9/11 Plus 10: The Country We Lost

September 5th, 2011 at 11:57 am David Frum | 117 Comments |

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In my column for CNN, I discuss how 9/11 resulted in a feeling of national dedication and unity — a stark contrast to the pessimism reflected in today’s polls.

About 8 o’clock on the night of September 11, 2001, President Bush’s staff received word. The president had returned to Washington. The White House had reopened.

The walk back to the White House from temporary staff quarters in a borrowed office building remains one of my most vivid recollections of that terrible day.

The streets of Washington were ghostly empty. Armed troops and military vehicles stood sentry at intersections leading to the White House. Yet the night was still and lovely. The buildings were brightly illuminated. The flags still flew at full height: only the next day would they be lowered to half-staff.

To look back on that day is to see a country in shock, a country in fear, a country in grief.

Yet there was something else too, something else that President Bush was able to reach and channel, if only for a time: a tremendous feeling of national dedication.

That first night, the strength seemed to surge around us. These buildings, now empty, would next day be filled with purpose: mobilizing the vast resources of the nation for the struggle ahead.

In September 2001, the United States could look back on almost 20 years of national success. It had triumphed in the Cold War and launched an Internet revolution. From 1983 through 2001, the United States had enjoyed a surge of prosperity punctuated only by the two briefest and shallowest recessions in modern history.

Click here to read the entire column.

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117 Comments so far ↓

  • anniemargret

    So true, David Frum. There was a unity after the disaster hit us on 9/11. We forgot for some shining precious moments that we had political parties, or cultural or racial divisions, or religious beliefs, or no beliefs. As Ronald Reagan once put it at a U.N. speech, if this world were ever attacked by a non-human intelligent species we would be a global community.

    Sadly, it shouldn’t have to take horrible scenarios to bring us together in unity to solve our problems.

    But there are a few things that happened after 9/11 to bring us to this more depressing place, both materially and spiritually. We invested too much in wars that were either totally unnecessary, sacrificing thousands of precious lives and billions which could have been better spent on the infrastructure and jobs. The Republicans were the leaders of that.

    We also sent jobs overseas. Corporations went after the cheapest labor – hiring illegals and sending high tech jobs to others, instead of focusing on our own brilliant graduating students and professionals.

    We also laid ourselves open to denigrating and insulting rhetoric…the majority of which came from the far right, which rose to a more prominent place in the GOP after GWB. Gone were debates on policy, but in its stead, culture wars led by Sarah Palin, opened up a new era of hate and fear, bringing a raw divisiveness to our society.

    While both political parties participated in this, the last five years an unprecedented hatred for this President was enabled and exacerbated by the ‘leaders’ of the GOP, instead of bringing public discussion under a more intelligent and productive path.

    There is a lot to blame in all corners, but to my mind, and from I have heard and witnessed and read, the GOP has garnered more of the blame for this state than others. Are there going to be leaders from the GOP to pull their destructive path from zealots and radicals?

    • paul_gs

      Oh please annie. Don’t be so narcissistic. Thousands of people died on 9-11. It’s not all about you and your wounded left-wing feelings.

    • Chris Balsz

      While both political parties participated in this, the last five years an unprecedented hatred for this President was enabled and exacerbated by the ‘leaders’ of the GOP, instead of bringing public discussion under a more intelligent and productive path.”

      Which is it? We oppose Barack Obama because of his race or we oppose him because of a partisan ploy developed five years ago?

      • gover

        Why do conservatives always posit false dichotomies?

        • Chris Balsz

          I don’t know what your comment has to do with the actual contrary positions she’s taken about opposition to the President. It can’t be “rooted in racism” if it began before a black candidate took the nomination.

  • ottovbvs

    Yes it was real, it was palpable, and it lasted for less than a year. You need to ask yourself why Frum not bemoan the fact that it’s happened.

  • TerryF98

    If 9/11 happened today the Republicans would tear Obama limb from limb and throw the remains into the Potomac.

    The fact that Liberals supported Bush after 9/11 tells you how patriotic they are. It was not until the truth came out about the abject failure of the Bush administration to act on prior warnings, and the total lies used about 9/11 to attack Iraq that Bush lost the support of Liberals. Sad how that tragic event was used to subvert the US constitution, allow Torture and domestic spying on Americans.

    • paul_gs

      Some liberals supported the President at the time. Most were indulging in wild conspiracy theories which many continue to believe to this day.

      • TerryF98

        I call bullshit. Bush had a 91% approval rating after 9/11. You can’t have that with Liberals not supporting him. Throw off the dumb ass partisan blinkers for a while for God’s sake.

    • balconesfault

      +1

      Had 9/11 happened with Gore being President, the GOP would have been calling for impeachment proceedings by 9/12.

  • Houndentenor

    I remember it differently. I was in shock. Not working that day, I was fortunate not to be in the financial center where I had worked the week before as a temp. I don’t really remember much after about 9:30. I know I called my parents to let them know I was okay and then turned off my cell phone so as not to hog the lines that emergency workers would need. Then the second plane hit. I remember that Broadway was closed off so they could get those suffering from smoke inhalation up to Columbia Presbyterian Hospital (which was across the street from my apt). No ambulances came. I remember going outside and lighting candles (someone requested that we do that. I don’t remember now.) A rehearsal in New Jersey was canceled (we had to practice the music for Rosh Hashanah services a few weeks later). I remember a job interview on Thursday but only vaguely. It was raining. Maybe it was Friday. I remember meeting some friends on Sunday. The next few weeks are a blur.

    Is that the kind of remembering you mean?

    I remember signs from people looking for missing loved ones. Maybe they were in a hospital somewhere and not dead? They seemed to be everywhere. Makeshift memorials appeared everywhere, many in front of fire stations. The NYFD took the biggest hit. I remember very tough grown men bursting into tears. My roommate sang in what seemed like an endless number of memorial services for firemen and police officers. We put an American flag in the window facing the hospital.

    Ground Zero smoldered for another six months. About a month in a fight broke out between police and firemen when the decision was made to stop looking for bodies. Even a couple of years later remains were found on the rooftop of the old Deutsche Bank building. How disrespectful of those people. A few day job colleagues whispered about how awful it was to be downtown. The colleagues who quit when they couldn’t get on the elevator on the day they were to return to work. One took a bus way out of her way to avoid seeing the remains of the Trade Center. It wasn’t easy since on whole wall of the building faced Ground Zero. Others told stories of donning hasmat suits to come in and try to salvage important files and documents. Others profiteered seeing an opportunity to steal business from other companies in greater disarray. In one building the mail room workers (contracted through an outside vendor) made the call to evacuate the building since no one in the corporate office could be found to make such a decision. (Others were told to stay at their desks but left anyway.)

    Shall I go on?

    And then more and more opportunism. Fake displays of patriotism everywhere. Hollywood stars on tv talking about watching the whole thing on television (who cares?). You’ll notice those who evacuated from the towers are reluctant to talk to reporters. And then the Bush administration seizes the moment to use 9/11 as a pretext to invade Iraq and an excuse for every bad economic decision made by the administration.

    I guess I remember it well enough. People want to go back to that? Yes, we were united. And that unity was exploited by the administration. I have no fond memories of that time and am angry at anyone who implies that anyone should

  • TAZ

    Even the most incredible and shocking events cant hold back the tide of our “for profit” divisive nature.

  • Frumplestiltskin

    “In September 2001, the United States could look back on almost 20 years of national success. It had triumphed in the Cold War and launched an Internet revolution.” And I remember the Republicans had mocked the Clinton administration time as being a holiday from history.
    Since 9/11 I have gotten married, bought a house, had 3 children. 9/11 to all of my children, including the soon to be 9 year old, is a total abstraction and with Osama dead and Al Qaeda nearly destroyed even that fear is not one they will grow up with.
    Their fears and their challenges won’t be the same as mine. I am confident they will be up to the challenges, if I weren’t I never would have had children.
    As to these remembrances, I used to live in North Arlington with a view of Manhattan, I also had a view of the WTC from my office at work, even though I lived abroad then when I came back to visit the next summer I was struck by how utterly normal things were.
    It really wasn’t an equivalent to Dec. 7 an event which radically remade America, then every able bodied man (and many women too) had the call to arms. George Bush told America to go shopping.
    Outside of the initial shock and grief there was no higher calling that the administration asked of all of us and giving tax cuts to the rich was a strange way to ask for sacrifice. I can’t imagine how David could possibly have thought that anything positively sustainable could have been brought about in America when there was no call to truly act.

  • dgkerns

    DF – if you want to see quality thought and writing about 9/11 plus 10, read Andrew Sullivan: http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2011/09/04/andrew-sullivan-asks-did-osama-win-on-9-11.html

    • paul_gs

      ‘Quality’ writing from that stubbly little windbag Andrew Sullivan? LOL!

  • Frumplestiltskin

    “One classic swing voter in a McInturff focus group — a middle-aged, working-class, white woman from Florida — declared her utter disgust with everyone and everything: “I won’t even put up my flag any more, it’s just the way I feel.”
    C’mon David, the woman is a nitwit. Who cares what she thinks? I will tell you what, let her live in Somalia or Haiti for a few years so she can appreciate just what she has.

    “how does the United States recover the confident strength and power that once consoled a country for its loss and pain?” And this is bullshit too. If anything, America is stronger and more powerful than it was then, we have been tempered by war and as evident by our success in places like Libya (war won) and Honduras (civil war averted by American diplomacy) we have learned well. David is confusing an economic downturn caused by a debt fueled housing bubble with a fundamental weakening of America, one that will never go away.
    Maybe that is just a Canadian thing, a sense of insecurity and doubt as to ones identity, but as a born and bred American I have no such doubts.

  • sinz54

    Frum: “how does the United States recover the confident strength and power that once consoled a country for its loss and pain?”

    We have to rediscover nationalism.

    Liberals hate that, they blame it for wars.

    Free-market conservatives hate that, they think it gets in the way of importing oil from Saudi Arabia and outsourcing jobs to Asia.

    • jamesj

      Gotta say, I agree. For many the term “nationalism” has a negative connotation, but it is possible to have unifying pride in one’s country while avoiding xenophobia and the other flaws that commonly accompany it. Your comment about both extreme liberalism and extreme free-market philosophy eroding national unity is spot on. We need to get back to a humble stance and rebuild our communities in earnest. Maybe we should shorten the breadlines back home before exporting democracy to 3rd world countries or acting as the world’s most vehement free market evangelists.

      • Frumplestiltskin

        We have to rediscover nationalism.
        One, big difference between Patriotism (love of the ideals of ones country) and Nationalism (love of ones ethnic group, which it is in most countries).
        So yeah, I hate Nationalism, but love American style Patriotism.
        And two, horseshit that Americans have lost Patriotism.
        And what the hell has being patriotic have to do with buying fish from Norway or oil from Arabia? What the hell is so bad about free markets?
        Funny how only an old white guy like Sinz thinks only he knows how we can rediscover nationalism, something tells me it means a lot less non whites in his vision and a return to 1950′s values of the blacks knowing their place, women in the kitchen, and every other color excluded.
        And it was a liberal who said we must bear any price and carry any burden in the defense of freedom.

      • ottovbvs

        “but it is possible to have unifying pride in one’s country while avoiding xenophobia and the other flaws that commonly accompany it.”

        Is it? Would you like to give me a few historical examples where this has happened? It’s not impossible but the overwhelming body of evidence points in the opposite direction.

    • ottovbvs

      “We have to rediscover nationalism.”

      Nationalism has the dubious distinction of actually being responsible for more deaths than religion. Naturally Sinz thoroughly approves of this engine of mass slaughter.

  • armstp

    My view on 9-11 was that there was a massive over-reaction by America.

    This country went completely over-the-top in invading Iraq, with getting more involved than was needed in Afghanistan, with taking our security/military budget to over $1 trillion, to given Bush too much of a free ride and taking our eye off Bush as no questions anything they were doing, as it was considered unpatriotic, etc. etc. etc.

    All we got from 9-11 was a massive deficit and debt, 10 lost years, security/military overload and a massive recession/economic downturn, a completely idiotic GOP that only wants to see the government fail, etc. etc. etc…..

    • ottovbvs

      “My view on 9-11 was that there was a massive over-reaction by America.”

      Well the great sense of national unity got hi jacked didn’t it, by people like Sinz

  • Oldskool

    I remember the parking lot of the local Red Cross overflowing with people wanting to give blood after 911. I imagine that’s how the country felt after Pearl Harbor.

    Of course Karl Rove and his disciples weren’t around back then to bitch-slap the country in 1941. This article cannot be repeated often enough:

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    [blockquote]A couple of years ago, a Republican committee staff director told me candidly (and proudly) what the method was to all this obstruction and disruption. Should Republicans succeed in obstructing the Senate from doing its job, it would further lower Congress’s generic favorability rating among the American people. By sabotaging the reputation of an institution of government, the party that is programmatically against government would come out the relative winner.

    There are tens of millions of low-information voters who hardly know which party controls which branch of government, let alone which party is pursuing a particular legislative tactic. These voters’ confusion over who did what allows them to form the conclusion that “they are all crooks,” and that “government is no good,” further leading them to think, “a plague on both your houses” and “the parties are like two kids in a school yard.”

    A deeply cynical tactic, to be sure, but a psychologically insightful one that plays on the weaknesses both of the voting public and the news media. This ill-informed public cynicism, in its turn, further intensifies the long-term decline in public trust in government that has been taking place since the early 1960s – a distrust that has been stoked by Republican rhetoric at every turn (“Government is the problem,” declared Ronald Reagan in 1980).[/blockquote]

    http://www.truth-out.org/goodbye-all-reflections-gop-operative-who-left-cult/1314907779#3

  • jakester

    It is sad that now we can only find a modicum of national unity in war and fear

  • Graychin

    You can change a pretty good essay into a silly partisan exercise with just a few simple keystrokes:

    1) “The Republican brand polls as badly as the Democratic brand.”

    As badly? Worse, actually. Much worse. And Democrats don’t ever talk about their “brand.” That’s for Republicans, who think that “branding” is a good substitute for policy.

    2) “Congress’ approval rating has slumped even below the president’s.”

    EVEN below the president’s? EVEN? MUCH lower, actually. And Obama’s polling is “even” better at this stage of his presidency than that of the late, sainted Ronaldus Magnus.

    Shame on you, Mr. Frum – turning even an essay on 9/11 unity into silly partisan bashing. But you started it, so I don’t mind following along. Here’s my take:

    George W. Bush had the entire nation united behind him on 9/12. But he squandered this golden, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for America by leading us foolishly into a disastrous and pointless war against the wrong enemy, countering questions about his judgment with his cowboy rhetoric of “either you’re for us or you’re against us.”

    Hot on the heels of 9/11 came the “PATRIOT” Act, in which we showed the world that in order to stand up for our American values we had to tear some of them down. If the nonsensical statement that “they hate us for freedoms” was ever true, clearly someone thought that the solution was to get rid of some of those hated freedoms. And I guess we really showed those who hate our freedoms just how real our freedoms are. Some of them are still at Guantanamo without being tried or even charged.

    Sad to say, the present joke circulating is “What’s the difference between 9/11 and a cow? You can’t milk a cow for a whole ten years.” And there’s a kernel of truth there, unfortunately. Some of our less-than-scrupulous pols continue to use 9/11 as an opportunity to wave the bloody shirt, whipping up xenophobia in general and Islamophobia in particular for their perceived electoral benefit. That’s why I plan to avoid ALL of tomorrow’s festivities. I’ve had enough of that. I especially don’t want to have to listen to Giuliani on that subject any more.

    It’s also unfortunate that one of the odious principal architects of the misguided response to 9/11 is out hawking his book, just in time for the 10th anniversary. I haven’t heard that he has told anyone to “go fuck himself” recently.

    • gover

      +1. Graychin, thank you. There are days I think I’m alone in seeing how misguided our response to 9/11 was, and how damaging.

  • Watusie

    David Frum and the Republicans support the idea that every one of the persons shown in that photo should be unemployed or should have their pay reduced to the minimum wage with no benefits so that the Koch Brothers can have more tax cuts.

    • ottovbvs

      Wow yes. They’re public employees. The enemy.

    • paul_gs

      I was wondering how long I’d have to wait until those oh-so-scary Koch brothers were mentioned. Not long I see.

      • Watusie

        Look, dumbass, if you think there is a defense to be made for the plutocracy-serving policies of the Republican Party, then make them. Otherwise, spare us your Pee-Wee Herman imitation.

        • Chris Balsz

          Maybe you can explain why it is necessary for the government to set up an agency to help people, and then why it would be wonderful that the workers in this necessary agency could refuse to do work unless they’re paid more.

          The Constitution is set up to allow people to make money. I know that’s old-fashioned goobledegook to the Democratic Party, which is why there isn’t any plan to break 7% unemployment for another year.

        • Watusie

          Stop by your local police station or firehall today and inform them that you want them to do their jobs for the minimum wage with no benefits.

  • PracticalGirl

    I hate to be a wet blanket on this column, but I remember how “unity” was used as a weapon of mass distortion. You must remember, David, how the Bush administration encouraged expansion of the “if you’re not with us, you’re against us” mentality to make any American suspect of involvement in Iraq the “enemy”. Don’t you? I remember a short period of true unity followed by a long drought where anybody who questioned Bush’s military overreach was considered treasonous- a tactic instigated and propped up by so-called conservatives. This feeling invaded our political bodies and silenced any opposition, even by politicians who knew better but who knew (because their voters were loudly proclaiming it) that a vote for hesitiation, better investigation and simple reason would have been considered a vote for the terrorists and would have been the kiss of death for their career. On the heels of “unity”, 2.3 billion dollars of American taxpayer money was borrowed and hundreds of thousands of lives were lost. And so it goes.

    There is a beautiful tale, uniquely American, in the survival/triumph story of the people of NYC in the face of the devastating events of 9/11. I also think, however, that there is a dark side to the type of “unity” that gripped our people as a whole. How differently might Iraq had gone, had we as a country not been mesmerized by a flag-waving, emotional “unity” that caused us all to lose our collective will to act as a leading nation instead of a wounded child? Indeed- without this sort of “unity”, would the rise of the right wing extremists within your own party have been so rapid or so complete?

  • Oldskool

    The fact that no one has yet answered for the crimes committed by our “leaders” during the Shrub years is part of the reason we don’t feel all that good.

    We were ashamed of the things they did, the lies they told, the fear they cynically fed us and the people they got needlessly killed. And if that’s wasn’t enough, they’re still out here, in our faces, making excuses.

  • ottovbvs

    Bottom line. 9/11 was a monstrous crime not an act of war. Instead of responding appropriately Bush and the Republicans hi jacked it for political reasons and have done huge damage to our polity in the process. A small example. Despite all the rightwing blathering about the release of the Libyan El Megrahi guess what? It turns out that the CIA and the British MI 6 have been in league with Ghaddaffi’s intelligence organisation; sent people there to be tortured; and apparently greased the wheels at the very least for his release.

    • Smargalicious

      Thank God otto wasn’t President on 9-11. He would’ve thrown money at Al Qaida and begged them to stop killing us. :D

      This was probably the most moronic post you’ve ever dreamed up, otto. Keep ‘em coming.

  • anniemargret

    What great responses here. Very, very true. Like Houndtenor my family is from NYC. My cousin, a firefighter was in the first responders, and another cousin working on Wall St said she ran with hundreds of others towards the water, about to dive in to get away from the smoke and falling cinders and horror to be picked up by some tugboats.

    Mostly my parents, who grew up in the immigrant Italian neighborhoods where their parents ran a butcher shop and a other, a fruit and vegetable market. They called me from FL crying like babies. Manhattan was their home and it was on fire and people killed.

    Horrors on horrors watching with co-worker while people were throwing themselves out of 70th floor windows in desperation. I didn’t sleep for months after that.

    But many of you are correct in that the ‘patriotism’ that emanated for a short while was derailed by what happened afterward.

    Because I distinctly remember Neil Cavuto and Bill O’Reilly pointing fingers at the TV camera at their audiences (I actually watched Fox a bit back then) and warning you that if you even questioned for on iota of a second the wisdom of attacking Iraq, you were ‘anti-American’, or “unpatriotic.”

    That did it for me. I stopped watching Fox after that. Outrageous. I had already been convinced by what I read that the entire run-up to Iraq was a carefully created theatrical act put on by Cheney, Condi Rice and Rumsfeld, aided and abetted by GWB…

    “Mushroom clouds over Cleveland’ indeed. Lying through their teeth to drum up support for a war which was already planned a decade or more before. It was a shameful thing, but Americans were angry….we had to lash out at the perceived ‘enemy’ and GWB and Cheney said it was Iraq.

    Bad stuff happened after 9/11. First we have to admit what went wrong, and why. Second, accountability and responsibility. Third…right the wrongs.

    • paul_gs

      Oh please. The Left was still complaining how the 2000 election was “stolen” from then when the first planes hit so the Left just changed their rant to how the US “deserved” 911.

      And instead of remembering a few stupid words of Bill O’Reilly, I remember the thunderous applause the Left gave to movies like Michael Moore’s denigrating and untruthful ‘Farenheit 911′ packed with its litany of lies and vicious political posturing.

      Even tonight, our local television station is running a ‘documentary’ about how the collapse of WTC 7 was an ‘inside’ job by the GWB government.

      That’s how many of the Left to this day remember the horrific violence of 911.

      • anniemargret

        Paul, Paul….get a grip, will ya? There were some leftists blaming America for 9/11, but then again, the great libertarian Ron Paul also said something of the kind, no? But if you really fair, you would also say that the vast majority of Democrats, who are not ‘leftists’ but ordinary Americans will progressive ideas for this country, did not ‘blame” America.

        At the same time, we didn’t swallow hook, line, and sinker the whale of a tale put out by Messrs. Bush, Cheney, Rummy and Ms. Rice. If anyone was paying attention, they would have been joining us in calling out the immoral attack against Iraq, where thousands of innocents have died and billions spent.

      • gocart mozart

        Paul, do you always talk out of your ass. Why do you have difficulty processing reality? Oh, and fuck you also.

  • Smargalicious

    We’re doomed.

    The tipping point has been reached. More moochers than taxpayers. In ~30 years, more than half the country will be non-white.

    Best to arm yourselves and get ready.

    • rbottoms

      I don’t usually respond to this motherfucker, but here goes.

      Fuck you and the rest of the Southern racialist assholes who infect the GOP.

      You want the cause for the great dis-unity post 9/11, try looking in the mirror.

      • Oldskool

        lol.

        People like him had better make plans to move out of the country in the next -30 years. They seem to think they’re the only ones who have lots of guns.

      • gocart mozart

        When smarg starts his little revolution, lets all pray that the police/national guard have really good aim.

    • seattleperson

      Smarg -

      You are truly an odious person who adds nothing to any of these conversations. Even worse (for you), you reinforce the perception that many people have of today’s Republicans – that you are hateful and racist and can not think for yourselves but must parrot the right – wing talking points. Why don’t you grow up and stop posting trite hate messages on this forum.

    • Steve D

      If I need a gun that bad I will just come take yours.

      • baw1064

        Nah–let him keep it so he can shoot himself in the foot.

        • TerryF98

          Please don’t feed the idiot troll.

        • rbottoms

          You know sometimes you just have tell racists to stop posting on my site in unambiguous terms.

          White supremacists urging preparation for a race war, or say governors talking about seceding from the Union isn’t just shit talking to be ignored.

          This dickhead’s “trolling” is not one whit different than Governor Perry passing on a direct answer about his belief in the President of the United States’ patriotism. Perry’s trolling is designed wink at precisely people like the previously mentioned dickhead who are at least smart enough not to say nigger out loud or talk about race war on GOP forums.

          Maybe the GOP will figure that out someday.

        • Primrose

          Rbottoms, but he has been told, many,many times, gently, harshly, directly, impolitely, scatologically and still he persists. I don’t fault anyone for needing to lash out, but it doesn’t rid us of this obnoxious presence. I really think we silence is our only defense.

          If we all ignore strongly enough, perhaps he’ll get so frustrated he/she/it will say something banable. I’ve lost hope for actually leaving.

        • anniemargret

          As much as I hate to, I think it’s fine to ignore him/her. However, what is useful is that his/her heated, ugly rhetoric reminds us that there are many like him/her out there.

          I said on another thread that the conservatives have a deep strain of racism running through it. Does anyone doubt it? Smarg is just one of many who cannot find it within themselves to stop stereotyping minorities. It makes him/her feel superior.

          But with every ugly comment, he does only harm to him/herself – you cannot harbor that much resentment, hate and fear without tarnishing your own soul.

          And that is what counts in the end.

        • paul_gs

          No annie, cons do not have a deep strain of racism running through them. They never have. That is why it took the Democrats over a century to remove the tumor of racism from within their party. Remember, the Ku Klux Klan were never Republicans, they were always Democrats.

        • Demosthenes

          Okay Paul, I’ll bite: do you deny that Smarg is racist?

        • paul_gs

          Smarg probably is. The point I’m making though is that racism has never found a comfy home among conservatives.

        • rbottoms

          Smarg probably is. The point I’m making though is that racism has never found a comfy home among conservatives.

          The sad truth is Conservatives actually believe that bullshit. In their revised universe they marched with Dr King in Selma and sat at the lunch counters in Alabama.

          Well some of us uppity Negroes remember differently.

          [blockquote]A 1957 editorial written by Buckley, “Why the South Must Prevail” (National Review, 8/24/57), cited the “cultural superiority of white over Negro” in explaining why whites were “entitled to take such measures as are necessary to prevail, politically and culturally, in areas where [they do] not predominate numerically.” Appearing on NPR’s Fresh Air in 1989 (rebroadcast 2/28/08), he stood by the passage. “Well, I think that’s absolutely correct,” Buckley told host Terry Gross when she read it back to him.

          A 1960 National Review editorial supported South Africa’s white minority rule (4/23/60): “The whites are entitled, we believe, to preeminence in South Africa.” In a 1961 National Review column about colonialism—which the magazine once called “that brilliantly conceived structure” (William F. Buckley, John Judis)–Buckley explained that “black Africans” left alone “tend to revert to savagery.” The same year, in a speech to the group Young Americans for Freedom, Buckley called citizens of the Congo “semi-savages” (National Review, 9/9/61).

          National Review editors condemned the 1963 bombing of a black Birmingham Church that killed four children, but because it “set back the cause of the white people there so dramatically,” the editors wondered “whether in fact the explosion was the act of a provocateur—of a Communist, or of a crazed Negro” (Chicago Reader, 8/26/05).

          Just months before the 1965 Voting Rights Act was passed, Buckley warned in his syndicated column (2/18/65) that “chaos” and “mobocratic rule” might follow if “the entire Negro population in the South were suddenly given the vote.” In his 1969 column “On Negro Inferiority” (4/8/69), Buckley heralded as “massive” and “apparently authoritative” academic racist Arthur Jensen’s findings that blacks are less intelligent than whites and Asians.
          http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=3406
          [/blockquote]

          Yea, beacons of racial awareness you lot are.

          And your quote system still sucks.

        • Smargalicious

          Love it when the America haters cackle in unison.

          Bottomly, you prove my point exactly.

          The National Review was, as was many Southerners, unfortunately proven correct.

          Public schools were destroyed by anti-White racism and violence. Care to see the before and after stats?

          Our prisons are packed by a vast majority of the people you represent. Care to see the before and after stats?

          Our cities are packed with millions of fatherless welfare children whose births were subsidized by the taxpayers. Care to see the stats?

          Statistics never lie.

        • rbottoms

          Eat shit asshole.

        • paul_gs

          rbottoms, the real end of racism in the US involved the Democratic Party exorcising the tumor or racism which resided in their own party. It was a task that could only be truly accomplished by Democrats.

        • rbottoms

          Yeah, and? How’d the Southern Strategy work for you, you know where you welcomed those fleeing our party into yours.

          William F Buckley was slime. That he later “regretted” being on the wrong side of Civil Rights a little bit don’t count for jack shit.

          The “new” GOP loves MLK and that whole commie thing was just a big misunderstanding.

          We have despised your party since the Civil Rights era, we despise it now and given Rick Perry is your darling at the moment, we will despise your secession minded, Southern Racialist, Confederate Flag waving, religious fanatic party in the future.

        • Smargalicious

          “…In 1988, the Martin Luther King Jr. Papers Project made a discovery that shocked it to its core.

          The Project, a group of academics and students, had been entrusted by Coretta Scott King with the task of editing King’s papers for publication. As they examined King’s student essays and his dissertation, they gradually became aware that King was guilty of massive plagiarism – that is, he had copied the words of other authors word-for-word, without making it clear that what he was writing was not his own.

          The Project spent years uncovering the full extent of King’s plagiarism. In November 1990, word leaked to the press, and they had to go public. The revelations caused a minor scandal and then were promptly forgotten.

          Indeed, I had never heard of them until I read a student letter to the Daily Nebraskan three weeks ago. That letter sent me in search of the truth about Martin Luther King Jr.’s student career.

          Like most graduate students, King spent the first half of his doctoral work taking courses in his degree area, theology. His surviving papers from that period show that from the very beginning he was transcribing articles by eminent theologians, often word for word, and representing them as his own work.

          After completing his course work, graduate students usually write a dissertation or thesis, supposedly an independent and original contribution to scholarship. King’s thesis was anything but original. In fact, the sheer extent of his plagiarism is breathtaking.

          Page after page contains nothing but direct, verbatim transcriptions of the work of others. In 1990, the King Project estimated that less than half of some chapters was actually written by King himself. Since then, even more of his “borrowings” have been traced.

          Calculating the exact extent of his plagiarism will require a computer analysis, but having looked over Chapter III in detail, I estimate that at least three quarters of it was stolen from other authors.

          King stole from the subjects of his dissertation, the theologians Tillich and Wieman. He copied the writings of other theologians – passages from philosophy textbooks. But most unforgivably of all, thousands of words in paragraph-sized chunks, were taken from the thesis of a fellow student, Jack Boozer, an ex-army chaplain who returned to Boston University after the war to get his degree.

          We even know how he did it, for King was systematic in his plagiarism. He copied significant phrases, sentences or whole paragraphs from the books he was consulting onto a set of index cards. “Writing” a thesis was then a matter of arranging these cards into a meaningful order.

          Sometimes he linked the stolen parts together with an occasional phrase of his own, but as often as not he left the words completely unchanged. The index cards still survive, with their damning evidence intact…”

          http://setanta.unl.edu/mlk/dn_column.html

          Here’s your hero, bottomly.

          Now, add sexual predation and serial adulterer.

          Questions?

        • rbottoms

          I don’t need any lessons from you that there are still some white folks who are racist animals who will never change.

          You’re a minority, but not yet small enough.

          You’re in that 22% of the GOP that believes the Kenyan was born elsewhere.

          You’re in that 22% that talks about secession and taking back America from voters who choose differently.

          You’re in that 22% who think the blacks get it all and the white man is oppressed and Christians are just this side of being fed to lions in America.

          But we mostly don’t give a shit. We don’t think about you at all except for those rare times when you just can’t be avoided, or our vigilance requires you not be avoided. When we really have no choice but to wish strongly that you fuck off, eat shit, and embrace oblivion.

          But enough of you.

          Back in the ignore list.

  • Steve D

    This reminds me very much of the aftermath of the JFK assassination. What was destroyed was a general sense of optimism about the future (far more widespread and intense in 1963 than 2001). One of JFK’s aides said “We’ll never laugh again,” to which Arthur Schlesinger replied “We’ll laugh again. We’ll just never be young again.” With the national mood shattered, various groups tried to rebuild it with themselves at the center. And of course, both events spawned innumerable crank conspiracy theories.

    As for “rushing” into Iraq, we had forces in Afghanistan almost immediately after the attacks but took a year and a half to gear up invade Iraq. We know Iraq had chemical weapons during the Iran-Iraq War. What happened to them? You don’t just tell someone to take them out back and burn them with the trash. Where’s the documentation pertaining to their destruction? Why did Saddam persist in posturing as if he had them, even at the cost of his life? Why didn’t he simply let UN inspectors go anywhere they wanted? Why did he subject his people to a decade of hardship through sanctions if he was only playing charades?

    • rbottoms

      To bluff Iran, you’re still having to ask that question?

      A trillion dollars shoveled in a furnace, 4,000+ lives all for a great big nothing.

    • Oldskool

      Wasn’t that a horrible period. I think it still affects us today, boomers and their kids even though they may not realize it. One of my favorite memories as a kid is being hauled to the local airport in 1960 by my mom and grandma to see that young redheaded guy campaigning for president.

      Iraq was a total lie from the getgo. One of those inspectors, Scott Ritter, called it exactly right but no one listened. And everything we’ve learned since proves it was all a lie.

    • anniemargret

      They were talking about invading Iraq within DAYS after 9/11! Are you aware of the PNAC, put in place at least a decade before, and for which the neocons were lusting after Iraq to start a domino effect for a Pax Americana in the Middle East?

      The Bush administration diverted funds for Afghanistan for Iraq. All you need to know about those pesky WMDs is the joke GWB played in front of the cameras at a Press club black tie dinner looking under tables and chairs for the WMDs for which he sent many of our young men and women to their deaths.

    • Steve D

      Not one of you has answered my questions: Where is the documentation as to what happened to the WMD’s? First he has them, then he doesn’t. Even Saddam (ESPECIALLY Saddam) would want to make sure they didn’t get into the hands of people who could use them against him. Where did they go? Is that such a hard question to answer? I mean, you’re so sure Bush made it all up. You do have proof, right?

      As for bluffing Iran, well, that was like pulling a toy gun on a cop, wasn’t it?

      Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1990 and within days we were calling up Reserves. The invasion happened only six months later. Why did it take a year and a half to invade Iraq when public support for military action was much greater after 9-11?

      Maybe Saddam’s worst crime was giving credibility to idiots like Hans Blix.

      • Oldskool

        “…since 1998 Iraq has been fundamentally disarmed: 90-95% of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction capacity has been verifiably eliminated … We have to remember that this missing 5-10% doesn’t necessarily constitute a threat. ”

        - Sott Ritter, Republican, UN Weapons Inspector, voted for GWB in 2000.

      • TerryF98

        They found nothing because there was nothing to find. It was all a charade.

        Bush and Cheney lied us into a debacle. 100,000 died in Iraq. 6000 US soldiers died in Bush’s wars. tens of thousand maimed terribly. 3.9 Trillion Dollars wasted.

        Did you vote for him twice?

        • anniemargret

          They wanted the war. They trumped up the WMD, and why they didn’t want the inspectors to finish the job…ergo…the rush to war, just in case they really didn’t find any. Bush used the threat against Hussein before the inspectors finished the job.

          Hussein trumped up the WMDs. He was surrounded by Iran and Israel and he needed bravado. What is so unusual about this?

          The only thing unusual is that the American people and Congress were lusting for fighting after 9/11, being so demoralized and so angry by that event. If Bush had said we were going to attack Finland, we would have gotten behind him.

          Except for a minority of people – like myself who read everything I could get my hands on- I realized early that this entire scenario was a major coup for the neocons. They used the fear of 9/11 and their talking heads on right wing TV and radio to conflate Iraq/Hussein with the events of 9/11. Mushroom clouds added the icing to the cake.

          People were terrified of Iraq, as if Hussein even had the capability to fire missiles into Israel, never mind the USA.

          I will never forgive Bush and co for this immoral decision. Whatever their reasons were…..Pax Americana in the Middle East, protection of Israel, oil, whatever…what they did to this country was shameful.

      • SpartacusIsNotDead

        Steve D: “Not one of you has answered my questions . . . ”

        Have you tried the internets?

        http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=2847

        • Steve D

          Do you understand the difference between journalists’ opinions and actual documentation? Ritter claimed the WMD’s were “verifiably” eliminated. So where’s the documentation? Did he see paperwork? Was it copied and published anywhere? Did he talk to people who actually destroyed the weapons? How, specifically, did he know? He visited hundreds of sites? Would you like a list of hundreds of U.S. military sites where you will find no evidence of chemical or nuclear weapons? What about places Saddam refused to open to inspectors?

          This is absolutely no different from debating 9-11 conspiracy believers. Ask for actual evidence and you get rants.

        • Oldskool

          1) We didn’t find any when we got there. 2) Ritter said we wouldn’t find any because they had been destroyed.

          If those two bits of info aren’t enough, why not do your own research?

        • Chris Balsz

          They weren’t verifiably eliminated. It appears that field commanders in 1991 jettisoned their WMD and never accounted for it.

          This is largely irrelevant, because Saddam got an armistice in part by promising to make a full accounting, and we know he didn’t make as serious an effort between 1991-2002 as we did after the 2003 invasion. As these facts are not useful to the Democrat party, they will be rejected for the myth that George W. Bush was a sinister genius who stirred up so much false American patriotism that the UN Security Council unanimously voted Saddam was noncompliant with the armistice resolutions.

        • Oldskool

          Nobody has any respect for people who screw up as badly as you boys and then spend the rest your lives making excuses for it.

      • rbottoms

        As for bluffing Iran, well, that was like pulling a toy gun on a cop, wasn’t it?

        No, it’s like pulling a toy gun on a bank teller.

        The guard may or may not pop you, probably won’t unless he has Daddy issues about how big his ball sack is compared to his old man’s.

  • Ridge

    I well remember the Bush rallying cry for America.

    “Go Shopping!”

    Truthfully, nothing more could be asked of America, because as if it was, then the tax cuts would be called into question. Never forget, tax cuts were the sole reason Bush was put in office and nothing could be done to endanger them. Not surprise attacks, not war, not inadequate military resources, not natural disaster. Nothing.

    Why Iraq after 9/11? Powell said in March of that year that Saddam was contained and a threat to no one; then 6 months later, he was Hitler personified and an immediate danger to the US. I personally think it was a joint Israeli/Iranian intelligence operation (as Iran Contra) using the agent of influence Chalabi in conjunction with the “in the Israeli lobby pocket” Neocons. After all, they were the only ones to come out ahead on the deal.

  • paul_gs

    It sure is a massive pity party going on in this thread today. ‘Me! Me! Me!’ the progressives all cry. ‘It’s all about me!’

    And the 300o who died?

    • anniemargret

      er….we are talking about the 3,000 that died, Paul. We are also talking about the aftermath of the terror, and its stranglehold on our psyches…. or should we pretend the last ten years haven’t happened?

      • rbottoms

        I believe the world got over WWII, several dozen millions died.

        Tragedy for sure, but it’s been 10 years. We stomped our enemies, killed Bin Laden.

        Move on.

    • greg_barton

      How about the 300 million who lived?

      • paul_gs

        anniemargaret things 9/11 is all about her but for the 300 million who lived I believe they should give over the next several days to remembering the victims.

    • rbottoms

      Tragic.

      If you were actually there in the Towers, watching the Towers, had family who perished there or were injured, fought the flames, dug out the debris, something other than watched it on TV you are allowed to still be on about it 24/7, a decade later.

      Everyone else, take a breath and move forward.

  • ntableman

    Nearly everyday I think about how Americans like myself who questioned Bush/Cheney and knew we would end up just like we were after Vietnam in the early/mid 70′s were called traitors and forced into silence by a majority that refused to see the facts. Then only to see the truth come out and nothing happen to punish these people that hijacked my nation into thinking it was one to invade multiple sovereign nations, subvert the laws that founded this county, and pretend it all doesn’t matter in their memoirs. I am so ashamed that more of my fellow Americans didn’t stand up for the ethical and immoral imperative and chose to go off to fight illegal, unethical and moral wars as opposed to conscientious objection. I believe we have lost our moral compass in this nation and no longer are able to claim the cloak of moral superiority. I am so deeply disappointed in my nation.

    I mourn the people who died on 9/11 but I also mourn the lost moral compass in America AND the hundreds of thousands that we killed for no reason.

  • rubbernecker

    Maybe if the Republican party wasn’t hellbent on turning the US into a banana republic “we” might be consoled.

    It’s as if the foreign policy disasters inspired by the neoconservative obsession with national might had never happened. It’s as if the economic disasters unleashed by free-market ideologues and rogue financiers (you know, the “rock stars”) had never happened. It’s as if the events that plunged the US into near-depression were mysterious, something people still argue about, to be sure, but something we could transcend if only we were more…patriotic.

    Come on.

  • 9/11 Plus 10: The Country We Lost | FrumForum | Remember 911

    [...] 9/11 Plus 10: The Country We Lost | FrumForum Categories: Uncategorized Tags: cnn, column, discuss-how, national-dedication, pessimism, [...]

  • Russnet

    Kak, cough, one year in the Bush Administration? Mr. Axis of evil? That was a stupid thing to insert, dude. I don’t care much for a Canadian clinician’s point of view about America post 9/11, though I thank them for sending their navy. And I love Rush. You have no idea what was lost, if anything.

  • rockstar

    Somebody please buy me a coke when the 9-11 drama is over.

    9/11 doesn’t have a stranglehold on OUR psyche. It has a stranglehold on the psyche of the red diaper babies and their kids and grandkids. I was looking for a job on 9-11 and I’m looking for a job now. Welcome to my world, the one where change is a euphemism for getting screwed by the new left in all of its various manifestations.

  • ottovbvs

    I saw a joke the other day that went something like this. What’s the difference between 9/11 and a cow? You can’t milk a cow for ten years. It’s time for the media (including bloggers like Frum) and every two bit politician seeking to capitalize on the issue to leave the milking parlor.

  • gover

    Shorter Frum: 9/11 happened. Now we’re all unhappy. I don’t know why.

    Why don’t you speculate a little, David? Think that many of the reasons might have GWB’s fingerprints all over them them? And other Republicans’? Any of this sound familiar: unfunded tax cuts, unfunded mismanaged wars, vanishing WMD’s, Tora Bora, unfunded Medicare Part D, out sourcing, recession, unemployment, financial system collapse?

  • jjack

    I remember those days after 9/11 when we were all inspired to do more shopping, to not sacrifice anything because deficits don’t matter, and to provide giant, empire-crushing tax cuts to millionaires.

    David just misses the intense flag-waving nationalism and fear that he/Bush were able to “tap into” to fight ever more wars.

    Btw, David, have we ended evil yet? If not, which 8 other countries should we be firebombing with robots? Evil seems harder to kill than carpenter ants.

  • Chris Balsz

    “Nobody has any respect for people who screw up as badly as you boys and then spend the rest your lives making excuses for it.”

    Again, “us boys” must include President Clinton, and the US Congress that passed the Iraqi Liberation Act, and the 15 members of the Security Council who voted unanimously that Saddam Hussein had not complied with the post-war resolutions to hand over WMD. When you say “of course Saddam didn’t have WMD” maybe you can explain why “us boys”repeatedly went on record otherwise? Did Bush dupe 15 other countries, including Morocco, with post-9/11 phony patriotism? Did Bush con Congress and Bill Clinton in 1998? Excuses? Calling out your warped partisan agenda isn’t offering excuses.

    http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-105publ235/pdf/PLAW-105publ235.pdf

    http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=105_cong_public_laws&docid=f:publ338.105.pdf

    http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N02/682/26/PDF/N0268226.pdf?OpenElement

    • Watusie

      Simple question: how many American servicemen died or were maimed due to the Iraqi Liberation Act? How much did it add to to the national debt?

      • Chris Balsz

        “Bush and Cheney lied about WMD and the country only believed it because of 9/11″ is historically false, and it is demonstrably false. And that fact has nothing to do with Operation Iraqi Freedom, or your opinion of it, or your opinion of the Bush Administration.

        When you go out and say “I hate Bush because of a historical untruth” then you’re going to get called, and repeating that you don’t like Bush is no answer at all.

        • Watusie

          WTF are you talking about? I did not say a word about Bush or Cheney. I just asked you two questions:
          1) How many American servicemen died or were maimed due to the Iraqi Liberation Act?
          2) How much did it add to to the national debt?

          So answer them.

        • ottovbvs

          “So answer them.”

          You’re not holding your breath are you Watusie?

        • Chris Balsz

          If you have nothing to say about the topic of my post, then I guess you didn’t really mean to click that Reply button.

          If there wasn’t a consensus in Washington since 1998 that Saddam was concealing some WMD, I don’t think Bush would have got his AUMF so rapidly. So I’ll go ahead and say the entire costs of the Iraq war to enforce the armistice terms and fulfill the regime-change goal are “due to” the Iraq Liberation Act.

          I don’t recall the Congress that passed that Act, or Bill Clinton, come out before the 2003 invasion and say, “We declared Saddam is hiding WMD, but we never meant to do anything about it.” Let me know if I just wasn’t paying attention.

        • Watusie

          So, your argument boils down to: Clinton thought that Saddam was harboring some WMD, and therefore Bush was justified in spilling the the enormous amount of blood and treasure that he did in order to find out that they didn’t exist. And, in the course of doing so, made it possible for the man behind 9/11 to go unpunished for more than 9 years.

          Here’s a more logical presentation: Clinton thought that Saddam was harboring some WMD, but was smart enough to know that there was a mismatch between our national interest and the cost of going in to take them out. Bush was too stupid to see that.

  • Chris Balsz

    “So, your argument boils down to: Clinton thought that Saddam was harboring some WMD, and therefore Bush was justified in spilling the the enormous amount of blood and treasure that he did in order to find out that they didn’t exist. And, in the course of doing so, made it possible for the man behind 9/11 to go unpunished for more than 9 years.”

    My argument is, the conspiracy is fake. As for “blood and treasure”, Bush got the country behind him, he took volunteers, he moved for a purpose and achieved it. Can you explain why we’re losing “blood and treasure” in Afghanistan in the third year of the Obama Administration? As for getting bin Laden, in your opinion how many units were sent to Iraq instead of fighting in Pakistan?

    “Here’s a more logical presentation: Clinton thought that Saddam was harboring some WMD, but was smart enough to know that there was a mismatch between our national interest and the cost of going in to take them out. Bush was too stupid to see that.”

    That may be more “logical” but it isn’t what happened. Clinton is alive, and he didn’t say that before we invaded Iraq in 2003.

    • ottovbvs

      “Clinton is alive, and he didn’t say that before we invaded Iraq in 2003.”

      Former presidents generally avoid pontificating on their successors foreign policy choices. Now according to you Bush invaded Iraq because Clinton never told him he shouldn’t? You get more screwy by the day. And incidentally on a cost/benefit basis Clinton’s containment of Hussein was costing about $4-5 billion a year and no US casualties. No wonder you don’t want to answer Watusie’s very simple questions about what Bush’s Iraq debacle has cost in blood and treasure. That would require you to face realities and give an honest accounting. You’re obviously much more comfortable with the alternative.

      • Chris Balsz

        “Former presidents generally avoid pontificating on their successors foreign policy choices. Now according to you Bush invaded Iraq because Clinton never told him he shouldn’t?”

        No. According to me, you can’t say “Clinton knew better than to invade Iraq at all” because Clinton didn’t say that. It’s too bad for your partisan needs that there was consensus on these points.

        “And incidentally on a cost/benefit basis Clinton’s containment of Hussein was costing about $4-5 billion a year and no US casualties.”

        He wasn’t containing Saddam, and didn’t pretend he had.

        “No wonder you don’t want to answer Watusie’s very simple questions about what Bush’s Iraq debacle has cost in blood and treasure.”

        Spare me, you hack. When Obama announced the big “we’re fighting to quit” plan for Afghanistan a few months back, you dug in your heels and said it was just too bad for all those troops Bush put in harm’s way, but we can’t win and we can’t stop. Since then, hundreds of casualties and deaths, and for what? But that’s not “blood and treasure” you can use against Republicans, so, you don’t care.

    • Watusie

      Can you explain why we’re losing “blood and treasure” in Afghanistan in the third year of the Obama Administration?

      Yes. Because that is the pestilent swamp that allowed al-Qaeda to thrive, and because Bush’s Folly in Iraq made it that much harder, longer and expensive to drain it.

      “Bush got the country behind him” – by lying.

      “he took volunteers” – as well as hundreds of thousands of National Guardsmen who signed up to defend their communities and who ended up doing multiple tours in a pointless hellhole that had nothing to do with our national interests, much less their locality.

      “he moved for a purpose and achieved it”. What “purpose” did he “achieve”? Other than playing out his daddy issues and enriching Halliburton and Blackwater.

      “you can’t say “Clinton knew better than to invade Iraq at all” because Clinton didn’t say that.”

      I have better proof than Clinton’s words. I have Clinton’s actions. Clinton did not invade Iraq. Story. End. Of.

      • Chris Balsz

        “Yes. Because that is the pestilent swamp that allowed al-Qaeda to thrive, and because Bush’s Folly in Iraq made it that much harder, longer and expensive to drain it.” –But we’re not going to stay to do that, says this President. So why bother?

        “Bush got the country behind him” – by lying.” Nope.

        ““he took volunteers” – as well as hundreds of thousands of National Guardsmen who signed up to defend their communities and who ended up doing multiple tours in a pointless hellhole that had nothing to do with our national interests, much less their locality.”

        There may be some National Guardsmen who didn’t know they were enlisting with a branch of the federal military, and could be called up for overseas service, as happened in 1991, but I would not put the number at “hundreds of thousands”. Further anybody who did want out got a BCD, not a firing squad.

        “he moved for a purpose and achieved it”. What “purpose” did he “achieve”? Other than playing out his daddy issues and enriching Halliburton and Blackwater. ”
        Saddam out and democracy in Iraq.

        “you can’t say “Clinton knew better than to invade Iraq at all” because Clinton didn’t say that.”
        I have better proof than Clinton’s words. I have Clinton’s actions. Clinton did not invade Iraq. Story. End. Of.”

        Apparently you have his thoughts too.

        • Watusie

          “There may be some National Guardsmen who didn’t know they were enlisting with a branch of the federal military, and could be called up for overseas service, as happened in 1991, but I would not put the number at “hundreds of thousands”.”

          Please stop talking about things you know nothing about. Over a quarter of a million Guardsmen who signed up for one weekend a month, two weeks a year ended up spending a year or more in Iraq.

          As for Afghanistan – we can’t kill OBL as second time, and GWB blew up the federal budget, so year, it is time to leave.

        • Chris Balsz

          “Please stop talking about things you know nothing about. Over a quarter of a million Guardsmen who signed up for one weekend a month, two weeks a year ended up spending a year or more in Iraq.”

          They enlisted in the Army National Guard or the Air Force National Guard. The Guard went to Saudi Arabia in 1990 and fought in Kuwait and Iraq in 1991. Bush’s Texas Air National Guard service, and the deployment of the Guard to Vietnam, was brought up during the 2000 election. Who are you kidding?

          Oh and here’s Mr. Clinton on the wisdom of not invading Iraq in 2003:

          Clinton also said Tuesday night that at the end of his term, there was “a substantial amount of biological and chemical material unaccounted for ” in Iraq.

          “So I thought it was prudent for the president to go to the U.N. and for the U.N. to say, ‘You got to let these inspectors in, and this time if you don’t cooperate the penalty could be regime change, not just continued sanctions.’”

          Clinton told King: “People can quarrel with whether we should have more troops in Afghanistan or internationalize Iraq or whatever, but it is incontestable that on the day I left office, there were unaccounted for stocks of biological and chemical weapons.”

          http://www.cnn.com/2003/ALLPOLITICS/07/23/clinton.iraq.sotu/

        • Watusie

          Balsz, the National Guard is not a plaything for the President to use to work out his daddy issues or secure his reelection. All the proof you need of the fact that Bush broke our covenant with our armed forces is the deplorable condition of the current troops and the inability to recruit decent fresh intake.

          As for Clinton – seriously, what kind of head case are you? Clinton understood you don’t start a ground war in Asia. Bush was too stupid to grasp this very simple concept.

          If you think GWB is magnificent for ousting Saddam and establishing “democracy” in Iraq, then lets hear your words of praise for Obama ousting Quaddafi – who, unlike Saddam, was known to have murdered Americans – without the loss of a single American life and with a total expenditure less than one day of fighting in Iraq.