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George W. Bush: The September 10th President

October 20, 2004
By Aden Nak

George W. Bush likes to say that you can't be a September 10th President in a September 11th world. Well I submit to you all that Bush is a September 10th President to the very core, and that a cursory examination of his policies will reveal exactly that.

Iraq

First off, let's deal with the big one. The obvious one. The War in Iraq. This is not a September 11th war. In fact, it is a military operation that has been in the planning stages since 1997 (with the official signing of PNAC) and was suggested numerous times to the Clinton administration. It is a war that was planned for from the first months that Bush took office.

Furthermore, the evidence overwhelmingly demonstrates that Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11 or al Qaeda, and had neither the means to acquire Weapons of Mass Destruction nor the desire to then provide those weapons to outside entities such as terrorist organizations. There is no September 11th rationale for the War in Iraq.

Tax Cuts

Let's talk tax cuts. This is also not a September 11th idea. In fact, it's a policy that George Bush mentioned many times during the 2000 Presidential Election. I won't go into the misrepresentation of benefits here, but consider the obvious. President Bush has said repeatedly that September 11th changed our economy and drove us further into recession. His tax cut program was specifically designed and explained to the American people as the right way to handle a budget surplus, by giving that money back to those that earned it if the government didn't need it.

That might have been the case in a September 10th economy, but as we sank into recession, and as our fight against terrorism both at home (Homeland Security) and abroad (Afghanistan) incurred huge costs, wouldn't the prudent, September 11th policy be to repeal that tax cut to ensure the safety of America by funding these vital projects properly? How can a massive tax cut be the correct policy for both a September 10th Budget Surplus and a September 11th Budget Deficit?

Global Alliances

Without alliances, we cannot combat terrorism. It's just that simple. Just as the sharing of information needed to be radically redesigned within our own agencies (FBI, CIA, NSA, and local law enforcement agencies) to combat terrorism within the United States, that same swift sharing of information absolutely must take place between like-minded nations, all of whom are endangered by global terrorism. The United States has the most proficient and effective military and information gathering agencies in the world today, but they are not omnipotent. They cannot be everywhere and see everything. Without strong alliances with the free nations of the world, it is impossible for us to stop terrorist organizations before they strike.

Fostering alliances and building trust has never been more important than it is now. Bush's attitude towards the free nations of Europe has wounded those alliances. Bush's own Secretary of Defense scoffed many of our strongest allies off as "Old Europe." When the United States does not share its terrorism intelligence with its allies, and vice versa, the terrorists do win. Bush's administration thought it could rely entirely on internal intelligence and internal military force to fight terrorism. If we learned anything on September 11th, we learned that this is not the case.

Osama bin Laden

"I'll repeat what I said. I truly am not that concerned about him." - George W. Bush, 3/13/2002

I honestly can't think of a more September 10th attitude concerning Osama bin Laden. How can the President of the United States, the man that claims to be so very "tough on terror," say that he is not concerned about the most active and dangerous terrorist alive today? How can he not be concerned about the man who perpetrated the most devastating attack on American soil in living memory? In short, how can this man hope to protect us in a September 11th world if he cannot recognize those that pose the greatest threat to America?

Terrorism

All of these opinions and decisions come from a September 10th outlook. They are the "old" mode of thinking. In fact, they were Bush's exact thinking before September 11th took place. Richard Clarke, the Counter-Terrorism expert trusted by every President since Ronald Reagan, said of the Bush Administration's foreign policies, "It was as though they were preserved in amber." No change. No evolution. Nothing more than rationalizations and excuses for executing grossly inadequate foreign and domestic policy that had been designed and arranged before George W. Bush ever set foot on the campaign trail.

President Bush's policies do not enrich America. They do not protect America. And they do not strengthen America. His only method for combating terrorism is to wage war against entire countries, which is itself a disappointingly September 10th mentality. Terrorism is not a country. It isn't a location we can bomb. It's not a single, neatly-structured regime we can topple. In this September 11th world, we need to fight a war of information. We need to fight a war of intelligence and yes, of policy. Our world has changed, but George W. Bush has not. Come November 2nd, the nation will be faced with two choices:

Evolution (D) or Extinction (R).

Aden Nak is an easily-agitated computer technician and a woefully underemployed freelance writer. More of his personal vitriol can be found at adennak.com.

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