The 9/11 Commission report
: A few early reactions to the 9/11 Commission report; more to follow…
: The report’s summary focuses far too much (though not exclusively) on Al Qaeda as the enemy. Just as the report complains about a lack of imagination (read: vision) among governments current and past, the commission lacks the imagination to see that this is a much bigger issue and enemy than one group of terorist nutjobs.
This is about democracy and civilization and the Middle East. It is about religious fanaticism. To focus just on Al Qaeda is to be just as shortsighted as the commission believes recent administrations have been.
: It is good to see that the Commission’s recommendations talk about the need to reform the Middle East but it does not go nearly far enough, for it is scared to think that perhaps invading and democratizing Iraq could be a legitimate means of combatting terrorism in the future.
The language of the report is far too mushy: We must provide an “agenda of opportunity” to people in the Middle East. What is that? A UN report? Or regime changes?
: A key assumption of the report and the commission is that (as I say below but will repeat here) the government coulda, shoulda, woulda protected us against this attack and so this is governments’ failure and thus government’s fault. The truth is that we can’t fully protect ourselves against the insane acts of evil fanatics and we must remember to blame them.
To assume that we could anticipate and thus protect ourselves against the acts of madmen is mad itself. It deludes us into a feloniously false sense of security; it only builds up a blame game for the future after the next attack no reasonable person could anticipate occurs. So much of the commission’s work is built upon this foundation and that foundation is a crumble of wishes and blame.
: The commission remains downright disrespectful to New York’s finest and bravest. I dare any of these suits put on the uniform of those men and women.
: It says we should “attack terrorists and their organizations.” Well, yes. But do they have the stomach for literal military attacks in more countries in the Middle East? That what it will take.
: Based solely on the executive summary, the report itself lacks the vision to recognize how America and the world have changed because of terrorism and 9/11 and how the changes needed in the world are greater than any intelligence organization chart can prescribe.
This is bigger, so much bigger than a Warren Commission report. It’s not about one nut — Oswald or bin Laden — changing the world with one act. This is, instead, about more change that is still needed in the world. And the report does not seem to step up to that plate.