January 15, 2009

"As the years passed, most Americans were able to return to life much as it had been before Nine-Eleven."

"But I never did."

73 comments:

Rose said...

And you know that is the truth.

John Stodder said...

Here's a good title for a yet-unwritten history of the Bush-43 years: "The Haunted Presidency."

He was really living in a different world from most of the people he governed. Mostly, that was a problem for his presidency. But it was unavoidable.

It will be interesting to see if Obama avoids the same fate; and, if he does, whether that's to the good.

Michael said...

Poor George.

Michael said...

"And you know that is the truth."

Now that's funny.

Roost on the Moon said...

"The Haunted Presidency"
May I suggest a cover photo?

Host with the Most said...

What psychological disorder requires one to so hate a President that has left the scene?

My psychologist brother says its not far from sociopathy, which, by the way, is found is found in every serial killer.

Be careful Michael.

Be VERY careful.

TRundgren said...

I wish the president well. A remarkable 8 years. Unfortunately the 2000 election remains the core reason for the vitriol directed at him.

Obama will not be changing most of Bush's post 9/11 policies; he'll simply reshuffle the deck chairs and then be praised as a Christ figure for his wisdom in keeping us safe.

The adults did the hard slog.

Rob said...

Todd? Is that you?

Mark said...

For those mocking the sentiment, I ask a serious question: why should we have returned to life as it had been before Nine-Eleven?

And why do you believe that we would be safer in such a world?

Patm said...

I remember waiting for that "second" shoe to drop. We all believed we would be hit again. We never were.

Thanks, President Bush. You've worked very hard for very little praise and a great deal of malice. I am pleased to see Obama following so many of your initiatives. Someday the children will see why that is so.

Donna B. said...

Mark asks an interesting question, and it's one that was answered by John Kerry and ultimately rejected by the American people.

We can't return to 9/10/2001 because we've been issued a wake-up call, a warning notice, an declaration of war... or whatever you wanted to call it.

We weren't safe on 9/10 were we? We thought we were. In retrospect, we were quite arrogant in thinking we were safe, weren't we?

There is also value in the idea that we should not give up freedom for safety. Why would ever get in an automobile if safety were the ultimate goal?

Roost on the Moon said...

Mark, what have you been doing differently these seven years? Has it actually made you safer? Has it made your country better?

In Virginia, a depressed college boy with a couple of guns brought us to our knees. In DC, some guy and a kid with a rifle.

It's very easy to terrorize America. We're all lucky that the threat isn't as great as the Department of Homeland Security pretends.

Donna, you're being arrogant thinking that you're safer now. There will be more terrorist attacks. When they happen, it's not going to be because we didn't x-ray enough shoes.

Zachary Paul Sire said...

What psychological disorder requires one to so hate a President that has left the scene?

I don't know about anyone else, but for me there's a big difference between "hating" someone and being so insulted and terrified by someone's actions. It's a common mistake made by those on the right to misjudge the left's serious, serious disgust with the way Bush managed this country as "hatred" of the man himself, and it only isolates the right from comprehending the very real damage that Bush has done, because they're too busy turning everything into a polarizing shouting match.

And the same sorts of mistakes are made by the loony left, who discredited themselves by shrieking "Bush Lied! They Died!" instead of making their case rationally and attacking the horrific policies that Bush had. The tired "Bush is an idiot and a war criminal!" rants only last so long, but his disastrous legacy on this country will be with us forever. Sad.

Revenant said...

"But I never did."

This is exactly the reason why, as much as I loathed most of his domestic policies and disagree with how he has handled the war, I still find myself unable to personally dislike Bush. He remembers that our enemies are still at war with us, even if most of us have forgotten it.

Patm said...

I haven't forgotten it. Please tell me I am not the only one who has marveled at every Super Bowl, every World Series and every New Years in Times Square that these events go off without a hitch.

I remember that in 2000 it was a lowly border guard that kept DC from blowing up in the millenium.

I remember. Too many have forgotten.

It may finally be that Bush did his job too well. He made us forget why he was doing what he did.

Donna B. said...

Roost on the Moon, I do not think I am safer now than I was on 9/10/2001. What I wanted to convey is that now we know we weren't safe then, and thus should know we aren't safe now.

While I commend the steps taken to better secure our safety, I also question whether they are effective or adequate.

You completely misinterpreted my comment.

Roost on the Moon said...

I haven't forgotten it. Please tell me I am not the only one who has marveled at every Super Bowl, every World Series and every New Years in Times Square that these events go off without a hitch.

You marvel? How many attacks-per-event do you assume are being foiled by federal agents?

If someone wanted to suicide-bomb any one of these things, it seems to me they could.

This is weird, irrational government-worship. The leader keeps us safe. Our enemy is still at war with us. Really? Are we still talking about Al-Qaeda? We should work that into the anthem, somehow, if it's going to be here to stay.

Joan said...

Please tell me I am not the only one who has marveled at every Super Bowl, every World Series and every New Years in Times Square that these events go off without a hitch.

You're not the only one, Pat. I went shopping with my kids at the mall, the day after Thanksgiving and the day after Christmas. (It was their idea, they thought it was fun! Crazy children.) Every parking space was full, and as I circled the mall several times I thought how mindless all these people were, how freely they drove out and parked and shopped with hundreds, thousands of other people without a thought to how many could be killed by a single rocket or a suicide bomber.

These are thoughts I don't share with my kids. But if I'm sitting in a cafe with them and see someone in an overcoat -- we live in Phoenix and it's bloody hot here nearly all the time, 80+ degrees today in January! -- I start measuring the distance between that guy and my family, and figuring out what's between us. It has only happened once or twice since 9/11, and I don't worry about the Goth kids in their long black coats. But I think about it.

And I look up at the clear blue sky every day, and see planes all over the place, and remember the absolute silence and emptiness of the skies on 9/11 and after, when we didn't know when it would be safe to fly again. I'm thankful every time I note a plane in the sky. At night, you can see the lights of the planes stacked up waiting to land like a chain of stars, reminding us that everything's "normal", and I love to see them there.

I know I'm not the only one who notices these things or thinks this way, but I rarely talk about it, because talking about it disturbs the illusion, which I maintain for my children, that we are safe and will remain so. I pray we will remain safe, but I know that it is an illusion. The running (macabre) joke in my family regards how many rat thyroids I'd need per day to survive, since I'm soon dead without my thyroid medication. It wouldn't take much to grind our society to a halt, and the vast majority of people aren't prepared to deal with what that would really mean. I have an idea of what it would entail and I know I wouldn't be of much use, so I'm very grateful indeed that we're still chugging along.

chickenlittle said...

Roost-internal nut jobs will always be with us.

I don't believe 9/11 was an inside job and I appreciate a difference. I'm grateful that so many jihadis were neutered--at a high cost for sure, but more or less on our terms. Let's see how BHO carries forward, shall we?

Rose said...

Say what you want. I liked him. I'm disgusted by the attacks upon him. I wonder where all the hate will go, all that bile won't just evaporate. My good and decent friends who came down with Bush Derangement Syndrome aren't just going to magically be 'over it' tomorrow.

They chose to focus their hate on their own person, and not where it belonged, on Islamic extremists who kill their own women and children, strap bombs on their teenagers and declare that there are no gays in their country, people who riot over cartoons who think nothing of firebombing entire neighborhoods in paris, who behead people on camera and broadcast it all over the internet.

My friends, who are against 'organized' religion are strangely silent when it comes to the islamic bad guys. But they sure can hate Bush. It'll be a relief not to hear every conversation started with the phrase 'our appointed President.'

But I wish, I hope he knows that we appreciate the difficulty of the job, and the courage he has shown, in just putting his head down and keeping on, doing what is right. Perfect? No. No one ever is. But there's blame to go around. When the republicans had the majority they should have made those Goddam tax cuts permanent. Nevertheless, people will be wishing they had him back, I'll bet money on it.

Rose said...

And, Joan, I hear you.

Xmas said...

I can't wait until the "Chimpy McHilterburton" name calling stops. It's just annoying.

I know the crazy right wingers jumped all over "Slick Willy". It was an unfortunately accurate double-entendre. But at least that nickname implies intelligence.

In fact, the general attack on Republican Presidents is to imply they are dumb racists and fascist bigots. This annoys the crap out of me. The undeserved vitriol this mind set creates just overwhelms any legitimate arguments against policies or actions.

Zeb Quinn said...

Unfortunately the 2000 election remains the core reason for the vitriol directed at him.

Yeah, I agree with that, but if Gore had succeeded in stealing the election would the right have been as looney tuney over-the-top in their hatred of Gore as the left has been? I'm thinking nowhere near. There is something pathologically wrong with the leftist mental state.

HelenParr said...

What Joan said. All except that rat thyroid part.

Michael H said...

What Joan and Rose said, including the thyroid part.

GWB was a good president. The Dem's alternative 'philosophy' was a marketing campaign of hatred intended to discredit Bush's every policy, even when so doing acted against America's security and best interests.

I didn't vote for Barack Obama, and I hold no animus toward him. I sincerely wish him well. His friends will all too soon become his enemies, as those furthest left cannot be placated with any beliefs except their own.

John Althouse Cohen said...

Which is why he spent most of his presidency on a war that had nothing to do with 9/11?

AllenS said...

What war is that? The so-called War on Terror?

Joe the Electrician said...

He forgot the Bill of Rights, instead.

Michael H said...

Well, JAC, by gosh,you may be on to something here. Maybe Bush did spend too much of his presidency on a war that had nothing to do with 9/11.

I urge you to launch a full investigation, one that ranges beyond reading bumper stickers while walking across campus.

Best thing would be for you to do would be to go undercover; change your identity from 'student' to 'soldier'.

That way you'll be able to really get to the core of the matter on this whole terrorist nonsense.

Issob Morocco said...

Squire Z P Sire, please bear in mind your thoughts on W, as those of us who have the same feelings about the incoming One, posit their's here. Your point is well taken, and salient to why there is polarization and will continue to be. Unfortunately consensus never solves anything, only conflict and confrontation can resolve such deep divisions. Again those don't have to physically manifest themselves, ideas can clash in a battle of minds.

Good news Ann, you can look forward to another 4 years, at least, of "Right vs. Wrong", fueling your site!

Does anyone know the way to St. Maarten?

Shanna said...

"But I never did."

This is exactly the reason why, as much as I loathed most of his domestic policies and disagree with how he has handled the war, I still find myself unable to personally dislike Bush.


Ditto. I think he did his best without malice and only history will prove whether the war was successful. I respect him, even when I disagree with him. But lord, have I hated all the chimpymcbushhitler stuff and the idiotic bumper stickers and all that junk. It has not been honest disagreement with Bush, look to true conservatives for an example of what that looks like without childish, pathaological namecalling.

Shanna said...

As for life after 9/11, I got freaked out at the sound of helicopters for a while afterwards, because they flew around DC for weeks after the attack. And I still look up at anything in the sky, but mostly I don't worry. Worry does little good.

Issob Morocco said...

W's comments, in my opinion, sadly call out the fact that most Americans compartmentalized the 9/11 tragedy. It became a movie as time wore on, so surreal that we felt it was not real (avoiding the Truffers arguments on the fringe), or not real to our daily lives. These things only happen somewhere else.

That he didn't lead us to understand and take to heart the seriousness of the battle, is a major failing of W, and I am a supporter of his. In a way, we failed him too, in that we didn't accept his "Good vs. Evil" and note to ourselves that just because someone has a belief, that doesn't mean it is right or should be allowed to manifest itself as the Jihadist are a good example of.

Credit to him for keeping our country safe at home, and for liberating millions from tyranny. Life ebbs and flows, and that is why we must stay vigilant, watching and attacking that which will destroy the rights and freedoms of the individuals, whether coming from outside our country and government or from within. In short, we must start to take back control of our own destiny.

TitusPapaDon'tPreach! said...

I have watched some of the interviews with people on the plane that crashed yesterday.

I just want everyone to know that there is a passenger with a golf cap on that I would like to do. He's very New York. Looks like he might have a low hanging hog. He is on every interview the news has. Definitely doable.

thank you.

I expect that he needs some love in tlc at this time and I would be willing to give it to him for 10 minutes.

TitusPapaDon'tPreach! said...

I bet when the plane was landing tits were bouncing and hogs swaying to and fro. That is titillating to me.

Pogo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pogo said...

Bush was a poor national salesman. The times required not only the serious and relentless attention he clearly paid to making the US safe, but persuasion of its citizens to commit to the long haul.

This he did not do. He may not have been up to the task, for his speeches were never terribly rousing, really. Except to servicemen; he seemed to know how to talk to them pretty well.

I have come to think it was an impossible task, however. He inherited a people who had long ago frittered away much of the national character that had once permitted the great individual sacrifices and unity of purpose required in WW2.

We got fat and lazy and entitled and childlike. We took seriously the frivolous and made frivolous the deadly serious. And he asked us to arise, to wake up, to be strong adults.

But we could not.

Obama is the first President of the American Empire's decline. I wouldn't really be surprised if he is the last US President. Our trajectory too closely mirrors other failed states now, not merely in economic terms (a disorder Bush worsened), but in the many ways a great nation stays vital.

I thank Mr. Bush for his service. He couldn't have known that the American people preferred to fiddle while their Rome burned.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Bush was a poor national salesman. The times required not only the serious and relentless attention he clearly paid to making the US safe, but persuasion of its citizens to commit to the long haul.

That sums up for me how I view his presidency. I don't necessarily disagree with the path he took, I think he could have done a much better job executing the war and articulating the seriousness of it to the nation.

Domestic policy wise I think he was a disaster on everything from immigration to SSN reform and being asleep at the wheel while Wall Street crumbled around us.

But I'll give him thousands of kudos for sending thousands of Islamofascists to their 72 virgins.

Ralph said...

why he spent most of his presidency on a war that had nothing to do with 9/11?
To prevent future, worse 9/11s and to encourage the other bloody tyrants. 9/11 was a symptom, not the disease.

Original George said...

A year from now, Guantanamo will be closing, and its prisoners will be sent to real hell-holes run by the security services of dictatorships.

There will be no waterboarding, but other far worse techniques will still be used by those dictatorships.

There will still be combat troops in Iraq or at the very least a large and quiet military presence there.

We will have more men in Afghanistan fighting an unwinnable war whose presence helps destabilize Pakistan.

We will still be pouring billions down the rat-holes of failed financial companies and printing mountains of more money.

And, yes, Bush was a nearly inarticulate leader. After 9/11, 'Go shopping, America' was his call to arms. There was a very real moment when people were ready to be led to do something! noble in a public service way, but instead we were treated like mopes, like credit-carrying cattle. Something very upper-class and elitist about his attitude towards us folks. At least Obama has inspired millions. Be interesting to see if he can do something with it. Something good.

AllenS said...

I remember Bush addressing the nation shortly after 9/11 and he said a word, one word, that the press immediately jumped all over him about. That word was crusade. He had to apologize and tell us that Islam was a religion of peace. I knew things were screwed right from the get go. Then came the go shopping nonsense.

Cedarford said...

My problem with Bush is like with a worker who is expected to do a wide assortment of tasks on his job, and suddenly decides one task is the critical, most important job of all, and other tasks can be ignored. And being stubborn and arrogant, decides that he alone knows best one task is so important that all other parts of the job that don't matter to him don't have to be explained to his bosses or fellow workers.

Usually, such fixated workers that don't surrender their monomania on criticism by others affected by neglect, are fired.

Other Presidents have had wars or US citizens imperiled. They all understood, that they had a range of duties and kept at them except in all but two existenial wars (Civil War, WWII).

1. They have to be commander in chief of all the military - and aside from his special ops favorites, Bush II presided over a major decline, ending up with less ships, subs, bombers, fighter jets, tanks, logistics and refueling jets, and artillery than Bill Clinton gave him. He burned our Reservist eligibility no near nothing, and burned out the Army and Marines so much with his Iraq adventure they are no longer capable of the strategic mission existing since Truman's time - fighting 2 small wars or one big one.

2. As chief of state, Bush is responsible for cultivating good relations with nations or forming alliances against any intractable foe.
What Bush did in shredding our alliances and deepening the hostility of certain nations is a disaster without precedent.

3. Bush as executive of the Cabinet is supposed to oversee the performance of the executive branch. He instead let hacks he was loyal to navigate Homeland Security, DOD, Commerce, Labor, and Justice right onto the shoals. Then when they caused catastrophes like Katrina, mismanagement of Iraq, Justice run so badly both Congress and SCOTUS were after heads - didn't think it was worth his time, because it would be better spent getting briefed on the Muslim evildoer threat in Denmark.

4. He spent little or no time dealing with economic matters that affect all Americans in his fixation about a few thousand Evildoers possibly killing 3,000. While 3,000 are important, the life savings and financial security and future of 300 million are too important to be ignored, and they got 1000% less attention than "the terrorists" - who Bush let run his Administration and become a convenient excuse to avoid thinking much on other matters. He let massive fiscal bleeds from trade deficits, a largely unthinking 40% growth in Fed Gov't size (greater than LBJs), and exploding health care costs go on mostly ignored by him. With tax cuts for the rich failing to pay for all the pork bills he was too busy to read and ever consider vetoing.

4. And his domestic policies were all failures, and sometimes appeared something just rushed up in some 30 minute meeting with no real input from him or commitment to sell and explain the policy change in communications with the people. Even on the Right, he failed to even try lead and persuade on their pet issues, like abortion.

5. He was supposed to be Leader of his Party. Instead, he helped it self-destruct.

Now, we can say "at least he kept us safe", but past Presidents faced far bigger and more lethal threats than 2,000 Muslim fanatics with low technology half living in the stone age, and the obsession with democracy for noble 3rd World freedom lovers, and yet managed to keep their act together.

JFK almost had half the world blow up, yet he dealt well or at least so-so on a dozen other high priority things that passed his desk.
Reagan did well addressing what he defined as the major issues the public wanted fixed well by him.

Nixon came into office when we were losing 10,000 people a year in one war and facing 2 hostile nuclear-armed opponents that were machinating several other wars plus facing us with formidable militaries. And an oil embrago because he saved Israel and broke the attempt to strangle them with oil...
Yet Nixon managed to focus and get dozens of other critical domestic and foreign challenges resolved. He rolled out innovative reforms we still have. He succeeded big 80% of the time, but failed one big one his domestic enemies were waiting on him to do..so they could destroy him...Still, when you think of Nixon, Truman, Clinton, Reagan, even friggin' Carter --you can come up with more they did than "he kept us safe from a small terrorist group and thought he liberated some freedom Lovers! in two shithole countries he tried rebuilding.."

siyeh pass said...

With Bush, I saw a mix of ignorance and a lack of leadership skills that caused a lot of suffering, here and around the world. But being angry at this ignorance gets me nowhere. If there's a lesson to be learned, maybe it was for us to see how out of balance and complacent we've become. Actually, maybe he should be thanked.

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger - maybe that hope we've heard so much about is on to something. Without GWB, we may not have had or needed an Obama.

Zeb Quinn said...

I remember Bush addressing the nation shortly after 9/11 and he said a word, one word, that the press immediately jumped all over him about. That word was crusade. He had to apologize and tell us that Islam was a religion of peace. I knew things were screwed right from the get go.

I remember that and I remember feeling the same way. I knew right then that the wrong person or persons held sway over him, whispering political correctness in his ear.

Michael H said...

Doggone that George W Bush. What the heck was he thinking, liberating 60 million people from the brutality of Saddam Hussein and his special brand of Islamic fundamentalism?

downtownlad said...

Bush didn't keep us safe. 9/11 happened on his watch. A competent President would not have ignored the August memo that said Bin Laden was preparing to attack the U.S.

AllenS said...

Good point dtl. I wish Bush would have had the balls that Roosevelt showed when after Pearl Harbor, he didn't mess around, he rounded up the Japanese before they could attack America, and put them into detention camps. He knew who the enemy was, and did something about it. They don't make presidents like they used to.

Michael H said...

dtl - A competent president would have taken Bin Laden in 1996 when Sudan offered him to the US.

But Bill Clinton was far too busy for such trivial matters, so he kicked the can down the road to the next administration. Blow jobs and legacy protection were a higher priority.

To quote Mansoor Ijaz: Clinton's failure to grasp the opportunity to unravel increasingly organized extremists, coupled with Berger's assessments of their potential to directly threaten the U.S., represents one of the most serious foreign policy failures in American history.

garage mahal said...

The "Sudan offered bin Laden to the U.S." story is bogus.

LarsPorsena said...

CDF:

"1. They have to be commander in chief of all the military - and aside from his special ops favorites, Bush II presided over a major decline, ending up with less ships, subs, bombers, fighter jets, tanks, logistics and refueling jets, and artillery than Bill Clinton gave him. "

Get real..go back and check what the military was when Bush I was in office and then compare it with what Clinton "gave" Bush II.

He gave Bush a pussified miltary that spent most of its energy on DADT, uniform changes, whether or not to wear baseball style caps or berets, and a total decline in fighting skills due to all the 'meals on wheels' humantarian operations (viz, Bosnia, Somalia, Haiti, Sinai, Macedonia, etc.)

Get a clue or talk to vets in the combat arms who served under both.

Michael H said...

garage - The story is true. The 9/11 Commission interviewed Richard Clarke and Sandy Berger, but not the individuals who were actually offering up Bin Laden on behalf of Sudan. Article.

John Stodder said...

Which is why he spent most of his presidency on a war that had nothing to do with 9/11?

With all due respect to the host of this site...Will we ever be rid of this inanity? Can nothing penetrate such ignorance?

JAC, this is an applause line for Bush-haters, not a serious analysis of what happened vis-a-vis 9/11 and Iraq.

Here's the connection, as if it's going to do any good:

9/11 was an unrestrained attack. It was pure evil, in that it accomplished no strategic purpose for the attackers other than to cause great pain to civilians residing in this country. It was the worst thing Al Queda could concoct with the tools at hand. With more effective weapons, there is no doubt they would have done more killing on 9/11.

What was our president to think after this event? You would have it that he should have had a single, narrow goal: Capture the mastermind of this attack, and his co-conspirators, and disable their capabilities. No planes for you, Osama!

But would that have really made a difference? Al-Queda was and is merely symptomatic of radical Islam's rage against all who they perceived as infidels, the US being seen primarily as the taproot of heretical thinking. There are other known groups only marginally affiliated with Al-Queda, if that, which bear the same rage and that are just as ruthless.

Saddam Hussein was only loosely affiliated with Al Queda, but he was closely affiliated with other similar groups. He looted Iraq's treasury to finance terrorist groups and suicide bombings, and gave the bombers safe haven within his country.

It was believed by President...uh, Clinton...that Hussein was in possession of biological and chemical weapons of mass destruction and that a nuclear capability was being assembled. Clinton's chosen successor...uh, Al Gore...also believed this and discussed it on national TV. Incidentally, the other guy running in 2000, George W. Bush, agreed with this consensus, although he wasn't as strong on regime change as the Democrats were. Due to a handful of half-wits in Florida who couldn't read a ballot, the responsibility of dealing with Hussein fell to Bush instead of Gore.

To review, 9/11 illustrated both the ruthlessness and resourcefulness of anti-Western Islamic extremists. One sponsor of anti-Western extremists, Iraq's Saddam Hussein, was believed by Democratic Party leaders, along with many others, to be on his way to producing a nuclear weapon, and had possession already of other WMDs.

Combine ruthlessness and hatred with a nuclear weapon, and President Gore would have been faced with a hideous threat that he would have had the clear responsibility to counter. It was becoming clearer that the idea that we had Hussein "in a box" was sheer flackery. With his access to vast amounts of oil money, he was able to operate in the shadowy weapons bazaar with near-impunity, and could have delivered a nuclear weapon to another terrorist group if not in 2001, shortly thereafter. All the US and foreign intel made the same findings on this point.

Gore would have recognized, after 9/11, that he had no choice but to carry out the stated Clinton policy favoring regime change in Iraq, one way or another.

Except, as it happened, it was Bush, not Gore, who was handed the job. Dumb ol' Bush, son of a foxy politician, who inherited few of dad's smarts and was the scourge of liberals and editorial writers. But, despite that, he was commander in chief, and he had to make the right call. The biggest threat had to be addressed and only he could address it. He was too dumb to resign and hand the job to Gore. He believed he had to take his responsibility seriously.

It would have been inadequate for the US merely to seek revenge against the 9/11 perps and to cripple their capabilities, although Bush did do that. The president, whoever he was, had to eliminate the source of the biggest similar threat. The guy we all thought had a nuke. Hussein.

Those who say Hussein had "nothing to do with 9/11" are right on a micro-level, the level of literalism that children see. It wasn't Hussein who deserved a spanking for 9/11, true enough. But in the heightened awareness of US vulnerability after the 9/11 attack, Hussein stood out as the person most likely to aid in the next 9/11, the one that would have killed not thousands but millions.

I steadfastly believe President Gore would have done more or less the same thing Bush did with regard to Iraq, and more or less on the same timeline. Moreover, I have no doubt that he would have pursued a "light footprint" policy similar to the disastrous Rumsfeld strategy. The Democratic foreign policy establishment is full of arrogant, know-nothing pricks like Paul Bremer. I have no doubt Gore would have found one. And eventually, Gore would have realized his strategic and tactical errors, just as Bush finally did in 2007, because an initial period of strategic and tactical flailing is the hallmark of all the wars in history. And, I would like to think Gore would have been just as effective as Bush in preventing any further 9/11's by use of laws like the Patriot Act, which increased our ability to detect and ferret out terrorist attacks in the making.

I pray that Obama carries out the Gore legacy that Bush happened to be the one to implement, due to the freakish events in Florida. He's going to have to do a lot of things that have "nothing to do with 9/11," except that more sophisticated observers will realize they have everything to do with it. Hope and change didn't change the post-9/11 realities. With Hussein out of the way, Obama's going to have to look at the next biggest threat -- Iran. And I trust he will handle it more or less as John McCain would have.

JSF said...

Ann,

I am a partisan, but I learned at the heel of Late tammaney hall people. They taught me never to Hate a President because we only have one at a time.

The more negative comments about President Bush drove me further into loyalty.

Right now we are seeing a first wave of Liberal fascism (as evidenced by Michael/Lucky and JohnnyRussia), if you don't support Obama, then, they say, you are evil/idiot/etc.

What happens when opposite opinions are not allowed (as per NYT take on Sen. McCain during the campaign)? What happens when Congressional democrats decide that the "fairness Doctrine" applies to the Internet as well?

Michal/Lucky and JohnyRussia will not defend the free Speech rights of those who oppose them. They haven't done it for 8 years, why start now?

I read history and understand the trouble the British Empire (twice) and the USSR had in Afganistan, by brining the battle to Iraq (which we overflew in the 90's -- and chweck out December 16, 1998), Al-Queda fought overseas not at Universal City.

And one thing I do not understand, I took part of potests against HW because "he did not support Democracy in the ME", but when his son acknowledges that the Dems were right in 1990, what did the Dems do? Support dictators (check out Pacifica Radio and Hamas).

Going forward, I have one rule: If you could not say anything nice about President Bush between 2003- 2007, I will not be supportive of Obama. Dissent is patriotic, especially the next few years.

John Stodder said...

The "Sudan offered bin Laden to the U.S." story is bogus.

Garage, the chapter of the 9/11 commission report to which you linked doesn't really say that. The story is nuanced (call John Kerry, maybe he can explain it to you), but the essence of it was Sudan, the US and Saudi Arabia were in negotiations over the disposition of Bin Laden, but the negotiations were unsuccessful. If Bush had been president instead of Clinton, you would have had no problem saying Bush mishandled those negotiations. But since it was Clinton, we don't talk about it that way.

bearbee said...

Americans may have returned to pre 9/11 patterns of behavior but psychically, at least for me, there is no return.

It's a common mistake made by those on the right to misjudge the left's serious, serious disgust with the way Bush managed this country as "hatred" of the man himself,...

How do you distinguish between the two...disgust v hatred? Just a few images out of thousands. I don't recall general condemnation of these depictions of a US president. Lots of Bush Die videos on you-tube unmarked as 'inappropriate'.

chimp

nazi satan

hitler-bush

serpent

ape shit insane tshirts

anitchrist

shit

hate bush

butts

dog urinating

real Americans hate bush

bush vampire

kill

kill

assassinate

assassinate

even dogs hate bush

SteveR said...

Correct Michael H., analyses, typified by JAC's above, ignore the complexity and risk of actually doing something. Clinton did little or nothing about the festering situations in Afghanistan and Iraq, not to mention the brutality heaped upon the innocents and he is held in high regard by many.

When he said he couldn't go back its because he had to do something and critics of his actions post on blogs and do Speshul Komments on cable TV, instead of being strung up with electrodes on their testicles.

Its so easy to criticize, Sir.

Patm said...

The War that had "nothing to do with 9/11" is nonsense, I'm sorry. From 1998 on every Democrat and every intel agency in every nation told us Iraq had WMD and yes, Saddam was harboring terrorists like Abu Nadel. After 9/11, believing as we all did that Saddam had WMD, it would have been unconscionable for Bush NOT to go in there and take him out. And the problem with war is that it never goes perfectly, or smoothly, which Churchill could tell you.

Someone above wrote: "Obama is the first President of the American Empire's decline. I wouldn't really be surprised if he is the last US President."

Actually I have been wondering if Bush is not the "Last" American President. I want to "hope" in Obama, but I have no idea if he has any real allegiance to this nation or if the "international" nature of his upbringing - which the press loves so much - will not cling to him too dearly to care about America's interests as Bush did.

But then sometimes I look at Pope Benedict and wonder if he isn't the last Pope, too. ;-)

Rose, I agree with all you said. I too remember the silent skies after 9/11. And when I am on a subway I'm always watchful.

garage mahal said...

If Bush had been president instead of Clinton, you would have had no problem saying Bush mishandled those negotiations. But since it was Clinton, we don't talk about it that way.

B.S. I simply don't take the word of Sudanese officials as gospel. Or Sean Hannity. Or Newsmax. Do you? There is no credible evidence the offer was made. Even if it was it would be a disingenuous as at the time there would nothing to hold him on anyway. It's also highly dubious for Republicans of all people to make the claim after they investigated Clinton's zipper while all this inaction was going on, and came into office talking about Star Wars defense systems.

garage mahal said...

Ech. Sorry for the lack of editing.

Henry said...

JAC wrote: Which is why he spent most of his presidency on a war that had nothing to do with 9/11?

Even if we posit that as true, what difference does it make?

It's not like 9/11 made the Iraqi situation (that Bush 43 inheritied from Clinton and Clinton inherited from Bush 41) magically go away.

PatCA said...

Well said, John Stodder.

Thank you to Bush for keeping us safe and for liberating 50 million people.

Darcy said...

A good man. I will miss him as President. As much as I disagreed with him on many things, there was a comfort he provided that I will miss.

Excellent, as always, John Stodder.

You were missed, Revenant.

Michael H said...

John Stodder - excellent, thank you.

Ralph said...

If Gore had been elected and invaded Iraq as Stodder hypothesizes, would the whole left have turned tail as it did, or just fractured as it did for LBJ?

Michael H said...

Gore would have committed troops, then when public opinion turned on him, he would have pulled the troops out, given the US a humiliating loss.

It would have been Viet Nam all over again because that is the left's reference era.

John Stodder said...

If Pres. Gore had invaded Iraq, I think a bigger deal would have been made out of Hussein's humanitarian crimes. Bush-haters treated Hussein's acts of genocide and use of WMDs on his own people as tedious and hypocritical rationalizations made to cover up an illegal, bloodthirsty war designed only to boost Halliburton profits.

Gore would've been given the Nobel Peace Prize. The Marsh Arab lands would have been renamed Tipperstan, in honor of the bundles of food and medicine dropped into the area in a relief campaign, captained by the First Lady, that Time Magazine would've compared favorably with Herbert Hoover's rescue of Belgium during WWI.

There would've been a fracture on the left, but it wouldn't have been anything like Vietnam. Mainstream Democrats, including Howard Dean, would have been only too happy to embrace a successful war to rid the world of a monster who murdered his own people, his neighbors and potentially the whole world. Keep in mind, Hussein was not a Communist. It's hard to argue he was even an anti-imperialist.

Gore would've lost Republican support, however, if the war was waged with pusillanimity.

John Stodder said...

Michael H and Darcy...thanks!

garage mahal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
garage mahal said...

Gore wouldn't have been stupid enough to go into Iraq.

John Stodder said...

Gore wouldn't have been stupid enough to go into Iraq.

He was "stupid enough" to support the idea of regime change as late as 2002. His objection to Bush's proposed invasion was that he wanted the US to get "international permission" first. He wanted Bush to take the time necessary to build an international coalition like Bush 41 built for the Persian Gulf war. http://tinyurl.com/4bo5k

In that, he might have been correct if it wasn't for the fact that Hussein was using what can only be called bribes and blackmail to keep France and Russia from ever supporting the war.

However, many other Democrats were "stupid enough" to support Bush's policy without such qualifications, including Kerry, Clinton and Edwards. Who are you to say Democrats might've joined Republicans in pressuring President Gore to finally achieve "regime change" as he and his predecessor declared to be US policy? "Pre-emptive war" is hardly the unprecedented idea we're now being told it was.

You'd think, with all the revisionist history, that only Bush, Cheney and the CEO of Halliburton favored the Iraq war. Completely untrue.

garage mahal said...

He was "stupid enough" to support the idea of regime change as late as 2002.

Reality.

Sept 23 2002
To begin with, I believe we should focus our efforts first and foremost against those who attacked us on September 11th and have thus far gotten away with it. The vast majority of those who sponsored, planned and implemented the cold blooded murder of more than 3,000 Americans are still at large, still neither located nor apprehended, much less punished and neutralized. I do not believe that we should allow ourselves to be distracted from this urgent task simply because it is proving to be more difficult and lengthy than predicted. Great nations persevere and then prevail. They do not jump from one unfinished task to another.

Revenant said...

Which is why he spent most of his presidency on a war that had nothing to do with 9/11?

The lack of democratic governance in the Middle East had everything to do with 9/11.

John Stodder said...

Garage, that's just one thing he said in a long speech. The closing premise of that paragraph is jejune. If you read the whole speech, he talks about the urgent need to depose Hussein. The main difference he sees -- somewhat disingenuously -- is that Bush allegedly wants to go it alone, whereas Gore sees the need for "international permission," a concept he leaves undefined.

In short, his speech is incoherent, and designed to cover all the bases. If the Iraq war had been short and immediately successful, Gore supporters would have been touting it as Gore's endorsement.