In an op-ed in the New York Times, columnist Frank Rich argues that
over five years after the events of September 11, 2001, President George
W. Bush is still ignoring serious terrorist threats to the United
States. Faced with warnings from terrorism experts and a White House
seemingly more focused on Iraq, Rich begs readers to ask, "Haven't we
been here before?"
Highlights of the Rich column include:
"This is why the entire debate about the Iraq 'surge' is as much a sideshow as Britney's scalp. More troops in Baghdad are irrelevant to what's going down in Afghanistan and Pakistan. ... Who lost Iraq? is but a distraction from the more damning question, Who is losing the war on terrorism?
The record so far suggests that this White House has done so twice."
"The White House doesn't want to hear it now, either. That's why terrorism experts are trying to get its attention by going public, and not just through The Times."
"It is precisely by pouring still more of our finite military and intelligence resources down the drain in Iraq that we are tragically ignoring the lessons of 9/11. Instead of showing resolve, as Bush supposes, his botch of the Iraq war has revealed American weakness."
"What's changed in the few months since his lie is that even more American troops are tied down in Iraq, that even more lethal weapons are being used against them, that even more of the coalition of the unwilling are fleeing, and that even more Americans are tuning out both the administration and the war they voted down in November to savor a referendum that at least offers tangible results, 'American Idol.'"
"Five years after 9/11, the terrorists would seem to have us just where they want us -- asleep -- even as the system is blinking red once again."