Monday, September 11, 2006


By Ivan G. Goldman

On the anniversary of the terrible events five years ago, it remains clear that we were in sore need of an FDR or a Lincoln that day. War veterans Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, or JFK would have been fine. Even the flawed Richard Nixon would have analyzed the situation and reacted reasonably well, possibly even brilliantly.

Instead we had the man elected by our Supreme Court, George W. Bush, who spent the entire day running away. He was cowering in Air Force One, flying around like a drugged parrot in a big circle, landing place to place in his confusion and finally getting back to Washington when everything was over. Even today, five years later, most of us turn away from this ugly truth.

Much of what we did that day we did late. The order to scramble jets came late, the questions and response from the President came late. But the rescuers didn’t come late. They came immediately, running into burning buildings to do what they could for survivors. I wonder how many of them, were they alive to know about them, would agree with our President's actions that day?

But now this incompetent President whose Attorney General had ordered the anti-terrorism chief to stop telling him about Bin Laden continues to pose as a tough leader with moral clarity who knows what to do and when to do it. A person with moral clarity can be as stupid as Bush, but not as cowardly as Bush.

The media fixated on that theatrical scene days later, of resolute-sounding Bush standing in the World Trade Center ruins and vowing revenge. But a worthy Commander-in-Chief commands. If a buck sergeant’s squad were under attack and he ran away, leaving his squad members to fend for themselves for hours, he’d of course be arrested and court-martialed upon his return. Bush’s tendentious role as hero is a cataclysmic triumph of propaganda over truth.

In the coming congressional election this dangerous fool will once again pose as a moral leader with the gumption to fight the enemy. But he never even figured out the identity of the enemy and used the terrible events five years ago as an excuse to go out and attack the wrong people. We're now mired in a war he entered as a hobbyist. History will not be kind to us for keeping this smirking fake in the White House.

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