So, Here we are again, at another Anniversary of America's 21st Century 'Pearl Harbor'. Once again I'm recalling the emotions of that time, where I was when I first learned we'd been attacked, and how I instantly knew who the Villain was,..long before the media had figured it out._______________________________
When my (then) friend Les called to tell me to turn on CNN, that a small plane had hit the World Trade Center, I took one look at the smoke beginning to roll from the tower, and said, "Les, that wasn't a "small Plane', because I've been in that building, and only an Airliner could make that big of a hole". He said, "Who would do something like that?', and I answered, "Usama Bin Laden", and of course he asked "Who?", and I answered, "the same Asshole who blew up the USS Cole".
See, I didn't just start following Politics and the News in recent years, and I remembered back when then Senator Al Gore asked Ollie North, (during the Iran-Contra hearings), who this bad man was who had so frightened Colonel North that he spent $100,000 of taxpayer's money on Home Security systems for his personal residence. When Ollie answered "Usama Bin Laden", I went back to an article I'd just read about this former mujaheddin who was forming his own terrorist group, after being our friend and ally when we needed him to kick the Russians out of Afghanistan.
I also knew that besides the Cole, that Usama's bunch had been behind bombing our embassies around North Africa and the Middle East. Our National Security people knew about him too, and what a danger he had become, but the Bush/Cheney junta didn't want to hear it when Richard Clarke tried repeatedly to tell them what the Clinton Administration knew, and why Clinton had been reticent to blow him away when they had him in their sights on several occasions. ( President Clinton's advisers told him that if he wasted Bin Laden on someone's sovereign soil, the Rethuglicans would say he was doing it to distract from the Blow Job scandal).
Anyway, despite what could have been done, the threat from Bin Laden was ignored, because Bush just wanted to get even with Saddam for putting a contract out on Daddy Bush, and Cheney just wanted Iraqi Oil. What happened happened, and for a few weeks there, I saw the United America, the unity and agreement between left and right, black and white, with everyone pulling together, and comforting each other, regardless of party, status or wealth. That was the kind of Nation I had been dreaming of since Vietnam, but I also knew it couldn't last. That realization was almost as tragic as the attack itself !
Now, 13 sad anniversaries later, we're facing a new threat, and cancerous growth of barbarism which metastasized from Al Queda in Iraq, and is being led by the best Generals from Saddam's Republican Guard, the force we needlessly disbanded after our invasion of a Nation that didn't have a thing to do with 9-11, and a Leader which only posed a threat to his own citizens. Had we kept the Iraqi Army and the basic bureaucracy of that government in place, and had we not destroyed so much of their infrastructure, we might have gotten out of there in a year or two, and left behind some vestige of a Democratic society. We would also have lost a lot less irreplaceable Troops, and thousands less civilian casualties. Iraq today could have been a prospering and free Oil producing nation, and a Democratic example for it's neighbors, except that the Bush Government gave no thought to an exit strategy, and only thought of how soon they could start selling stolen Oil.
Hindsight is always 20/20, and Now we need some of that Unity and Bi-Partisanship that we experienced for a moment after that first sad Day. We need to form a better, more broad-based coalition than that which joined us in the earlier ill-advised invasion. This President needs the support of Everyone, just like We gave to Bush in the days following 9-11-01.
That's my several cents worth, and I hope some of you will comment and continue this post. Thanks, and "God Bless America, Again" !