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October 31, 2004

A Question for Bush Voters

Over the last year or so, when I've asked people why they are voting for George W. Bush, I don't get much except for some variation of the idea that he's tough/steadfast/resolute against terror. Sure there are some of you who are in favor of unnecessary wars, the negative long-term effects of huge budget deficits, or even in establishing a Christian theocracy in the United States, but most of the time it comes back to terror. Please explain to me in what way George W. has been and will continue to be steadfastly resolute in the war on terra.

Here's what I know:

While George W. Bush was getting DUI's and running oil companies into the ground, John Kerry was actively fighting terrorism in the Senate. One month after Bill Clinton took office, Ramzi Yousef orchestrated the World Trade Center bombing. That's when Americans first realized that they weren't always going to be safe from international terrorism. Ramzi Yousef is now in prison and the Clinton administration spent the next 8 years actively fighting terrorism and thwarting attacks on the United States. You've heard of the Millennium Bomb plot and how it was stopped, right? How about Operation Bojinka, a plot by al Qaeda to blow up 11 U.S.-bound airliners over the Pacific? Remember when Newt Gingrich and other Republicans in the House accused Clinton of being "obsessed with bin Laden?" He had good reason to be, as we later discovered.

The Clinton hatred by the incoming Bush administration was so intense that not only did they make up stories about the White House being trashed, but they also ignored every piece of advice left for them relating to ongoing operations against terrorism. Sandy Berger tried to get across to Condie how central to her job al-Qaeda would be. Richard Clarke was shut out of the loop because he'd worked for Clinton. Remember all the warnings the FBI had that something was going on? When Ashcroft became attorney general, counterterrorism was nowhere to be found on his list of priorities. In fact, he cut the FBI's counterterror budget in August 2001. He did manage to bust a brothel in New Orleans, cover up some stone titties and finally get Tommy Chong for making bongs. I sure feel safer.

We all know Bush was on vacation for all of August 2001 and we also know the PDB titled "bin Laden determined to attack United States" was virtually ignored. For more on the pre-9/11 negligence of the Bush Administration, see Ellen Mariani's well-sourced RICO complaint against Bush, et al.

But everything changed after 9/11, you say. Maybe, but does that mean we should excuse the negligence of the past, pre or post 9/11? Sure, we went into Afghanistan, as we should have. We took out the Taliban and installed Karzai. There were elections. Whether those elections mean anything remains to be seen. But why did we really go to Afghanistan? To get bin Laden, of course. And we didn't .

What did we do instead? We let Ahmed Chalabi and the PNACers convince the doubters in the Bush adminstration that the best way to fight terrorism was to invade Iraq, incidentally the only nation in the middle east on the state department map that didn't show any al Qaeda connections. What about al Zarqawi, the man that's currently organzing the insurgency, raising havoc and having people beheaded left and right all over Iraq? In early 2002 we had information that he was operating in Kurdish-controlled Iraq, right under the U.S.-UK enforced no-fly zone. Did we take him out then when we knew right where he was? No. That would have hurt the Saddam-link-to-terra argument for the war.

In what has become a disturbingly common occurrence, Bush has blamed other people in his administration or in the military for any mistakes made in the war. Does George have a sign on his desk that says "The Buck Stops Over There Somewhere?" Just last week Rudy Giuliani was all over the TV blaming the troops on the ground for not securing the missing explosives. The orders, equipment and manpower to do that come from higher up, from the people planning the war. It all leads back to the poor planning in the Oval Office.

But we haven't been attacked since 9/11, you say. He's doing his job, you say. So what. We weren't attacked before either.

Osama looked remarkably healthy on that tape that aired Friday; healthier than he's ever looked. He doesn't look too "on the run" wherever he is.

Posted by Half-Cocked at October 31, 2004 09:55 PM


Dude, I'm probably pre-disposed to agree with you on a lot of this, but this is a great effing post. Well done.

Posted by: Soup at November 1, 2004 02:04 PM

Also, although we all seem to forget this now, we WERE attacked/DID experience another act of terrorism after 9/11---Anthrax in the Capitol.

Posted by: J at November 1, 2004 02:05 PM

Crap, J. You're right, and we never have bothered to find out who did it, either. Thanks for the reminder.

Posted by: Steve at November 1, 2004 02:07 PM

And raising that point, of course, simply points to W's inability to catch the folks responsible there as well.

It really is just staggering to me how Bush's strong suit is supposedly his response to terrorism--where the record pretty clearly points to collossal incompetence & mismanagement.

Nonetheless, let's start getting pumped about 44.

Posted by: J at November 1, 2004 02:07 PM