My Thoughts On 9/11 And Iraq

January 21, 2007

I’d just like to get something out of the way as one of my first posts on this blog, and just state a few things for the record.  Before I go into more depth, however, I’ll state for everyone that I am not a ‘truther’, and do not subscribe to any MIHOP 9/11 theories (after exhaustive debates and analysis on other sites).  I see no problem with further investigation into the tragedy, but I think that planes really did hit the WTC and caused them to collapse.  Any evidence of Bush or Cheney’s involvement is purely circumstantial, and barring some deathbed confession, inconclusive.  I really don’t participate in this debate anymore, frankly.

I’ll say, honestly, that my first reaction to 9/11 echoed the 9/12/01 headline of the San Fransisco Examiner:



I was overcome by a sudden feeling of patriotism and sorrow for the victims families. Like most Americans, I was glued to the 24 hour news channels for more information. I’d say that I even liked Bush’s ‘bullhorn’ speech.

“They got us”, I remember thinking.   “They”, I assumed, were the same crowd of fanatics that tried to take down the WTC in ’93, and the same type of suicidal Arab terrorists portrayed in subsequent movies like The Siege, Executive Decision and even True Lies.   With all the Hollywood hype, it’s hard to imagine anyone who would have been completely unaware that there were some radicals out there in plotting attacks against us.  We’ve been struggling with terrorism in general for decades, and bin Laden specifically since the first WTC attack.  I always assumed there were real-life secret agents and 007 types that were working around-the-clock trying to prevent this kind of thing, along with teams of specialists dreaming up plausible scenarios and methods of prevention and detection. 

How do you stop 19 determined men who are armed only with knives and flying lessons? One, lock the cockpit door. Two, improve airport security.  Three, improve your ability to ‘connect the dots’.  Four, attack country that had nothing to do with it.

I supported (and continue to support) the invasion into Afghanistan, as I felt it was an appropriate response.  If bin Laden did it, and he’s in Afghanistan, we’re going to Afghanistan.  Seems logical.  I felt that Bush was doing what I would have done, and had no problem with the way he was conducting our foreign policy with regards to combating the threat. 

That view lasted about a year. 

On the surface, the thought of invading Iraq seemed reckless and an overreaction to the attack.  As bad as Saddam was, there was still plenty to do in Afghanistan.  Bin Laden was still out there.  I was more worried when it became clear that the White House was beating the drum for war in Iraq with an intensity that was escalating.

As an example, this is from the White House website, Bush’s comments about Saddam Hussein: (Campaign speeches only. For period of October 10 – November 04, 2002.):

  1. OCT 28 Remarks by the President at New Mexico Welcome
    “This is a person who has had contacts with al Qaeda.”
  2. OCT 28 Remarks by the President in Colorado Welcome
    “He’s got connections with al Qaeda.”
  3. OCT 31 Remarks by the President at South Dakota Welcome
    “This is a guy who has had connections with these shadowy terrorist networks.”
  4. NOV 01 Remarks by the President at New Hampshire Welcome
    “We know he’s got ties with al Qaeda.”
  5. NOV 02 Remarks by the President in Florida Welcome
    “We know that he’s had connections with al Qaeda.”
  6. NOV 02 Remarks by the President in Atlanta, Georgia Welcome
    “He’s had connections with shadowy terrorist networks like al Qaeda.”
  7. NOV 02 Remarks by the President at Tennessee Welcome
    “We know that he has had contacts with terrorist networks like al Qaeda.”
  8. NOV 03 Remarks by the President in Minnesota Welcome
    “This is a man who has had contacts with al Qaeda.”
  9. NOV 04 Remarks by the President at Missouri Welcome
    “This is a man who has had al Qaeda connections.”
  10. NOV 04 Remarks by the President at Arkansas Welcome
    “He’s had contacts with al Qaeda.”
  11. NOV 04 Remarks by the President in Texas Welcome
    “This is a man who has got connections with al Qaeda.”


Plus this speculation:

  • OCT 14 Remarks by the President in Michigan Welcome
    “… we need to think about Saddam Hussein using al Qaeda to do his dirty work, to not leave fingerprints behind.”
  • NOV 03 Remarks by the President in South Dakota Welcome
    “And, not only that, he is — would like nothing better than to hook-up with one of these shadowy terrorist networks like al Qaeda, provide some weapons and training to them, let them come and do his dirty work, and we wouldn’t be able to see his fingerprints on his action. “
  • NOV 03 Remarks by the President at Illinois Welcome
    “He is a man who would likely — he is a man who would likely team up with al Qaeda. He could provide the arsenal for one of these shadowy terrorist networks. He would love to use somebody else to attack us, and not leave fingerprints behind”.


Let me tell you something, I’m in sales. What Bush was doing in the fall of 2002 with these speeches was selling something. He was selling a war.  My skepticism of this endeavor reached it’s pinnacle when I watched Colin Powell’s address to the UN on Iraq, about the time he got to this slide:


I began to shake my head.  This is what we’ve got on Saddam?  An artist’s rendition?  I don’t know about you, but when I think of artist’s renditions, I think of dinosaurs and the surface of Pluto.  In other words, it’s a guess.  One would hope that an action that’s going to effect the lives of millions and cost billions of dollars  would be based on something a little more, well….. real.  At this point, I was officially against the invasion of Iraq.  I began to doubt seriously Bush’s sincerity in presenting this as a necessity to protect America.

So where are we now?

Over the last 4 years, I’ve discovered so many disturbing things about the Iraq war that it’s hard to know where the rant should begin.  Perhaps, instead of tracking down link after link, I should just summarize what I believe:

…..I could go on. Whatever their reasons, it’s pretty clear that they wanted the war. So much so, they were willing to exploit 9/11 and use fear to support their policies.  War should always be justified, then decided (as opposed to vise versa). What should we do now? 

Impeach Cheney first. 

more later….







One comment

  1. […] Colin Powell made before the UN in the run-up to the Iraq war (a case, incidentally, that I was very sceptical of when I saw it).   The following video will, in the very least, make you shake your head and […]

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