Watching today's commemorations of the eight anniversary of the 9/11 terrorists attacks, I am reminded of how badly the Bush Administration blew it. The most incompetent presidency in our nation's history presided over the worst failure in national security since Pearl Harbor.
Keeping this in mind, I shake my head, then my fist, whenever Dick Cheney or his darling daughter show up on some TV news talk show bragging about how the Bush Administration's criminal torture practices kept us safe. This isn't just another exercise in tortured logic, it's a sputtering lurch of the right wing old fear trying to journey just a bit further on a road well traveled. The Cheneys, in presenting their mythology about keep us safe since 9/11 have never gotten around to telling us who kept us safe from February 26, 1993, when the World Trade Center was first bombed, until September 11, 2001, when the Towers were tragically toppled.
That stretch of safety, by my count, was one days short of eight years, six months and two weeks. We're not there yet.
I'm also reminded on this day that the Bush Administration failed to pull off the president's bullhorn braggadocio: "And the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon."
Well, either Osama bin Laden was deaf or President George W. Bush and Vice President Cheney substituted the bullhorn for the dog whistle. The mastermind of the 9/11 attacks never heard from the Bush Administration. Now it's President Obama's turn. He wants to send more troops to Afghanistan. He wants to shift our misguided war efforts from Iraq back to where they should have been concentrated all along.
I'm afraid it's too little, too late. The Bushies had a chance to make a surgical strike right after 9/11. They let the cancer metastasize. They created more terrorists and gave bin Laden and his henchman a chance to slip into Pakistan. The Obama Administration has inherited a bad situation that can only get worse. Sending more of our young men and women into the land where Empires go to die is a losing proposition.
I'm having trouble writing this, but I agree with George Will: We need to bring the troops home. President Obama should adapt the common sense sensitivities of State Senator Obama and apply them to Afghanistan. Should the Taliban regain power in Afghanistan and should al Qaeda crawl out of the caves in Pakistan, we've can always hit them again.
We're very good at shock and awe--but not at all good at occupation.This post was also published on the UK Progressive and the African American Opinion.com websites.