9/11: Four faces of failure

In the 9/11 coverage, the press is making a big deal about all the wonderful (read: post-Trump) presidential unity.

Here's CBS's story and that's just one example:

Three presidents and their wives stood somberly side by side at the National September 11 Memorial, sharing a moment of silence to mark the anniversary of the nation's worst terror attack with a display of unity.

Here's the aw-shucks screen shot from the VOA video on YouTube of the three former presidents together:

Covering Shanksville, Pennsylvania in perfect harmony with the Ground Zero picture was former President George W. Bush. The screen shot is from a YouTube video from The Bush Center:

It all looked very nice as if something was being sold to the public. Unity? Isn't that what Joe Biden talks about? The show of presidential force from just Democrats and their one Republican ally isn't quite unity unless President Trump never happened. Trump, in fact, the only New York native, was attending his own events with first responders.

To the ordinary observer, the "presidential unity" was actually the four faces of failure. It was a reminder to the public of how many presidents had failed us.

Afghanistan was a disastrous war that ran for 20 long years in the wake of 9/11 and the presidential failures there were emblematic in that lineup.

Bill Clinton, who occupied the first slot, was the sorry president who turned down the golden opportunity to destroy Osama bin Laden who'd launched a string of pre9/11 terrorist attacks when Sudan offered it to him on a platter.

George Bush, who came after, was also pretty wretched. Rather than just blow the hell out of the terrorists in their nests, he turned his whole project into a nation-building operation, which ended up being a lot of consultant contracts. Worse still, he failed to learn the lessons of post-World War II as long as he was big on national building. Were property rights and personal security placed first, as Gen. Douglas MacArthur had done? No, they weren't. It was all about the Afghanistan girls, and wokester education, bolstering the blue-city dynamic at the expense of the countryside. This disturbing, haunting, and likely true long story by Anand Gopal at the New Yorker pretty well lays out the entire failure of the Bush nation-building project. Back home, Bush gave us the nationalized TSA, making blue-haired grannies open to frisking as if maladjusted Middle Eastern military-aged young men weren't the actual terrorism perpetrators.

Then there was Barack Obama, who extended the legal handcuffs on our troops he sent to Afghanistan to fight. He gave the order to get bin Laden but he ruined the victory by giving bin Laden a proper Muslim burial as if this monster were some kind of good Muslim who deserved one, and after that allowed no pictures of his sorry rotten carcass to demoralize the enemy as if he wanted no terrorist feelings hurt. Worse still, he traded five top Taliban leaders imprisoned at Gitmo for the sorry U.S. deserter, Bowe Bergdahl, complete with a bizarre White House ceremony. Today those savages rule Afghanistan, in powerful positions such as intelligence. Failure? That's putting it politely

But none could top the kingpin of failure, miserable Joe Biden, the man who alone opposed the 2011 killing of bin Laden. After that, as president, he then delivered the Afghanistan pullout fiasco, the worst foreign policy disaster in American history. He failed to plan for the inevitable in setting up the pullout, he focused on giving the enemy a symbolic 9/11 date and they took advantage. When disaster came, he hid in his basement for most of the horrible news footage. When he came out it was to blame his predecessor and claim himself the hero. He stiffed America's allies, longtime Britain and the Afghani military at Bagram Airfield, pulling out without notice and refusing to take their phone calls.  He hauled in tens of thousands of unvetted Afghanis who managed to push and shove their way onto departing American planes to the states while leaving Americans and Afghani translators behind. Some 44 unvetted Afghanis who were brought to the U.S. without papers have been found to have terrorist ties at last count and Biden doesn't know what to do about them. His failures were the apex and cascade of all failures that could come of his pullout. Our enemies are licking their chops now, with China coolly eyeing Bagram.

Unity? An aw-shucks wonderful presidential picture? No, just failure, failure in so many different forms. Frankly, I couldn't stand to look at the picture.

Image: Screen shot from VOA video with AP pool footage, via shareable YouTube

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