The ‘9/11 Changed Everything’ Excuse


charlie at BiteSoundBite takes direct aim at the Pubs’ use of 9/11 as a political football and all-around excuse for whatever unconscionable depredation they want to inflict next.

The immediate reaction after 9/11 was (appropriately) outrage, and often merely RAGE. Americans were scared. The tendency thereafter was to believe that the entire world had changed. Nothing on Earth was as it should be. America had new responsibilities. It was time to go to places far more dangerous than here and rain down missiles and bombs upon those who dwelled in these shadowy regions. It was time to round up conspicuous looking people (whose names bore a superficial resemblance [meaning they looked Arabic] to the names of those who’d made us recognize that America is of this violent world, and whose conspicuous look fit the racial profile). This was a new age. A dark time. Special methods were needed. Old ideals of rights and liberties were romance and fantasy. We had to shoot first and ask only appropriate questions at appropriate times. Questions like “How will we get these terrorists out of their holes, will we smoke them?” Yes, yes, we will. We have to. It is a new era. It is midnight in America.

charlie then digs out Andy Hiller’s infamous pre-election interview with Junior in which he asked if Bush could name a couple of leaders in flaming world hot-spots.

Hiller asked: “Can you name the president of Chechnya?”
“No, can you?” Bush replied.
“Can you name the president of Taiwan?” Hiller asked.
“Yeah, Lee,” responded Bush, referring to Taiwanese President Lee Teng-hui.
“Can you name the general who is in charge of Pakistan?” asked Hiller, inquiring about Gen. Pervaiz Musharraf, who took over last month in a military coup.
“Wait, wait, is this 50 questions?” replied Bush.
Hiller replied: “No, it’s four questions of four leaders in four hot spots.”
Bush said: “The new Pakistani general, he’s just been elected-not elected, this guy took over office. It appears this guy is going to bring stability to the country and I think that’s good news for the sub-continent.”
Hiller persisted, saying, “Can you name him?”
Bush said: “General. I can name the general. General.”
“And the prime minister of India?” asked Hiller, inquiring about a man who was recently re-elected and who last year tested a nuclear bomb.
Bush said: “The new prime minister of India is-no.”
At that point, Bush responded in kind to Hiller.
“Can you name the foreign minister of Mexico?” asked the governor, whose home state borders the Central American nation.
The reporter replied, “No sir, but I would say to that, I’m not running for president.”

Ample evidence in hindsight of the arrogance, stupidity, ignorance, and warped, mean humor we have come to know so well these past 3 years. Georgie-boy, charlie adds, didn’t get that way overnight.

In order to reconcile the GOP’s seemingly hypocritical rationale that Edwards is not ready for the Presidency at a time when foreign policy expertise is at such a premium, one has to accept the flimsy premise that Bush was not the novice he appeared to be in 2000, or has somehow, in four years time, developed into a leader with an astute understanding of geopolitics after devoting a lifetime of feckless indifference toward such matters. This requires a running leap of faith, and it seems to me the country has followed GW off one too many cliffs already. No, if we are to accept that Edwards is unqualified to be on a national ticket b/c of his lack of foreign policy making experience, then even the laziest student of American presidential politics (I’m talking to you, Wolf Blitzer), would have to assume that it was a mistake to nominate, campaign for, and vote for GW Bush in 2000, that we have been living with an unqualified President ever since, and that it is dire that we get a qualified man to take over post haste.

Indeed. Go read the rest.

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