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Bush and Learning Lessons

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Message Ron Fullwood
"People who know only a little do not understand how little they know and are therefore prone to error." -- Pope

Bush spoke in Atlanta Thursday in the next installment in the latest round of the fear and smear campaign he's waging in advance of the upcoming midterm congressional elections. Bush and his party hope to continue to hold on to power, pressing on with their diversion in Iraq, and persisting in their efforts to tie the nation to Bush's imperious protection racket where sovereign nations are thrown into chaos so that he can ride in on his high horse and claim to rescue us all.

Bush bragged in his speech that his administration "learned' of the plans of the terrorists, because they "told us" about them, and "learned the lessons of 9-11" Bush said America was safer "because we've taken action to protect the homeland. We are safer because we are on offense against our enemies overseas. We're safer because of the skill and sacrifice of the brave Americans who defend our people."

"In the years since, we've come to learn more about our enemies," Bush said, "we learned more about their dark and distorted vision of Islam. We learned about their plan to build a radical Islamic empire stretching from Spain to Indonesia. We learned about their dream to kill more Americans on an even more devastating scale. That's what they have told us."

It's been five years, however, since the attacks on the World Trade Center buildings and on the Pentagon, and the individuals Bush says were responsible are still at large. In Afghanistan, where the U.S. and coalition troops invaded, occupied, and installed a U.S. compliant government, bin-Laden's Taliban has been attacked and has been dispersed, but, nonetheless, still exists as a formidible resistant force which attacks the U.S. troops and our interests and allies daily. Reports are that Taliban members are spread out all over Afghanistan and have increased attacks in the last year, despite the progress that Bush claims in bringing bin-Laden's material supporters to quick justice.

This week, neighboring Pakistan made peace with the Taliban's tribes which operate along their border in a clear divide with Bush's ambitions in his terror war; creating a protective paradox as bin-Laden reportedly is hidden in the areas Pakistan's military has promised to stand down from. Deadly misguided air strikes from U.S. drones and incursions by U.S. forces across Pakistan's borders have done little except draw the residents there to more sympathy for al-Qaeda and made them more likely to resist attempts to apprehend the terrorist and his accomplices.

Yet, Bush wants Americans to believe that he has 'learned lessons' from the indifference his administration showed at the start of their term to the growing and imminent threat from bin-Laden. It was, in fact, the Bush administration who presided over the worst attack on our nation since Pearl Harbor, no matter how much blame they and their supporters would deflect to the previous administration. The terrorist's 'plans' were first described in the pre-September 11, White House document entitled, 'Bin Laden determined to strike in U.S.'. But, that important briefing was not given any serious consideration by the Bush administration that would have enabled them to avert the tragic violence of that day.

"Republicans have ignored the lessons of 9/11 and failed to make America as safe as we can and should be," Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said in a rapid response as Bush was speaking.

ABC News noted that "Bush marked day three of his election year PR campaign with his speech in Atlanta, on the same day that NATO's top commander urged allied nations to send reinforcements to war-ravaged southern Afghanistan and news outlets reported that the official August numbers of violent deaths in Iraq were three times greater than the administration had earlier reported, requiring an upward revision of the numbers to 1535 from 550."

DNC communications director Karen Finney immediately responded to Bush's Atlanta dodge, reminding voters that, "once again, the President used the time tested GOP tactic of fear-mongering to win elections and distract from their failed policies. President Bush's smear and fear tactics during the week leading up to 9/11, are just another example of Republicans putting their party's political interests ahead of our country's."

"Five years after 9/11 and after years of tough talk, the Bush Administration and its rubber-stamp Republican Congress have still not taken the steps necessary to keep our country safe," she wrote. "We can't just talk tough. We have to be tough and smart. The 9/11 Commission recommendations have not yet been implemented. Our first responders still have not received the tools they need for real-time communication to save the lives of Americans in the event of a natural disaster or terror attack. Our ports, airports, chemical and nuclear plants have not been safeguarded."

Senate Democrats unveiled their 'Real Security Act of 2006' Thursday to counter Bush failures in securing our nation in the five years since 9-11. The act promises that Democrats will:

- Change the Course in Iraq.
- Provide Better Tools to Bring Terrorists to Justice.
- Implement the 9/11 Commission Recommendations.
- Refocus on the War on Terror.
- Protect Our Transportation Systems.
- Equip Our Intelligence Community to Fight Against Terrorists.

Unlike Bush's speeches and strident rhetoric, the Democrat's plan comes with a specific blueprint to realize their goals. "Five years after September 11th, 2001 the American people deserve a government that has learned the lessons of the terrorist attacks, and that will implement the tough and smart policies needed to finally secure this country," the introduction to the act reads. "Bush Republicans have talked tough but failed to protect this country."

From the debacle at Tora Bora, where Osama bin-Laden was allowed to escape into the mountains, to the diversion of forces and resources to Iraq, to the Bush administration's mindless evisceration of our civil liberties at home, there has been a continuing, five-year failure to achieve any of the goals and effect any of the protections that Bush has repeatedly promised Americans.

Now he's reduced to repeating the same threats that Americans have been introduced to and inundated with by the media and the White House propaganda machine. Bin-Laden's statements and declarations have been dredged up by Bush again, despite his earlier dismissal that he rarely thinks of the terrorist at all; despite the closing of the government agency whose mission was exclusively concerned with bin-Laden's capture, without any transfer of that responsibility to any other prominent concern.

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Ron Fullwood, is an activist from Columbia, Md. and the author of the book 'Power of Mischief' : Military Industry Executives are Making Bush Policy and the Country is Paying the Price
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