Thursday, July 07, 2005

Today's Attacks in London

Reflections from Kim on the London rush-hour bombings:

While drinking my first cup of coffee, turning on the morning television news, and browsing through the newspaper scanning the stories about a future Supreme Court nominee or the latest on the Matt Cooper/Judith Miller saga, I was shocked to learn of the terrorist attacks in London. All the horror and fear that I felt on September 11, 2001, came flooding back. How could this be happening again?

As I began to digest the news of this tragedy, another emotion slowly came over me: anger. I don’t know if this latest terrorist attack was preventable, but I do know that there could have, indeed should have, been more of an effort to capture and bring to justice the mastermind of both the attacks of September 11, 2001, and July 7, 2005.

After the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, this country along with most of the rest of the world united in a joint effort to find Osama bin Laden and his terrorist outfit, al qaeda. The invasion of Afghanistan (his verified base of operations) was supported not only by the majority of Americans (democrats and republicans alike), but most of the world. Our allies rushed to our side, providing troops and resources to find this horrible man and his band of killers. This was, after all, not only in America’s best interest, but the rest of the world’s best interest as well. And with all this power, those who perpetrated that horrific and despicable act of 9/11 would no doubt be captured and the retributions would be severe.

And then things changed. I remember watching with increasing alarm as Pres. Bush began linking 9/11 with Iraq. Osama bin Laden morphed into Saddam Hussein. Suddenly, the threat was no longer al qaeda; it was Hussein and Company. THEY were the enemy; THEY were the threat; THEY needed to be stopped. And this nation was buying it.

Accordingly, the effort in Afghanistan waned. Our resources, our military might, our money was funneled into overturning Saddam Hussein. To my amazement, many of my fellow citizens supported this effort. They seemed to forget that Iraq had neither threatened nor attacked the United States! They seemed to forget that Saddam Hussein had been contained for years! What was going on here? The man responsible for 9/11 had been relegated to the back burner!

But off to war we went, sending our men and women off to fight for reasons that were dubious at best, and as more and more information is uncovered, more than likely completely false. The right and the left will be arguing this forever, in my opinion, but as this partisan bickering continues, our brave soldiers are dying daily in Iraq. And the effort in Afghanistan and the search for an actual enemy, Osama bin Laden? Well, Bush doesn’t think about him too much anymore. He said so in the 2004 presidential campaign.

And now here we are, July 7, 2005. London, our friend, our ally, our supporter, has been attacked by the same terrorist group that attacked us on 9/11. And what does our president have to say? “The war on terror goes on.” Yep, it sure does, Mr. President. And because of your obsession with Saddam Hussein and your misguided invasion of Iraq, apparently the real war on terror will continue to go on. I know that hindsight is 20/20, but I have to wonder if you had continued to fight the legitimate war on terror by continuing in full force the effort in Afghanistan and the hunt for Osama bin Laden, if this tragedy in London could have been prevented. I guess we’ll never know.

I also have learned that it’s politically incorrect to inject partisan views at a time like this. But after being accused of being unpatriotic and un-American when I protested the impending invasion of Iraq in 2003, I’m not going to remain silent. The blame for this attack apparently lies with al qaeda. But I can’t help thinking that there is a bit more blame to go around. Frankly, Mr. President, I think when you wipe the oil off your hands that you’ve obtained in Iraq, you’re going to find some blood on them too. You should be ashamed.

My deepest sympathies and condolences go to our friends in London. And I’d also like to extend my heartfelt apology to those same people for the misguided actions of my government that may have in some way led to this horrific tragedy.


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