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August 29, 2004

Weren't There Two Towers?

Honestly, I might have missed it, but I don't recall seeing a similar introduction for a piece about the Democrats' convention as to Scott MacKay's piece about the Republican one:

Forrester Adams went to Ground Zero yesterday afternoon for the first time. He left shaken, as does almost everyone who views the ghastly concrete scar in lower Manhattan and remembers the terror attack of Sept. 11, 2001.

"At first I felt quiet and somber and all," said Adams, of Columbia, S.C., as he thought about the horrors that claimed the lives of 3,000 [people] when hijacked planes flew into the World Trade Center towers. "Then I really started feeling ticked off, defiant.

"I hope they build it back bigger than it was before," said Adams. "I feel we need to make a statement. I think that is so important, to show that these people can't break our spirit."

Adams is voting for President Bush.

Minutes later, Susan Brennan of Stony Brook, N.Y., on nearby Long Island, walked away from Ground Zero. She saw the same barren construction site, the same cross of rusted steel girders, experienced the same eerie silence in the middle of one of the world's noiseiest cities. She remembered the televised images of the twin towers engulfed in smoke and flame.

Brennan is voting for John Kerry.

"I feel much less safe now than after 9/11 ," said Brennan, adding she had purposely stayed away from the scene until yesterday. "We are just creating more terrorists every day with this war in Iraq. Bush is a madman . . . he is just so belligerent."

On the eve of the Republican National Convention, the long shadow of the Sept. 11 attacks hangs over the confab and the 2004 presidential election. As go the people walking away from the site in yesterday's scorching New York heat, so goes the nation's voters.

One would think that long shadow would reach the liberal, indecisive, and relatively dovish John Kerry, as well.

Posted by Justin Katz at August 29, 2004 9:40 AM

If hawkish got us the mess we are in with Iraq, then I would prefer dovish.

I continue to believe that President Bush was not entirely candid and forthright about the need to invade Iraq.

Kerry has the support of quite a few retired high-ranking military officers. That in itself is very unsual, for those folks rarely go for Democrats. Indeed, Kerry is the first Democrat to get that kind of support from military types in decades. Does Kerry have their support because he is "dovish" or because those retired military officers think Bush lacks good judgment and common sense on military and foreign policy matters?

Posted by: Joel Thomas at August 30, 2004 12:35 AM

"If hawkish got us the mess we are in with Iraq, then I would prefer dovish."

It's easy to explicate the problems with the current situation, but I'm curious why you think the status quo ante in March 2003 was not a "mess". What short term tactical or long-term strategic goals would you have pursued against Saddam Hussein's Iraq, Joel? And do you think Kerry would have done something similar?

Posted by: Mike S. at August 30, 2004 9:56 AM

"If hawkish got us the mess we are in with Iraq, then I would prefer dovish."

I've never understood this kind of thinking, maybe because I've never heard anybody express it coherently.

What should Bush have done differently? Leave Saddam in power so he can continue to put people through plastic shredders? Wait a couple of years hoping that the French and Germans will join us? If you think that what Bush did was wrong, then please explain what doing it right would look like.

Posted by: Ben Bateman at August 30, 2004 11:14 AM

The response to the second World Trade Center attack was the correct one. The first World Trade Center terrorist attack 2/26/1993 was treated entirely as a criminal act, and nothing was done to take the battle to the enemy. So each later attack became bolder, and bolder with administration blocking cooperation between the CIA and FBI. On 9/11/2001 America woke up. Until the enemy is defeated this war is going to be fought somewhere. Better in Kabul and Sadr City where the enemy lives than Fifth Avenue and 50th Street. America can not go back to sleep.

Posted by: Patrick Sweeney at August 30, 2004 4:58 PM

I feel much less safe now than after 9/11 ," ..."We are just creating more terrorists every day with this war in Iraq. Bush is a madman . . . he is just so belligerent"

This makes no sense - 9/11 occurred BEFORE we attacked Iraq. Thus, how could you feel any less safe - 9/11 happened without regard to our invasion of Iraq, and we were obviously not safe back then. This shows the disturbingly ignorant thinking of too many people who get to choose the next leader of the free world.

Posted by: c matt at August 31, 2004 7:07 PM

Did you ever watch one of those nature documentaries showing a pack of hyenas bringing down a wildebeest? They nip and harass the animal, drawing blood, injuring the legs and wearing it out eventually, bringing it to its knees. The animal is an impressive speciman at the start of the struggle, large horns and a shaggy mane, strong flanks with a healthy, defiant kick. It occasionally wounds a tormentor, but as a group they hardly notice the fallen or injured comrade for the killing of the prey is all that counts. We are that wildebeest, bleeding, sapped of energy, buckling at the knees. Soon the jaws of our tormentors will latch onto our windpipe and snap it closed. This is a vile, murderous nation. We brutalize all who oppose us and enslave any bending to our will. I say good luck to Bin Laden. We had our chance to be the bright, shining beacon on the hill and we blew it. Do you want to see the true American spirit and morality? Look into the eyes of the jailers at Abu Ghraib. Those eyes reflect the soul of this nation.

Posted by: steve duncan at August 31, 2004 10:54 PM


Thanks for clarifying the worldview that a certain type of American brings to the discussion. Sorta speaks for itself.

Posted by: Justin Katz at August 31, 2004 11:01 PM

Steve Duncan,
Where ever it is that you live, if the only Americans you see are the kind that lead you to believe your current dogma, it's time for you to change neighborhoods bud. Go out and find a job or something. You know, get out of the cave and get some fresh air and sunshine. And if all that doesn't work, get some treatment for that psychosis you are developing.

Posted by: smmtheory at August 31, 2004 11:16 PM

Oh hey, I see the college students are back in town. And I would have thought steve would be in NY welcoming the republican delegates.

On a serious note, if you think this country is bad, then you should go to other countries where standing up for your political rights gets you killed. Kinda like North Korea, Cuba, Syria. Funny thing is people in Iraq and Afghanistan, though it's not perfect, are getting to get a chance to put their own leaders in instead of bowing down before the dictator.

Hey, the US ain't perfect, but it's hella better than the rest of the world.

Posted by: Paul at September 1, 2004 8:46 PM