: Scott Rosenberg objects to my response to his praise for the Clarke apology. (My original post here; his here.) He said the apology filled a void in the national psyche; I said this isn’t about feelings, it’s war. Rosenberg today:
But surely war is one of the most emotionally intense experiences humankind has created. And how can we talk about “life and death” as if there are no “feelings” involved? What could be more emotional?
Tell me about it. I know those feelings well; my life has not been and will not be the same since surviving that day. I feel those feelings. And that’s why I object to Clarke exploiting them to make his rhetorical brownie points: I’ll apologize on behalf of the entire frigging U.S. government to make them look bad and me look good and you feel good. Crap.
Rosenberg goes further:
That doesn’t mean Bush couldn’t have stepped forward and admitted the obvious — that 9/11 represented a colossal failure of the American government to protect the American people. How could it not be? And why is it so hard just to say so and move on? Why did it take 2 1/2 years for any official to be able to bring him or herself to the point of uttering this plain fact?
Well, first, because it’s not a plain fact: There is no clear proof that anyone in any recent administration could have stopped this. Second, again, because these attacks were in no way our fault. Don’t ever forget that.
: (A different) Scott adds in the comments: Imagine if, instead of his Day of Infamy speech, FDR had gone on the radio to apologize for f’ing up and letting the Japanese bombers through to Pearl Harbor.
And and at that, these days, others would say that’s not enough; we should have understood the frustrations of the Japanese and Germans over their cramped living space and their jealousy at all our space and how we brought this on ourselves.
Am I becoming clear yet, Scott R? This is war. It’s not an encounter session. It’s war.