The TRUE Legacy of 9/11 is the failure of Conservatism.
I must have mulled over a dozen different ways to commemorate the 10th Anniversary of 9/11 here on Mugsy’s Rap Sheet. Back on the first anniversary, I created a “Tribute video” that was mostly news clips from that day showing both towers being hit and smoking wreckage at the Pentagon & Shanksville. But I decided we’ve all seen enough of that and you don’t need me to remind you to “be afraid; be very afraid.” I thought of telling you my own personal story of 9/11 and how I found myself working a temp job on the 25th floor of the Enron building (I was auditing them, not swindling Grandma)… first time in my life to work in a skyscraper and my third day on the job, terrorists were flying planes into skyscrapers. (I was working a temp job because Bush & Cheney had spent the presidential campaign “talking the country into a Recession” – Feb.2001 (more here – Dec.2000) and job opportunities had already started drying up like a Texas riverbed. Companies stopped hiring fulltime in the months BEFORE 9/11, so it makes me crazy when I hear people blame “9/11″ for Bush’s bad economy.)
Then I thought about telling you about these little guys:
…whom I found under the hood of my car five years later on the fifth anniversary of 9/11. They grew up to be my own private terrorists (I could tell you stories). But i decided not to go for “cute”.
No, when *I* think of 9/11 now, I think about how much America has changed… or has it? I mean, if “9/11″ did anything, it gave the most paranoid, xenophobic, militaristic political party on the face of the Earth an EXCUSE to be paranoid, xenophobic and militaristic. They were always there, they just had no power for the eight years prior. 9/11 gave them an excuse to launch a second unprovoked war against a cold-blooded brutal dictator in Iraq that THEY supported for over 20 years. During the Clinton Administration, PNAC… the “Project for the New American Century”… a neocon think-tank founded by Irving Kristol, father of neocon columnist Bill Kristol, tried to convince President Clinton to overthrow Saddam Hussein on the grounds he was developing “Weapons of Mass Destruction”. Clinton bought into their nonsense and launched missile strikes against Saddam’s supposed “WMD facilities” in 1997-98. When nothing was found after two strikes, it was decided Saddam had been disarmed, freeing them up to concentrate on the rising threat of al-Qaeda, who had been behind several hotel bombings in Africa and East Asia, and were expected to try and strike during the big New Years Eve-2000 celebrations.
The PNAC membership list read like a Who’s-who of Reagan/Bush-41/Bush-43 Administration Officials, chickenhawks, moral-majority hypocrites and Religious-Right crazies:
Its founding members included: Elliot Abrams (the pardoned architect of Reagan’s Iran/Contra), Gary Bauer (Evangelical former head of the “Family Research Council” and Reagan’s under-sec of Education),
As this 10th anniversary of 9/11 neared, I noticed a sudden uptick in the number of Bush-apologists commenting to my YouTube video archive defending things like President Bush “sitting motionless in that classroom for seven minutes” (defenses like: “he didn’t want to frighten the children”, “was planning his response” and even “they didn’t need him to do anything”) after being told the nation he JUST swore an oath to defend, was “under attack”, WHILE claiming “Clinton did NOTHING” after the first WTC attack in ’93 (to which I had to point out that we were not attacked again until Bush took office, kinda debunking the idea Clinton did “nothing” to keep us safe for eight years.)
I already pointed out above that the economy was already in Recession before 9/11… a fact Republicans don’t dispute, claiming “Clinton handed them a Recession” (while the Republican Congress lay blameless… unlike now, where the exact opposite is true) to excuse their own economic failure, followed by blaming “9/11″ for prolonging that Recession. But if “tax cuts” and Conservative economic principles are “like steroids” for economic growth, why was the economy STILL in the toilet in 2005-2006… more than FOUR YEARS after 9/11 and still with GOP control over both Houses of Congress? Are they REALLY about to argue that “four years wasn’t long enough” WHILE attacking President Obama for not fixing the economy in two?
I frequently refer you, my readers, to a video of mine of an economist just two weeks before the invasion of Iraq warning everyone that an invasion “could cost us over Two-Trillion dollars and cause economic disaster by doubling the price of oil to $75/barrel”:
His critics at the time instead foresaw “an economic boom” from ousting Saddam, freeing up all that lovely oil, and predicting the price of crude to fall from a pre-war price of just $35/barrel to a mere $20/barrel. If a 40% decrease in the price of oil would be enough for an “economic boom”, and a 200% increase would be “catastrophic”, what do you think the eventual 500 PERCENT increase in the price of oil (peaking at $147/barrel in mid-2008… nearly TWICE what they once called “catastrophic”)… did to the economy?
No, if there is one thing 9/11 proved, CONSERVATIVE ECONOMICS DON’T WORK. If they worked that well, the economy wouldn’t have still been in the dumps four-to-eight years later. After the first attack on the WTC in 1993, the economy rebounded quickly BEFORE “The Gingrich Revolution” retook the House in 1995. Democrats raised the tax rate on the highest income earners in 1993… which NOT ONE SINGLE REPUBLICAN VOTED FOR on the grounds that they said it would “destroy the economy” and return us to the Recession we just emerged from under George HW Bush. Yet, the economy ended up creating over 22 MILLION jobs and leaving newly appointed President George W. Bush a surplus of $250 Billion dollars a year to put towards paying off the National Debt. But as I pointed out last month, the good economy was used to justify “tax cuts”, and the bad economy to follow was used to justify still more “tax cuts”. The result was the worst annual job growth since Herbert Hoover and an exploding National Debt.
Conservative policies couldn’t overcome the devastation of 9/11 (and to be honest, I’m STILL waiting for someone to explain to me how 9/11 supposedly suppressed our economy). Their reaction (IMHO) to their catastrophic failure that day was to “over-compensate” by creating the largest new government bureaucracy in history (“the Dept of Homeland Security”) and push through a piece of legislation called “The USA-PATRIOT Act” (“Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism”) that looked like a page torn from George Orwell’s “1984″. They tweaked Americans’ insecurity with their “traffic-light of fear” every time their polls dipped, a scandal broke, or bad economic news was reported. The Deficit and National Debt broke the $10-Trillion threshold as the cost of two unfunded wars and simultaneous tax cuts made things worse, only to leave office with NONE of it resolved.
And now we are left with cleaning up the mess. In the “Circus” that has become American politics, who would YOU rather be? The guy that has to clean up after the donkey, or the guy that has to clean up after the elephant? One thing’s for sure, Osama bin Laden won’t be “celebrating” the 10th Anniversary of 9/11 today, and we have a Democrat to thank for that.
Post your own 9/11 thoughts and stories in the Comments section below. Be forewarned though, Mugsy’s Rap Sheet is a “No Stupid Zone”, so any “9/11 was an inside job” conspiracy theories WILL BE DELETED… WITH PREJUDICE. If you TRULY believe the most incompetent administration in history was able to pull off the largest most sophisticated conspiracy in history after just eight months in office, you need to check yourself into a rubber room where they’ll give you a coat that lets you hug yourself all day long.
Sign my petition for GREEN JOBS TOMORROW fast & cheap. Use those $4 Billion in oil subsidies to put Solar Panels on the roofs of 40,000 government buildings, or order 100,000 hybrid mail-trucks. Not only would this INSTANTLY CREATE JOBS, it would spark ENTIRE INDUSTRIES with a future, reduce our dependency on oil, reduce greenhouse emissions, and quickly pay for itself (and cut future expenses) with the energy savings. We need 5,000 signatures by December 20th.
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