Monday, September 11, 2006

9/11, the War in Iraq and the End Times

I wanted to do a post about the failure of the Bush Administration during its first 234 days in office to exert any meaningful effort towards addressing the growing threat of international terrorism, despite specific warnings of an impending attack. But I can't muster the strength. Consider it said. September 11, 2001 resulted, in part, from the Bush Administration's refusal to recognize a threat and protect the nation from it. The Bush administration failed us. As punishment for that failure, three years later, 51%* of the electorate put them back in office for a second term.

But associate blogger Sienna Kirschenbaum has opened a topic of discussion at Fanatical Apathy: why wasn't there any post-invasion planning in Iraq? (Iraq has nothing to do with 9/11, never had anything to do with 9/11, so why do you bring it up?) Recent revelations indicate that post-invasion planning was suppressed by none other than Donald "Gracious" Rumsfeld. Sienna suggests it was because the pre-invasion members of Saddam's cabinet dressed something like American businessmen - perhaps the Bush administration felt that, minus their leader, these people would behave in the manner of American businessmen faced with a hostile takeover.

My own take on this doesn't give the Bushites that much credit for smarts:

I always thought that the post-invasion plan involved Jesus and the Final Trump. Babylon, you know.

Caught a few seconds of Jimmy “Crocodile Tears” Swaggart on Sunday morning. (Does anyone else think that with that headset microphone he looks kinda like Pietro “Quicksilver” Maximoff, formerly the resident jerk in The Avengers comic books, before his sister Wanda’s devastating breakdown and the “House of M” incident? Does anyone else have the slightest idea what I’m talking about? Anyway…) He was going on about Armageddon, and how the predictions will be coming to pass VERY soon. Now, preachers have been calling for the End Times since Day 1 (one of the biggest embarassments for the early Christian church was trying to spin that whole “this generation” thing to mean something other than “this generation”), but Swaggart seemed to be talking on a timescale of months, not an indefinite “soon”. We’re dealing with a bunch of whackos/registered voters who really and truly believe that Bush’s Discretionary War is the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy. And if such things are Divinely pre-ordained, would it not be the height of hubris to overlay merely HUMAN plans on top of them?

What do you think?

*Allegedly 51% of the popular vote. There were numerous irregularities in the 2004 vote, just as in the 2000 vote, and many feel that the numbers may not reflect actual votes cast.


Super G said...

As much as I don't like GWB, it isn't any more reasonable to blame them for 9/11 as it is think it was Bill Clinton's fault specifically. Everyone contributed on some level, but without a very dramatic event, the country probably was not willing to imagine people capable of smashing planes to the WTC.

The post-9/11 handling of the war by the Bush administration contains some toxic incompetence. However, I am sure Democrats would have made big mistakes as well.

Iraq and the post-invasion handling of Iraq highlight a group of individuals very unwilling to move beyond their preconceptions and unwilling to admit their failures. Chronic denial, cronyism, dedication to incorrect assumptions, failure to take corrective action, and a lack of diplomatic skills have undermined our efforts. Still, they won't completely ruin our efforts - we'll win in the end.

The message at home has been similar - tax cuts in the face of war and massive deficits may hamper the next generation. A continued concentration of wealth and dropping lack of opportunity for the poor are measures of a failed policy (unless of course you're already rich).

Still - though - it is 9/11. The response to 9/11 demonstrated that the nation can pull together. Our show of caring for each other and subsequent willingness to sacrifice if called upon to do so demonstrates that all is not wrong in America. We need to get back to exercising that common will to win.

So, I hope we 9/11 used to remember our many strengths. I hope we remember that you get up when you are knocked down and that we learn from our mistakes. Al Qaeda could never build the WTC, but we can rebuild them any time we feel like it. That tells you who's winning and whose going to be here many years from now.

dee said...

I've told all my friends and relatives that if I should die in some public disaster like a terrorist attack or a plane crash, they are NEVER EVER EVER to attend any memorial service at which a politician is speaking. They are also never to lobby for a memorial structure nor should they accept any money from the government or any private organization. Better they should go fishing.

D.B. Echo said...

SuperG, you're probably familiar with the "Operation Ignore" chapter from Al Franken's "Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Tem." It summarized Richard Clarke's "Against All Enemies" months before Clarke's book was published.

Bush was actively trying to ignore the possibility of a problem - it didn't fit with his plans. Clinton had a plan, but has been criticized for being distracted by the Monica Lewinski scandle, the whole "Wag The Dog" spectre. So in the case of Clinton, the blame falls heavily on the shoulders of the Republican Congress that had set as its primary objective the impeachment and removal of Bill Clinton from office, by whatever means necessary.

Super G said...

d. b.

while i consider the behavior of the GOP through the 90s to be horrific on many of occassion, i think 9/11 largely represents a failure of the majority of the elected leadership to imagine such a stunt could be pulled off. short of actually pulling it off, i don't think the public would have believed it either, which makes major action unlikely.

so, i think 9/11 remains a something that cannot be assigned to one party or another.

actions since then have to be considered in a post-9/11 context. nobody can claim ignorance. now, policies based on ideology over performance should be considered even more critically.