March 29, 2020
Column

Stop blaming ourselves for 9-11

I ‘m not sure if the op-ed by Robert Klose (BDN, Sept. 25), which excoriates President Bush and his administration, reads more like a Molly Ivins column or the text of an Al Gore speech, but either way, it’s over the top.

Klose seems to buy into much of the weary little caricature promulgated by some hysterical Democrats of George W. Bush as a bumbling dolt who struggles to read “My Pet Goat,” but is somehow also a sinister, crafty, tyrannical despot who, along with political strategist Karl Rove, fiendishly destroys the World Trade Center and a portion of the Pentagon, in an amazing conspiratorial plot designed to allow the president to shred the Constitution and spy on all Americans, particularly Democrats, and to torture with impunity while he cynically sends American troops into battle in Iraq, not for national security reasons, but for the express purpose of making his oil-industry friends rich, all at the behest of his “daddy.”

And how do Democrats know these things are true? Because Barbra Streisand, Michael Moore and Brad Pitt have told us so. Along with Gore, John Kerry, Harry Reid, Howard Dean, Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats, the Bush-bashers have generated a cacophonous chorus of complaining, carping and caterwauling, all during a time of war. And while the “George W. Bush is an evil dictator” doctrine seems to be the alternative reality of choice in the hearts and minds of a relatively small, but vociferous group of Democrats, many Americans, I think, dismiss that kind of ridiculous nonsense. That’s because they intuitively understand that the president is an inherently decent guy doing an impossible job, and they aren’t particularly impressed with blatant partisanship at a time when our national survival is at stake.

According to Article Two of the Constitution, the president has not only the right, but the obligation and sworn duty to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” George W. Bush’s insistence, for example, that NSA (National Security Administration) wiretapping is in conformity with the law was not pulled out of thin air. In 2002, a special panel of appellate judges established to hear FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) appeals ruled in favor of wiretapping. In “Sealed Case,” the FISA appeals court decision cited a previous FISA case (U.S. v. Truong), where a federal court “held that the president did have inherent authority to conduct warrantless searches to obtain intelligence information.”

The Congress of the United States voted, in joint resolution, shortly after 9-11 to give the president the power to do whatever he deemed necessary to defeat terrorism. How can he possibly do that without proper intelligence data? And how can he be authorized to kill the terrorists but not to listen to their phone calls? It is notably unhelpful for Democratic Party leaders to engage in endless bitter, mocking criticism while actively undermining virtually every tool the president has at his disposal for preventing another attack on America, including NSA wiretapping, data mining and the Patriot Act, without producing any real and substantive evidence that he’s damaging the Constitution or curtailing the civil rights of Americans.

Democratic leaders also insist we confer constitutional rights and Geneva Conventions protection on incarcerated enemy combatants, who are not U.S. citizens or signatories to the Geneva Conventions, who wear no uniforms and were likely caught trying to blow up our country or kill our soldiers. In previous wars, these people were called “spies” and they had a very short life span once caught. Contrary to popular belief, those incarcerated at Guantanamo Bay, for example, are treated well. They are offered a balanced menu and most gain weight while in prison, are allowed to read their Koran and have air conditioning.

Those partisans who continue to use the Abu Ghraib aberration as a political weapon against the president ignore the real facts regarding just how humane this country really is to our enemies on balance, particularly when one considers 1) just how brutally our soldiers and journalists are treated when captured by the same people, and 2) the fact that the lives of our soldiers and citizens, according to ABC News reporter Brian Ross, can and have been saved by extracting valuable information about tactics and possible future attacks from suspected terrorists who we’ve incarcerated.

Furthermore, those who say we deserve to be attacked are sadly mistaken. This nation has done more to educate, liberate and defend peaceful Muslims than any nation on earth. How many Muslims from all over the world have been welcomed at American colleges and universities? Compare the growing number of mosques in this country with the number of Christian churches in the Middle East. How much more tolerant could we possibly be? And how many times did our military go into the Balkans to protect Muslims from ethnic cleansing in the ’90s?

The United States has freed 50 million people, mostly Muslim, from the murderous totalitarian governments of the Taliban in Afghanistan and Saddam Hussein in Iraq. The terrorists, of course, don’t like freedom and are still working overtime to destabilize these countries. And when there is a natural disaster in the Muslim world such as the terrible tsunami which struck recently, what country delivers most of the relief? America, of course.

That’s why all this “Why do they hate us?” stuff is nuts. There’s no way to make radical Islamists like this country. They have an implacable hostility toward America that cannot be assuaged, mollified or ameliorated. They subscribe to a draconian worldview that stipulates, without equivocation, that our civilization must be destroyed. That’s why we need to stop blaming ourselves for 911 and unite to defeat those who would like nothing better than to reduce this nation, like the twin towers, to smoldering ruins.

David D. Wilson is a self-employed real-estate appraiser who lives in Levant.


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