Obviously both the Clinton Administration and the Bush Administration until September 11 failed to be seized of a sufficient sense of urgency in combating the danger. But it is unfair to blame them -- they existed in a different political world. If Clinton had tried to go to war in Afghanistan in 1998, both the Republicans and the major media would have run him out of town. So also, would a Bush invasion of Afghanistan in July of 2001 been rebuffed by the entire body politic.Politics is driving this look at 9/11. I think Blankley is exactly right that neither the Clinton nor the Bush people could have launched the kind of fight we did in Afghanistan before 9/11. Can you imagine if we had and Al Qaeda had still carried out their plans for 9/11? Everyone would have said that we provoked the terrorists by our attacks on their leader.
Watching officials from both administrations pointing fingers at one another this week did not advance the great cause of national security -- but what else could they do under the circumstances? The purpose of the hearing is finger pointing.
Secretary of State Powell made a deeply revealing statement at yesterday’s hearing when he explained that trying to bring Pakistan to our side of the terrorist battle would have been futile prior to the September 11 attack. General Powell was precisely correct.
The political systems of both the United States and the rest of the world’s countries and organizations were simply not capable of finding the sense of urgency and political wherewithal to act sufficiently decisively -- prior to being attacked. It is the act of war itself that makes it politically possible for the attacked or threatened countries to go on a war footing. That is the historic and inevitable advantage of the aggressor.
Wednesday, March 24, 2004
Tony Blankley has a good column about how futile the finger-pointing that is going on in the 9/11 Commission is.
Posted by Betsy Newmark at 6:12 AM