Monday, September 12, 2011

The LuLac Edition #1754, September 12th, 2011


9/12- 10 YEARS AFTER

Most people will commemorate the anniversary of a great historical event. I do it all the time but sometimes we rarely step back and concern ourselves with the day after. To be sure, September 11th provided this country with our greatest challenge. And in its aftermath, George Bush and his administration did their best to pick up the pieces of the great tragedy. I even tend to agree with Vice President Cheney’s comments on moving to “the dark side” to get information on terrorism. But one cannot look back on some squandered opportunities that might have changed this country for the better.
1. GENERATIONAL MOBILIZATION: While there were many young people who volunteered for the military in the wake of the attacks, they were in the minority. Less than 2% of American families are involved in the war effort. Many of those serving have had multiple tours of duty. That is wrong. A tiny minority is carrying the weight of this defense on their shoulders (albeit they volunteered) while others did nothing. I don’t think it would have been unreasonable at the time of 911 for the Bush administration to reactivate the draft. I think the 911 generation was looking for a way to contribute,a structured opportunity was not available.
2. WORLD CONSENSUS: On September 12th we had a near unanimous consensus on our side from world leaders. I think most of those countries would have formed an alliance with us to fight the war in Afghanistan. I think they might have been able to put pressure on Pakistan too. The incursion into Iraq was not totally supported by the world leaders because they saw no correlation between Bin Laden and that country. Granted our presence in Iraq gave them a democracy, shaky, but one nonetheless. But maybe we would have been better off concentrating fully on Afghanistan. I think we took our eye off the ball there and we are still paying for it with a very tense and dangerous situation there.
3. GOVERNMENT WASTE: Liberals and social scientists are always accused of throwing good money after bad on social programs. But in the aftermath of 911 our government spent like drunken sailors with little accountability of government contracts with private business. Jobs the military used to do routinely were farmed out to contractors that over charged and truth be told took advantage of the situation. The profits of companies like Haliburton are a matter of public record. Plus there was almost no oversight. Money was being spent hand over first but our troops were fighting in Iraq with inferior body armour they had to purchase themselves! I ask what is wrong with this picture? If anyone did question the expenditures in the wake of 911 or anything associated with the military they were branded as unpatriotic. This did great damage to the political discourse in this country. The GOP held terror threats over the heads of Americans while the Democrats seethed because they felt their love of country was being called into question. To be fair, there were few Democrats willing to stand up to the Bush administration conduct or rationale of the war. But if there was more questioning on where the money was supposed to go to, we might not have such an out of line deficit. It is estimated that the terror wars cost over a trillion, trillion dollars. By the way the same Republicans who gladly rubber stamped the war expenditures are now screaming about their grand children’s debt. Maybe they should have watched where the money was going. If you ask me, they are coming late to the fiscal watchdog party.
4. TAX CUTS: The Bush administration refused to back down on the tax cuts to the wealthy while fighting two wars. Unlike WWII it seemed like big business was just interested in getting richer on the military contracts and not giving anything back to the country. This one dimensional execution of economics and the wars did little to insure a brighter future for the country after the 911 decade. If anything it put us in a tight box where we can’t compromise or distinguish what is the safety of our country from foreign terrorists or the security of our own people from long standing government entities that are now being called into question. It is said you can’t serve two masters. The wars and the tax cuts illustrate that perfectly.
5. UNITED WE AREN’T: On the day after 911, America had a chance to be united. The Congress, both Republicans and Democrats sang “God Bless America” on the steps of the Capitol. Despite the way he was elected, people wanted to support President Bush. Congress passed unanimous bills of appropriations and support. People asked, literally begged the government for a role in fighting terrorism. When asked what people could do to defeat the enemy, Bush supposedly said “Go shopping”. The government could have started a youth or volunteer corps that would support the effort. What should have been a nationwide effort became a fragmented one that fell on the shoulders of people who were the spouses or children of the troops in combat. Like the first strike in Iraq, after there was a ground victory, there was no afterthought put into what came next. By the time people realized it, the opportunity for true national unity and sense of purpose had passed. When you are in trouble, people are willing to help. When you are attacked, people will come to your defense. When you are in need, people will help as long as they are asked. But when there is silence and no direction, no pronouncement of purpose or need, people move on to other things. The moment passes. One of the most disheartening things about post 911 America this past decade is the fact that there was so much lost potential in terms of what America could have done as a nation after the attack. Perhaps the worst thing about the attack was that we lost our way as a unified nation. You can only partially blame the terrorists for that. The Bush administration, the Congress, the government, all of us are at fault. 911 made us stronger in terms of our intelligence and defense objectives to be sure. But because we were rudderless in terms of our national unity, it did not necessarily make us a better country.


At 6:55 AM, Anonymous Pope George Ringo said...

Re: GEneral Mobilization:
Yonk, you hit the nail right on the head as far as W dropping the ball on the draft.
There would have been no protests to such a move at the time. In fact, I and many others believed he would begin conscription.
Unfortunately, he did not and in fact, never once asked a single American to sacrifice a single thing for the war effort.
Again, had he done so, it would have been popular.
He dropped the ball in so many ways as a leader.
But, he was our President and you have to respect that.

At 8:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No Draft! Rich mens kids avoid it too easily and the draftees carry the brunt of the effort. Guys like Rush Limbaugh get out for a boil on their ass while some farm boy who works the family farm gets drafted! No Draft, Dave. It already tore a country apart once.

Once a Soldier who volunteered.

At 12:12 PM, Anonymous Professor Milburn Cleaver, OPA said...

Students, the day of 9/11 will forever be with us as not only a day of remembrance, but also a day of conviction that such atrocities never occur again.
The business of this classroom, however moves forward.
Class, we have witnessed over the past four days a local disaster of our own. I of course, am referring to the flooding that has permeated much of NEPA---save the major metro area of Wilkes-Barre.

First off, and let me make this perfectly clear, We all sympathize with the victims. As I look around I notice that some of the class is absent---hopefully they are home digging out and not slacking at the local bar and grille. But an important point needs to be made.

A river is like a beautiful woman in a married man's eyes. You can look at it, enjoy the view, even admire it, but don't get into bed with it because it will cause you all sorts of problems.

My point being, is it truly wise for people to construct or purchase homes of great beauty mere yards from a potentially swelling monstrocity of raging water???
Rhetorical question; of course it is not.
I must continually ask myself of the intelligence of such people.

One thing we may learn from this entire debacle is that people need to lean on one another and NOT THE GOVERNMENT!!!!

Government intervention merely scrambles events and creates illusions of security where there in fact exists none.

Have we not learned this from 1972??
I reside on high ground, there is no river in my living room. But if by chance that did happen I wouldnt be asking the govt. for a handout.
I hear it said that residents of the town of West Pittston are complaining...were they not given the choice of erecting a dike a while ago and they voted it down???
We live by the choices we make.
Students, there's a reason for so called flood insurance. ANd although I deeply sympathize with the victims I will ask them to please consider purchasing some.
Your community and most importantly the taxpayers will thank you for it.
Something to think about amongst you who showed up this morning.
Class Dismissed!!!!!!!!!!

At 12:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with all except the draft. As a former serviceman, I would NOT want to go into combat with draftees. This is a different American, the youth of today, if forced to serve would do so poorly and I for one prefer to go into battle with a professional solider. It is obvious you never served; did you?

At 5:27 PM, Blogger David Yonki said...

It is obvious you never served; did you?

At 5:47 AM, Anonymous Pope George Ringo said...

Re: Anon, 12:27:
One of the problems with the volunteeer army today is the quality of soldier has gone down. The military, if I am correct, has lightened qualifications on enlistment, taking on ex-cons and the like.
I strongly disagree on the premise of today's kids being lazy or whatever if they were drafted. A little time with a DI will soon change that.
I've been there; I know.

At 7:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"One thing we may learn from this entire debacle is that people need to lean on one another and NOT THE GOVERNMENT!!!!"

Are you completely off your rock? People should lean on each other and not expect gov't help? You sir, don't seem to have a brain in your head. How do people hit with the flood lean on each other? Do you mean lean on you because you were not hit by the flood so therefore you can help? Probably not! People in West Pittsotn did not "Vote" to not have dykes, that decision seems t ohave been made by former mayor Bill Goldsworthy and friends. There were homes in WP flooded who never before had a water problem. Why? Because the dykes worked and the water had to go someplace. If WP had dykes, the north end of Pittston would have gotten hammered worse than it did. Professor, please turn out the light in your empty classroom and go home........... Please.

At 11:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Professor: Many of the people hit so hard during this recent flood event, NEVER had water from the river before. When 1972 flooding came and went and so many homes were untouched, they obviously thought, if they could survive such an onslaught, that they would be safe from any other incidents. You certainly don't seem to understand or want to even consider the likelihood of such a scenario. Maybe it's time for you to go back to class, or have a different outlook on all the unfortunates who incurred such devastation this time around. Obviously, you're not quite as brilliant as you try to make yourself sound.

At 1:45 PM, Anonymous Professor Milburn Cleaver, OPA said...

RE: 7:24 a.m.
Students, once again I am faced with the fury of an idealistic, yet misguided young man.
Fact is, the dyke proposal was put on the WP ballot and WAS VOTED DOWN.
I cannot stress this enough, class; the fact that you only see what you want to see.
IN truth, when you look in Mr. Obama's eyes, you see what you want to be.
When you look in your own, you see what you are.

ANd yes, I did not live in the flood plain because I researched and did legwork before I bought my home.
I will not reveal where I reside as it is a personal safety issue. I have never been subjected to so much hate as I have on this site. Yet, I will not allow it to detract me from discussing/lecturing on the important issues of the day.
I must exit now, as I have a late luncheon engagement---in a dry area, of course. I patronize establishments that act responsibly.
Something to think about this afternoon.
Class Dismissed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

At 11:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a blowbag!

At 3:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Smug s.o.b.


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