Dark Bilious Vapors

But how could I deny that I possess these hands and this body, and withal escape being classed with persons in a state of insanity, whose brains are so disordered and clouded by dark bilious vapors....
--Rene Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy: Meditation I

Home » Archives » July 2004 » Juan Cole spells out...

[« A Tale of Two Pities....] [Interesting rationale.... »]

07/22/2004: Juan Cole spells out...

better than anyone in the whole SCLM will, why Dubya bears the lion's share of responsibility for the 9/11 debacle:

The September 11 Panel will issue its findings on Thursday. It notes 10 points at which the US made key mistakes that might have stopped Bin Laden's plot. Four of these were under Clinton and 6 under Bush.

Bush came out today and said that if he had known what was coming, he would have expended every effort to stop it, and that so would have Clinton. This statement is, despite its facade of fair-mindedness, so many weasel words. Of course Bush would have tried to stop 9/11 if he had known it was coming.

The question is, "Should he have known it was coming?"

The answer is, "Yes!"

We now know that Bush and his administration came into office obsessed with Iraq. Cheney was looking at maps of Iraq oil fields and muttering about opportunities for US companies there, already in January or February of 2001. Wolfowitz contradicted counter-terrorism czar Richard Clarke when the latter spoke of the al-Qaeda threat, insisting that the preeminent threat of terrorism against the US came from Iraq, and indicating he accepted Laurie Mylroie's crackpot conspiracy theory that Saddam was behind the 1993 World Trade Towers bombing. If you believe crackpot theories instead of focusing on the reality--that was an al-Qaeda operation mainly carried out by al-Gamaa al-Islamiyyah, an Egyptian terrorist component allied with Bin Laden-- then you will concentrate on the wrong threat.

Even after the attacks on September 11, Bush was obsessing about Iraq. Wolfowitz lied to him and said that there was a 10 to 50% chance that Iraq was behind them. (On what evidence? The hijackers were obviously al-Qaeda, and no operational links between al-Qaeda and Iraq had ever been found). Rumsfeld initially rejected an attack on al-Qaeda bases in Afghanistan, saying there were "no good targets" in Afghanistan. (What about 40 al-Qaeda bases that had trained the 9/11 hijackers and other terrorists gunning for the United States??) The Pentagon did not even have a plan for dealing with Afghanistan or al-Qaeda that it could pull off the shelf, according to Bob Woodward.

Bush did not have his eye on the ball. Neither did Cheney, Rumsfeld, or Wolfowitz. They were playing Captain Ahab to Saddam's great white whale.
Once more I'm reminded of Santayana:
A fanatic is one who, upon losing sight of his goals, redoubles his efforts.
--George Santayana

Len on 07.22.04 @ 12:15 PM CST

New Comment

July 2004

Archives of Blogger site

Powered by gm-rss

Len's sidebar:
About Len (The uncondensed version)
Memorial to a dear friend
Frederick W. Benteen
The Web of Leonards
The St. Louis Cardinals
The Memphis Redbirds
The St. Louis Browns
The Birdwatch
Hey! Spring of Trivia Blog
BlogMemphis (The Commercial Appeal's listing of Memphis blogs)
The Guide to Life, the Universe, and Everything

Len's extended blogroll:

Brock's Sidebar:
About Brock
Boing Boing
Crooked Timber
Dispatches from the Culture Wars
Heretical Ideas
John and Belle Have a Blog
Jon Rowe
Letters of Marque
Literal Minded
Marginal Revolution
Matthew Yglesias
Oliver Willis
Political Animal
Positive Liberty
Signifying Nothing
Unqualified Offerings

Karen's Sidebar
About Karen
The Ig-Nobel Prizes
The Annals of Improbable Research
The Darwin Awards
EBaums World
Real Clear Politics
U.S. News Wire
Foreign Affairs
The Capitol Steps
Legal Affairs
Nobel Laureates for Change
Program On International Policy
Law of War
Sunday Times
Media Matters
Is That Legal?
Andrew Sullivan
Literal Minded
Jon Rowe
Freespace Blog
Thought Not
Publius Pundit
Blog Maverick
Rosenberg Blog
Crooked Timber

The Rocky Top Brigade:

Rocky Top Brigade Sampler

A New Memphis Mafia

The liberal alternative to Drudge.

Get Firefox!

Cardinals Countdowns:
Days until pitchers and catchers report:
Your browser doesn't support Java applets.

Days until first Grapefruit League game (3/3/05; @ NYM):
Your browser doesn't support Java applets.

Days until Opening Day (4/5/05; @ HOU):
Your browser doesn't support Java applets.

Days until Home Opener (4/8/05; vs. PHI):
Your browser doesn't support Java applets.

How many visitors are here:

Blogrings/Blog indexes/Blog search:
« ? Verbosity # »

Listed on Blogwise
Popdex Citations
Blog Search Engine

Greymatter Forums
template by linear