Jejudo, South Korea
It seems nobody should get a pass.
Why were Bush's neocon security advisers so insouciant about terrorism? They were still fighting the last war. Obsessed over Russia, China, Iraq and missile defense, the cold warriors refused to give an audience to the career White House security experts who presciently warned about the new greater threat from al-Qaeda terrorists.
The White House before 9/11 held some 100 Cabinet meetings on Iraq, Russia, missile defense and other Bush-41 hobbyhorses, and only one on terrorism. Rice insists al-Qaeda was priority No. 1, but a speech she'd planned to deliver on Sept. 11, 2001, contained no mention of al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden or Islamic terrorists. The focus of the policy speech, before the neocon School for Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, was missile defense, and not of the passenger airliner variety.
In fact, Rice overlooked al-Qaeda in every public speech she made between Jan. 20, 2001, and Sept. 11, 2001, a Nexis search reveals. Even stretching all the way back to early 1993, when the World Trade Center was first hit, Rice mentions al-Qaeda not a single time in any speech, article or media interview.
By comparison, she cites Iraq more than 1,000 times from 1993 to 2001.
And the same misguided set of priorities were in place over at the Pentagon in the run-up to 9/11. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and his neoconspirators were just as stuck in the Cold War. Al-Qaeda hardly registered on their radar screen, either – even though the attack on the Cole was arguably an act of war. Al-Qaeda killed 17 U.S. sailors and injured more than 30 while nearly sinking a Navy destroyer anchored in the port of Aden, Yemen. Yet there was no response from the Pentagon at all.
The article continues to point out that administrations and often enough generals tend to start a new war by fighting the last one.
I think they fight and continue to fight the wrong one.
Nothing seems to hold the Right's attention except attacking those who, well, aren't on the Right.