Mr. Bush is making his rounds while his soldiers are toiling in the cities and towns of Iraq; at least some of their families in distress back home. Occasionally you can also see him in the media fondling his pet dog. Mr. Bush represents the international community which is now out to unhide the Weapons of Mass Destruction. They are also working to rehabilitate the oppressed people of Iraq.
The same so called international community stood motionless when 800,000 tutsis were butchered in Rwanda by the hutu majority. You might remember TV screens repeatedly showing the scenes of hacking people to death. In a church alone some 800 people where butchered and the murderers reportedly combed the area for days to ensure mass annihilation.
Africa is an impoverished continent. There is no oil and hence no luster in searching for weapons of mass destruction. Genocide in Rwanda was presided over by then ruling Govt. Still America or the Great Britain did not think the rulers of that state deserved to be overthrown. No Collin Powell spoke in length at the UN arguing fiercely for the removal of perpetrators from power. Influence of Saddam in the Middle East does not in any way compare with the power exercised by the deprived nation of Rwanda.
To go into Iraq, first they argued fiercely about the WMD. When invasion was complete some still skeptical Iraqis applauded the military briefly. When the applause was over Iraqis must have realized the quagmire they are in. Now there is no more admiration there is only condemnation.
American military in Iraq particularly the soldiers deserve respect. One must think of them sympathetically. They are there due to their circumstances; due to their orders. We can’t blame the people of America or the soldier in Iraq facing the fire for the current situation. It is solely the administration to blame. Bush team has not considered overwhelming opposition to his Iraq overtures when the discussions were on at the UN. Literally large majority of nations opposed to the move to send troops but Bush and his comrade Blair persisted; Mr. Collin Powel made case with pictures and video. Case is yet to be proven after search by the UN team which never convinced US. America continued their search and finally abandoned it. Their own search team came out and said publicly that “they don’t think any WMD is there”
On the issue of whether September 11 could have been prevented, it is clear that everything was not done to try to prevent it. Idea of preemptive attack had some strength prior to the Sep 11. Clinton had in fact attacked Bin Laden to try and kill him however the rockets had fallen on someone else’s head or in a barren land. Reportedly this happened when Bin Laden gave his phone to his associate minutes before the attack. US were tracking the phone and the associate or nearby barren land were hit. A preemptive attack to hit Al Queda then might have made sense but either idea was not fully dawned or did not have force.
After the Sep 11, when Bin Laden could not be hit they went straight into Iraq. An opposition senator who said that Bush gave Al Queda enough time to regroup and plan for two years by going into Iraq instead of Afghanistan with the same force has to be right.
Coming back to the issue of whether Sep 11 could have been prevented, I think some indications that the attacks were coming was evident from the now declassified August 6th 2001 PDB (Presidents Daily Brief) which warned the president that Al Queda may be planning a major assault in a month’s time. Bush team argues that the August PDB gave no such hint. Their arguments are;
|They claim that the August 6th PDB was based on historical data and it contained nothing of the sort that an attack on the US heartland was imminent (From Dr. Rice’s statements at the Sep 11 panel). Although the specifics might not have been present, August 6th PDB contained threat information that could have been deemed very serious.|
|Administration asserts that after receiving the PDB, they have immediately alerted all agencies and moved the U.S. government at all levels to a high state of activity.|
|However most department heads have stated at the Sep11 commission that they did not receive a serious enough order from the Govt. asking them to take urgent action and take security into war footing.|
|Bush administration says that the warning did not specifically say that the planes were going to be used as missiles. That’s like saying Bin Laden was not specific when he made an anonymous call warning that the attacks are coming.|
It is still difficult to say whether Sep 11 could have been prevented, but on the question of whether everything was done to try to prevent it, the answer is clearly; No.
If, even after all possible steps were taken to try and prevent an attack; if it has taken place, it could be called only as a result of the destiny of the ones killed or hurt by that incident. However, right from the possible lax security for domestic passengers at the airports during the time, there are many things that point to the failure of the Govt. to remain very vigilant. There was an interesting media report six months later the attack that the attackers VISA was mistakenly renewed by the system. Such is the inefficiency of the system that prevailed.
Some people take some care, some others take a lot of care, and yet some are paranoid about being careful. All these people still fail to prevent problems. Nevertheless the one who is very careful is more likely to prevent a disaster.
I don’t believe that if you cross a busy road thinking about the beauty of Aishwarya Rai and without looking at each side carefully and therefore get hit by a bus, it can be blamed on “time” of that individual. There are people who does not prepare for exams with dedication and blame it on “time”.
If a doctor had warned you against taking liquor and although fully aware about the consequences, you still continue to consume and one day when your liver fails, are you not responsible for that failure? Or is it still your “time”?
Subject of our story, Mr. Bush does not accept any blame. He says that he believes he did everything possible to avert the Sep 11. He also still persists on saying that the decision to go to Baghdad was right. “Civilized world against the terrorists” sort of stuff. While he fails to see reason, the real reason behind the Sep 11 attack and sending troops to Baghdad, ‘Mr. Bin Laden’ is still hiding somewhere and sending him audio tapes.