering of the Republican party, who should also be ashamed to give him another nomination. All those family members who rages at Bush’s 27 minutes devoted to a photo op when our country was in crisis, were only used for propaganda.
And he couldn’t be bothered to be in New York this September 11, 2001; his presence wasn’t necessary, he had claimed his “victory” earlier. THIS year he was setting on the South Lawn of Our White House, entertaining guests. He took time out for a brief “moment of silence” before resuming his busy schedule.