On the fifth anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy, the Chicago Sun-Times assigned all its Sunday op-ed columnists to write on the subject. Below is what I wrote. I've cut and pasted it from a wingnut website, Free Republic. If you'll notice, I got honored with a very grown-up "Barf Alert."
Well, five years have passed. We're Bush-free but still stuck in Iraq and Afghanistan.
We're also still afraid.
We can't catch a flight without going shoeless first and we're more than likely to have to show our private parts to a TSA agent before we're allowed to board. Osama bin Laden is dead but his terror lives on. So does his toll on American freedom and finances. We've spent ourselves into a hole by occupying two countries in our pursuit of invisible men. While we've been blowing things up for the past decade, China has been building and building and building.
We're still stuck in the quagmire with President Obama afraid to pull the plug, rightly fearing that the Republicans will successfully label him our soft on terror, anti-American, pro-Arab, freedom-hating commander-in-chief.
Ten years after 9/11, we're still nation-building in the Middle East while the Midwest in our nation is falling apart. So, for this next presidential election, I think Obama should be making a 911 call for America--we need the emergency services.
Just in time for elections, Bush campaigns on fear (BARF ALERT)
Chicago Sun-Times ^ | September 10, 2006 | MONROE ANDERSON
Posted on Sun Sep 10 09:47:18 2006 by Chi-townChief
Just in time for elections, Bush campaigns on fear
by Monroe Anderson
Five years after the 9/11 tragedy, the kingpin of Abraham Lincoln's party is still dead set on fooling most of the people most of the time.
President Bush and his chorus of Republican pols, Cabinet members and neo-con sycophants would have us believe we're safer or, depending on political expediencies, not that safe. According to the president's pre-9/11 anniversary speeches on the progress of the war on terror, we're safer than we were before the attacks but not yet safe enough to steer clear of his failed stay-the-course strategy. As Bush explains it, al-Qaida's leadership is decimated but remains dangerous enough to destroy the entire civilized world.
There he goes again.
With midterm congressional elections less than two months away, the Bush subterfuge machine is in full spiel and spin. Too incompetent to manage problems that are all too real to mainstream America, such as high gas prices, 45 million citizens without health insurance and a sliding income for middle-class workers -- or capturing Osama bin Laden for that matter -- the president and his forces are back to wheeling and dealing terror. They're playing the same fear-mongering three-card monte game that worked so well in the 2002 and 2004 elections: See if you can find the terrorist threat under here or here or there. Find Saddam Hussein's ethereal weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Watch the politically timed color alert rise and fall on cue.
There's a book just out with a title that sums it all up: Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal and the Selling of the Iraq War. Authors Michael Isikoff and David Corn report that Bush hated Saddam so much that he privately let loose expletive-laden tirades against the dictator. In March 2002, months before Bush asked Congress for authority to attack Saddam, he bluntly exposed his true intentions in an unguarded moment with two aides. When told that White House correspondent Helen Thomas was questioning the need to oust Saddam, Bush snapped: ''Did you tell her I intend to kick his sorry m - - - - - - - - - - - - ass all over the Mideast?''
The president's anger was understandable. ''After all,'' Bush said six months later while speaking at a fund-raiser in Houston, ''this is the guy who tried to kill my dad.''
I think that's admirable that Bush 43 loves his dad, Bush 41, enough to try to revenge Saddam's botched assassination attempt in 1993. I loved my late dad as much as Bush loves his, and while I too would have been livid if the Iraqi dictator tried to whack my father, I wouldn't have set into motion a wave of international shock and awe that would result in the deaths of more than 2,600 U.S. military men and women and more than 41,000 innocent Iraqi civilians.
I also love my two sons as much as I'm sure he loves his twin daughters. If we're really in danger of Apocalypse Soon, as Bush keeps insisting, then we ought to act like it. The president should re-institute a mandatory military draft. I'll tearfully send my sons off to war, right after Bush tearfully sends his daughters to sign up in our co-educational military. If the war against Islamic terrorists compares to the fight against Nazis, as Bush insists, and if a withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq would lead to its conquest by our nation's worst enemies, then we ought to have a military reflecting that clear and present danger. There were 16 million Americans fighting to keep the world safe for democracy in World War II. There are 130,000 in Iraq.
I'm afraid Bush's plan to save the world from Islamic fascism is way too modest. He wants Congress to pass his terrorist surveillance act and authorization to try the al-Qaida detainees held in his secret CIA torture prisons. For reasons too simple for many Americans to understand, he's not interested in following the 9/11 Commission's recommendations to shore up security at U.S. harbors or keep a close watch on checked airplane luggage. Those measures, which would obviously make America safer from the inevitable al-Qaida strikes in the future, would cost big business big money.
But what fool would want to take those measures when it's so much more politically practical to scare most of the people one more time?