What I wrote at the time, in part:
"If anything good comes from this whole event, I hope that it is this: Americans now know what it feels like. Americans are being shocked into a great feeling of compassion for the people who are suffering; in New York, in DC, and around the world. At the national level, I can only hope and pray that this compassion can manage to affect our foreign policy. Too long have we supported inhumanity -- in Nicaragua, in El Salvador, in Chile, in Israel, in Iraq. Nothing justifies the actions of the people who hijacked the airplanes and used them as weapons. But their fanatacism and anger grow out of a deep hurt they feel the United States has inflicted on them."
Well it's pretty obvious that my hopes weren't answered. It doesn't seem like 5 years -- it seems like a century, because it's been 5 years of the the Bush Administration doing absolutely the wrong thing at every turn.
If you've ever read anything about the history of insurgencies and revolutions, there's a technique that appeals to revolutionaries and radicals: Do something that goads the target government into reacting harshly, in order to turn the populace against the government. This is pretty much chapter and verse of the radical handbook -- everyone from Che Guevara to Yassar Arafat has given it a go. 9/11 was just such an act.
Bin Laden and Al Qaeda _want_ a holy war between the US and it's allies and the Islamic world. They gained nothing tactically on 9/11 -- hell, they probably killed hundreds of faithful Muslims when they took out the towers, they conquered no territory, they had only temporary affects on our economy and military. But this is a small group of men who basically want to bring about the Jihad to end all Jihads. They probably anticipated the US/UN invasion of Afghanistan. They knew they would get their asses kicked in any real military confrontation. They don't care who gets hurt, as long as their overall strategy is successful, which is to incite global Jihad.
They played Bush like a violin. He could have done something reasonable -- like cooperating globally to use Intelligence and Law Enforcement agencies to track down and neutralize the people who actually plan and carry out terrorist acts. But no, he goes in with the military, and within months, had killed as many innocent Afghani civilians as died on 9/11 in the US, without doing much more than inconveniencing Al Qaeda. He successfully goaded the US into making a giant clumsy lunge at the Islamic world.
But Bush wasn't done there -- he decides, in the name of fighting terrorism and WMDs, to invade Iraq, a mostly Arab Muslim country who didn't have anything to do with Al Qaeda. By doing so Bush gets to kill thousands more innocent Muslims. Bin Laden expected the Afghan war -- Iraq was just gravy.
Result? Among the billion or more Muslims in the world, Bin Laden is a more popular leader than Bush. Hell, 45% of Americans _blame_ Bush for 9/11. 41% blame Bill Clinton. It's kind of a stupid poll because they didn't ask how many blamed Bin Laden, but there's a point there that needs making: We'll always have to worry about fanatics and nutjobs doing bad shit, and we pay the government the big buck to keep them from doing it.
The Bush Administration has completely distorted every aspect of the US Government around Terrorism. A giant, apparently incompent new bureaucracy, the Department of Homeland Security has been created that gets a bazillion dollars to do things like fuck up the Katrina disaster and arrest Arabs buying cell phones at Walmart. We can't bring water on airplanes. The Military is involved in an interminable, bloody war that it's pretty obvious we will never win. Terrorist attacks worldwide _increased_ since 9/11. Our civil liberties have been curtailed. Things like Education and the Environment have gone down the shitter.
The only people benefitting are weapons makers and the independent contractors in Iraq. They've raked in billions of dollars with little or no tangible positive results. Coincidentally the big players in those businesses are all friends of his Dad and Dick Cheney. And they make money coming and going -- they sell the military the weapons to blow Iraq up, then come in afterwards to suck up the reconstruction contracts.
There's no way possible for Bush to have gotten things any wronger, or if there is, keep it to yourself, because if he hears about a way to fuck up worse, he'll be doing it tomorrow.
I watched his speech tonight, and all I have to say is, to quote Chuck D, motherfuck him and John Wayne. He said the same tired bullshit he's been peddling for five fucking years. When the history is written, and when all the corrupt, dishonest, stupid-headed shit he's done that we don't know about yet comes out, it will be crystal clear: Worst President Ever.