Democrats & Liberals Archives

Imagebound Campaign Ads

Well here we go folks; the ads are on their way. They are coming from the places where the deaths of thousands are put into images to enhance the reputation of the leader on whose watch they were killed. In the biggest ad campaign in the history of our Presidency the images haunting our eyes are those of the fallen World Trade Center.

And where was our President while this drama was being played out, during those first critical minutes when further tragedy might have been prevented? In a pure photo Op session with little children, and not deciding what our response would be to the attacks. We still had planes in the air headed toward the Pentagon and the Capitol Building when our President was told about the attacks of 9/11. He was a military pilot by training. He had advisors who should have known how to react to hijacked planes being used as weapons. What was his response? To fly away in Air Force One and stay out of touch with the people until it was all over.

Now those images that demonstrate his failure as a leader during an attack on our soil are being used to demonstrate that he is decisive and strong. It would be funny if it weren’t about such a serious set of events. I can see the Saturday Night Live Skit now. Bush’s aid stage whispers into his ear, “Mr. President, We are under attack and a plane has been flown into the World Trade Center.” Bush: “What is this word, I’m having a little trouble pronouncing it. “Nooculear, no that’s not it.” “What’s that you say, the World Trade Pact is under attack?” “Lets fly to Omaha and talk to an expert on trade but first I have to finish reading this book.” But of course the events of 9/11 were too solemn to be portrayed in any skit posing as humor. That is until now when they are being used as fodder for the campaign of the man who failed us all on that day. Decisive, he has been, but only in pursuing his divisive right wing agenda on every social and fiscal issue before our nation.

I spent a year after 9/11 giving Bush a pass on all criticism. I was unhappy with the Administration’s response to 9/11 but felt that in the best interests of national unity criticism of the President was inappropriate. I sat by while the events of the election of 2000 were buried under the rubble of the WTC. I gritted my teeth while Congress grew more and more complaisant and less able to respond to a President who had the nation behind him in a time of crisis. I waited for a bigger agenda to emerge from that rubble until after we attacked Afghanistan and defeated the Taliban. We missed Osama and that was too bad but not a reason to disagree with the effort there.

I disagreed with the Patriot Act and worried about posting troops around the nation acting as a security force for airports. It concerned me that we didn’t seem to be building more security into our system of protection for Nuclear Power Plants. I also worried about the vulnerability of our ports to attack by containerized weaponry. But I kept my mouth shut until I saw us making a hard right turn into Iraq. By then it was already too late for those of us who believe that our national interests are being betrayed by a Neocon agenda. This is an agenda that cannot be executed without destroying our nation fiscally and socially and probably even in regard to sustaining our democracy. From 9/11 to preemptive war as a policy is such a far reaching stretch. It never occurred to most of us that our military was going to actually become the world police force in an Administration that took office braying out its disapproval of “Nation Building”.

So now our Presidential election is looming before us and the little Shrub in the White House is trying to look like the burning bush from which came the Ten Commandments. His political advisors have chosen to arrogantly disregard the presence of some semblance of clarity about historical events rising in the minds of the people here recently. They are betting that the people are still sleeping and cannot be awakened by their soothing tactics intended to reassure us that Bush is a Great Leader after all. I am truly interested in the outcome of this election because there is a lot of reason to believe that a replay of last time is possible. The nation remains divided along party lines and the prospects of a dead heat in November are very real. The problems experienced with computerized voting are if anything more serious than those with paper ballots. Could our Republic stand one more bout of a failure of the electoral system? Not as quietly as it did last time, that I know for sure. We will never let the vote thieves of the nation prevail without a fight again.

I wait in wonder at the temerity of the Republicans in claiming 9/11 as their image for the Presidential campaign. It was the result of the greatest intelligence failure in our nation’s history unless you count the WMD debacle as greater. Besides that there was ample time between the first plane being hijacked and the second plane striking the WTC to scramble fighters and protect Manhattan from further attack. The attack on the Pentagon certainly could have been prevented by the same means, using our defensive fighter squadrons to stop those attacks. Meanwhile the President kept reading to the children and the attacks went on and on. It is clear that the responses to those hijackings were slow to nonexistent based on the times involved. 8:20 AM the first hijacking was confirmed. 8:48 AM the first reports of a plane striking the first tower were issued. Eighteen minutes later the second plane struck tower two. Those eighteen minutes are an eternity in military response systems which are expected to respond to attacks within seconds. The hardest success of the attackers to understand was the one nearly one hour later at the Pentagon, at 9:40 A.M., nearly a whole hour after the first tower was struck. It will be interesting to see the conclusions of the investigating commission regarding these matters.

When unarmed civilians on the forth aircraft intervened and prevented that plane from striking its target, which was probably the Capitol Building, they further demonstrated the inadequacy of our government’s response. Unarmed heroes, at the cost of their own lives, prevented further devastation. Their response was based on communication between the people on the plane with their loved ones at home who were watching the events on TV. Was at least the same speed of response not to be expected from our President who is the only party authorized to use military planes to shoot down civilian aircraft? I would not be asking these questions if the Bush Administration were not using 9/11 in their pursuit of reelection. Under these circumstances they need to be both asked and answered. Where was the President during that precious eighty minutes between the confirmation of the first hijacking and the plane striking the Pentagon? Why did our military aircraft not respond to the hijackings first and the attacks second? These questions need to be answered before anyone can decide if this President’s blatant use of 9/11 politically should result in positive or negative results for his campaign. God bless and keep you all safe and secure in this election season.

Posted by Henri Reynard at March 4, 2004 11:06 AM