Why Bush is to Blame for September 11th  

   When the first plane slammed into the World Trade Center, Bush was reading "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" to young schoolchildren. This was during a weekday business hour when the rest of us were already hard at work. Instead, Bush was having fun, engaging in a symbolic duty better suited to a First Lady. More Queen Elizabeth than Tony Blair. More E! than CSPAN. 
   When the FBI was tipped off in August by an alert flight school that Moussaoui was trying to learn how to fly jumbo jets without wanting to learn how to land them, Bush was on his month-long vacation in Texas. No one gets a month off after only 6 months on the job, except if you're Bush, the executive in chief, who orders his own vacation. He rapidly tried to quell the public disapproval by calling it, oxymoronically, a "working vacation". He cleared brush and banged nails for a charitable housing cause, but those activities only took 15 minutes a day. While his entourage could replicate some of the access to information he could have had in Washington, it had to be a poor substitute. 
   When foreign intelligence was warning that the next terrorist attack on the US would involve planes flying into big buildings, the federal government was advising airport security to loosen standards, to make travel more convenient for passengers. When the federal government learned that bin Laden recalled his operatives, advising them to leave the US no later than September 9th, the President did nothing. Just as in the National Guard, Bush has, time and again, deserted his post. 
   The Gore report warning of airliners and terrorism was forgotten in a file Bush never opened. Bush's anti-government regulation rhetoric during his campaign gave the airlines' shoddy security reason to relax. Argenbright Security, American Airlines and United Airlines had little to fear Bush would call for tightened security. Even after 9/11, instead of placing blame where it belonged, on the airlines who failed to provide for passenger safety, Bush gave them fat bailout checks, even as they laid off thousands. 
   While a diligent public servant, Gore, McCain, practically any other candidate in memory, could have caught the clues that pointed to September 11th, Bush lacks any degree of diligence. His foreign policy is left over from his father's time, just like his advisors. It is unreflective of current realities, and displays both the ignorance and the ideological rigidity characteristic of an uninquisitive and lazy mind. The current war on terrorism was entered into as though it were a game. Winning the war is all that matters, not whether the Northern Alliance will present as many long term problems for Afganistan as the Taliban, or whether the world will actually be safer, given the responses to our actions by Muslims and others. 
   What little Bush has done since assuming office served to embolden bin Laden. When negotiating for the release of the crew of the downed spy plane, cowardly Bush apologized. The spy plane could not have rammed the Chinese fighter; the former didn't have the maneuverability, and the latter was tauntingly close in international airspace. Any expert in the rules of engagement knew the Chinese had provoked the collision, the slightest error on either pilot's part completing the chain of events. Nevertheless, Bush had learned from the Carter Presidency how ruinous an extended hostage situation would be to his re-election prospects, and capitulated in the most shameful fashion, so America lost face in the eyes in the world, just for Bush's greedy eye on the re-election prize. Bin Laden has remarked before how America turns tail in the face of minor casualties in a conflict like Somalia, so saw in Bush even greater cowardice, and no reason to fear the retaliation for a Al Queda! attack on America. 
   The Arab world then became enraged when Colin Powell walked out, along with the Israeli delegation, at the UN summit on racism. This administration had no respect for the majority of those delegates, any more than it has respect for the will of the American people, having assumed office in defiance of democracy. This administration closed its ears to the plight of the Palestinians, just as Bush's father had instituted sanctions ruinous to the Iraqi people. Bin Laden could claim that the lives of the WTC and Pentagon workers were less innocent than the equivalent number of Iraqi children who die every month from the lack of nutrition, sanitation and healthcare Bush, Sr.'s sanctions have caused. And he could point to Bush's son, now the President who would continue to cause the suffering of Muslims. 
   And familiarity has breeded further contempt. How cozy have the Bush and bin Laden families been over the years! James Bath got Bush, Jr., BCCI money to start his Arbusto Energy, and BCCI money comes in part from the bin Laden family. Bush, Sr., along with James Baker, continues to be employed by the Carlysle Group, a huge bin Laden-backed defense profiteering cabal in corporate guise. The Bush family's oil buddies will profit through a stable Afganistan to build a pipeline through. 
   When Bush, Sr., visits Saudi Arabia, he stays at the bin Laden house. While the bin Laden family claims it has disowned Osama, their protests that he is the only black sheep in the bin Laden family are hollow. Osama's father deliberately had many sons so they could become fighters to free Palestine. He was vehemently anti-Israel. Osama is not the family's wayward son, he is the only one to make his father posthumously proud, and the other sons are more shades of gray than white sheep. Still, Junior's State Department continues cordial relations with the Saudi Princes who give the bin Laden family complete access to their corridors of power, as well as fund terrorst schools and groups. 
   Wave a dollar in front of them, no matter if it comes from brainwashing, delusional Rev. Moon, or litigious anti-free speech Barrick Gold or the terrorist bin Laden family, and a Bush will do your bidding. If President Bush were sincere in his condemnation of terrorism, and not just mouthing words to boost his ratings, he would repudiate his unsavory family ties with the Middle East. But, even now, just beyond the Whitehouse camera, backroom deals that result in the further suppression of Arabs, creating the very conditions that foster desperate terrorism, making America less safe, are taking place in the Bush administration. 
   Bush has learned time and again that his name and ill-gotten family wealth will carry him. No need for hard work. One of the first things the press corps learned about Bush's style was that they needn't stay late, unlike Clinton's Bush's administration turned in early. Bush has no intellectual interests. His hobbies are baseball, video games, and workouts. 
   He treated the Presidency as he treated his last office. He neglected his duties, and kept a light schedule. The governorship of Texas is a part-time job; it's legislature meeting only once every two years. It left plenty of time for his signature jogs and naps. His previous position as one of owners of a baseball team, is something rich people take up as a hobby, among their other social elite functions: not a profession. In the world of work Bush cashed in on his family connections, and even then he lost investors' money. 
   Ironically, the same kind of mandatory testing he advocates in public schools would have made him a better man, but he isn't. Harvard and Yale's names are sullied for having awarded their diplomas to him, no matter how fattened their endowments became as a result. Bush Sr., has given 100 million to Yale. The University of Texas, a lesser school but one with some integrity, refused Junior's admittance. 
   He lacks the knowledge or the motivation to acquire the knowledge necessary to do his job, and we all suffer. He continues to show his ignorance even of basic geography, asking Charlotte Church recently where the city of Wales is located. He displays a knowledge of the world only a barfly would be proud of. The teachers who gave him passing grades at Andover should be ashamed. 
   The meritocracy completely failed in the case of Bush. Instead, the same forces of wealth and influence that got him his position continue to fabricate a complimentary image of him. Their stories of his activities during the day of September 11th change through time, and contradict each other. The American public, who have had their peace and prosperity ripped from them must eventually see through this charade. It takes saturation coverage of a bin Laden to make Bush look good. 
   September 11th wiped the smirk off Bush's face, but cannot undo the shallowness that comes from 57 years largely directionless, mostly drunk, and shielded from adult responsibilities. September 11th happened on his watch. He is to blame. If he had been at work in the Oval Office, he would have been briefed on the threat. If he took his job seriously, he would have taken the trouble to become better informed about what the government already knew of bin Laden's plans. He should have taken steps to prevent the carnage. Instead, he relaxed at his Crawford ranch. 
   So, while valiant firemen rushed to the rescue at their peril, showing the greatness possible of government employees, and our loved ones jumped to their deaths to escape those towers of flame, schoolchildren were entertained that morning by our Defector in Chief. 

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