The conventional wisdom in Washington, D.C. these days is that The Moron George W. Busch’s biggest mistake was that he failed to ask Americans to sacrifice after September 11, 2001. The notion being that if we had sacrificed we would have a lot less debt. We know it’s conventional wisdom because David Broder said it, and there is no more significant arbitrator of conventional wisdom Beltway style than David Broder. Like most conventional Beltway wisdom, it’s only about a third right.
Busch’s biggest mistake was to ascribe no credibility to his predecessor. Busch and his minions seem to have actually believed their political rhetoric. Nothing Cliinton did… not the progress made toward a Palestineian settlement, not the setting of a stage for a treaty with North Korea… not highly reliable intelligence on international terrorism… nothing was believed if it came from Bill Clinton. Thus, Busch refused to pay attention to an intelligence report on a plan by Al Queda to hijack airplanes and drive them into the World Trade Center. That was mistake NUMBER ONE and Busch can never escape it, no matter how much he insists that he kept us safe.
Mistake number two was to squander the good will the USA accrued as a result of that assault… nay piss it away like a keg of fine English Pale Ale at a frat party. One thing Broder is right about is that Americans were fully prepared to sacrifice, to do something positive… to strike back. Most Americans still support (perhaps not wisely) our current adventure in Afghanistan. We know that the Talban backed Ben Laden and we want them to pay.
Busch could have become a great leader. He could have helped us understand, from the fact that 15 of 19 hijackers were Saudi, that Saudi Arabia is the only Wahabi Kingdom in the Middle East, and Al Quida is a Wahabi operation. That the Wahabi operate anti-American schools across the Mideast, paid for with American oil dollars. We could have used that information to encourage Americans to get off of oil. We could have levied a substantial tax on gasoline, using the proceeds to invest in alternative fuel development, energy efficiency and independence.
Busch missed a great opportunity to end our dependence on oil, to attack global warming, to restructure the American economy. Had he taken it, I would here today be praising his eight years in office, swearing that he had met the test of crisis and passed, leaving a greater, stronger and more viable America. I am truly sorry that Moron missed the boat.