Monday, September 11, 2006



From :
In the face of the Great Depression, Franklin Roosevelt implored the nation to defeat fear and to sacrifice for the common good, New York Times columnist Frank Rich writes in Sunday's paper.

George Bush invoked FDR after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks and America proved its resilience, Rich recalls. Yet Bush called for no sacrifice, and instead pursued a tragically "selfish agenda."

Bush was asked at a press conference "how much of a sacrifice" ordinary Americans would "be expected to make in their daily lives, in their daily routines."

His answer: "Our hope, of course, is that they make no sacrifice whatsoever."

He, too, wanted to move on -- to "see life return to normal in America," as he put it -- but toward partisan goals stealthily tailored to his political allies rather than the nearly 90 percent of the country that, according to polls, was rallying around him.

This selfish agenda was there from the very start. As we now know from many firsthand accounts, a cadre from Bush's war Cabinet was already busily hyping nonexistent links between Iraq and the Qaida attacks.

The presidential press secretary, Ari Fleischer, condemned Bill Maher's irreverent comic response to 9/11 by reminding "all Americans that they need to watch what they say, watch what they do."

Fear itself -- the fear that "paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance," as FDR had it -- was already being wielded as a weapon against Americans by their own government.

Less than a month after 9/11, the president was making good on his promise of "no sacrifice whatsoever." Speaking in Washington about how it was "the time to be wise" and "the time to act," he declared, "We need for there to be more tax cuts." Before long the GOP would be selling 9/11 photos of the president on Air Force One to campaign donors and the White House would be featuring flag-draped remains of the 9/11 dead in political

And so here we are five years later.

Fearmongering remains unceasing. So do tax cuts. So does the war against a country that did not attack us on 9/11.

We have moved on, but no one can argue that we have moved ahead.