Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I Remember Six Years Ago

Like everyone I vividly remember the day. I remember how clear and bright it was. I remember what my plans were and how I kicked people off the one semi-functional television in the office to watch a tape in anticipation of a trial prep meeting. I remember that the secretary who first told us that planes had hit the towers also told us that the towers had fallen. Somewhere around that point we collectively realized this had gone from a very bad day to a singularly, historically awful day.

I also remember the aftermath. I remember how the world sold out of American flags. I remember the near-unanimity over taking down al Queda in Afghanistan. The conservative revisionism currently in vogue has it that liberals didn't support the president, which is bilge. Bush was given ample room to operate -- he delayed going into Afghanistan for weeks to get forces in order with nary a peep from his critics. I don't for a moment believe Fox News would have given similar consideration to President Gore.

Point is, the country came together in a way it hadn't in my lifetime. No one leveled the obvious criticisms of Bush -- for reading about his pet goat, about flying around the country for fear of about this happening on his watch for criminy sake. This wasn't the time for that.

Of course we had to eat a lot as a result. And as attention turned to a possible war with Iraq, a lot of us felt the trap closing in around. By that point

Bush's great failure was failing to lead. Rather than understand what the country needed and rally people together to achieve it, he and his circle sought only to cravenly exploit the incident for political opportunity. He drug us into a war of choice based on information at best incomplete. The net result is more terrorists more pissed off than ever before.

That will be his legacy. The nearly three thousand who lost their lives that day deserve better than to be tied to it.