Thursday, March 04, 2004

Trees and Forests...

Lifted from (The same article apeared in the NYPost today):

I have several issues with some of the things said in this report by the relatives of the 9/11 dead. I think there are some people (understandably) that are letting their grief do their thinking for them.

The brouhaha is over the use of 9/11 as a campaign war cry and the apparent lack of taste such use implies. This, I remind you, comes from people who have forgotten the other 9 million people in this city and would love to see "Ground Zero" turned into a Disneyland of grief with a 19 acre memorial. Talk about poor taste?

There are some of us, like ,myself, that were fortunate and were not injured, nor did we lose family and friends, but who are also scarred by the events of 9/11. While we understand the need to remember, we also do not see the need to keep prime commercial real-estate vacant. We need jobs, the City needs money and business needs a place to conduct business if this City is to recover and survive. Your grief and bitterness do not entitle you to keep the rest of us hostage to your whims, and some of you should stop wearing 9/11 as a badge entitling you to dictate the course of events. We have an elected government for that and people with investment capital to spend to help it along.

In that regard, some of the things said in that article rub me the wrong way. Especially the remarks about Bush having the nerve to refer to 9/11 when it occured on his watch.

True, Bush was in the White House and granted, the intelligence services and law enforcement failed us on that day. However, I remind you that Bill Clinton was offered Osama's head three seperate times and refused, presumably because he was too busy screwing the hired help. We must also take into account that Al Gore's tantrum in November 2000-January 2001 prevented Bush from getting his team in place, possibly in time to do something, anything, about 9/11 before it occured. That, of course, is pure conjecture on my part. This does not obsolve Bush and Co of all responsibility for someone being asleep at the wheel, but it does mitigate the circumstances somewhat. I can guarentee you that had Al Gore been in the White House, we'd still be having our giant Oprah-moment and not fighting back.

Does the use of 9/11 as a campaign issue smack of poor taste? Debatable, in my opinion. I can tell you that any politician worth his salt would use 9/11 in some form to make his case for either keeping his job or of replacing the encumbant. Democrats, of course, would use it emotionally, Republicans tend to think of it as being used logically. Regardless, someone would have used it.

However, Bush is actually doing something about 9/11 and when viewed in that light, I don't see the problem. We've scattered the Taliban, removed a dangerous regime in Baghdad and gotten the Libyans to play ball. We've idenitifed (finally) our enemies as such, and we're working towards solutions. Those solutions may not be to everyone's tastes, but they are still better options than launching cruise missiles at aspirin factories, which was the previous administration's modus operandi.

The only way to prevent more 9/11's is to exercise American power, something that has been out of fashion for the last 30 years or so. I'm not talking about bombing the rest of the world flat (although some places deserve it), but using American power and influence to change things for the better. Have a disgusting dictator who threatens the world with WMD's and the support of terrorism? Invade his country and eliminate him. Got a madman in the mountains of Afghanistan with a God complex and a shitload of money? Kill or capture him before he becomes Dr. No.

It just makes sense.

I personally do not see any problem with Bush using 9/11 as a politial issue when you consider that his potential opponents would rather have American policy and defense subordinated to the United Nations or France. Espcially when the opposition's solution revolves around pap psychology and flawed theories/beliefs about the efficacy of international law.

We are committed to a course of action now, for better or for worse, and to continue on the present course makes more sense than to have gone this far only to pull up stakes and pack the tent away, which is what John Kerry would do. Unfortunately, there are some people out there who still don't get it and they need reminders in any way, shape or form they can get them, because the average attention span is measured in MPH. If a Bush commercial depicts the events of 9/11, so much the better, because a picture is worth a thousand words.
Sometimes you have to shock and outrage to get your message across.

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