George Bush Speech Surprisingly
But There Were Two Significant
September 20, 2001
George Bush has been mocked by many as a moron, an idiot and incompetent,
so an immediate reaction to the World Trade Center attack was to hope Bush
had enough intelligent people surrounding him so that he could successfully
lead the country through the terrorism crisis.
George Bush on
September 20, however, gave an amazingly good speech. How did Bush do
speechwriters gave him a forceful, well-crafted speech to read. George Bush
read the speech much more effectively than anyone has ever seen him read a
made certain distinctions he needed to make, such as between the terrorists
who call themselves Muslims, and the other one billion Muslims in the world.
didn't smirk, and seemed appropriately serious.
Frankly, I was
impressed with Bush's speech. But two major substantive shortcomings
leapt out at me immediately.
George Bush Speech:
George Bush made no pledge to avoid any military actions which would kill
innocent civilians. Such a limitation is a prerequisite before I and many
millions of other Americans could support any military strikes.
Those of us who
hold this view have a duty to make our "No Killing of
Civilians" a national cry.
repeated the simpleton-level explanation of why bin Laden and his group hate
us: our freedom and our prosperity. As noted elsewhere, there are
legitimate political grievances that many peoples around the world have with
the way U.S. foreign policy has hurt and killed their countrymen and ruined
Bin Laden and his group, who
would, if they could, impose a Taliban-like theocratic dictatorship on
humanity, with the attendant placing into slavery of all women, might very
well hate us even if our government had not committed atrocities all over
Still, U.S. foreign policy
needs to be seriously examined and changed. (Of course, whether that's
possible or not given the present power structure of our country is a whole
Be that as it may, a
necessary first step is what I suggested yesterday: setting up a
non-partisan National Commission on U.S. Foreign Policy Since World War
II. Broad domestic and international input would be critical to its
relevance and success.
The mandate of
the commission would be to try to come to a consensus on where U.S. foreign
policy in the last 56 years has gone right and where it has gone wrong.
George Bush Speech: A
Guide for the Future
So what George
Bush's speech omitted can guide our political activism in future days:
No killing of
civilians, and set up the Commission -- two positions that progressives can
espouse with vigor, and without fear of being criticized for wanting to let
the terrorists get away with their evil deed.