Notes on the Atrocities
Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...

Sunday, April 11, 2004  

Bob Kerrey has a stinging editorial in the Times today. It may ultimately serve as a blueprint for the framing device in the way we see the events before 9/11 and our reaction to it. Kerrey, a member of Congress during the events (9/11 and the vote to invade Iraq), a former soldier, and now a member of the 9/11 Commission, is the person with exactly the right credentials to say it.

Two things about that failure are clear to me at this point in our investigation. The first is that 9/11 could have been prevented, and the second is that our current strategy against terrorism is deeply flawed. In particular, our military and political tactics in Iraq are creating the conditions for civil war there and giving Al Qaeda a powerful rationale to recruit young people to declare jihad on the United States.

...We should swallow our pride and appeal to the United Nations for help in Iraq. We should begin by ceding joint authority to the United Nations to help us make the decisions about how to transfer power to a legitimate government in Iraq. Until recently I have not supported such a move. But I do now. Rather than sending in more American forces or extending the stay of those already there, we need an international occupation that includes Muslim and Arab forces.

Time is not on our side in Iraq. We do not need a little more of the same thing. We need a lot more of something completely different.

An additional reason his version of events has the ring of credibility is that he, like Richard Clarke before him, is willing to personally accept responsibility for failing to protect the US.

At the beginning and end of every criticism I have made in this process, I have also offered this disclaimer: anyone who was in Congress, as I was during the critical years leading up to Sept. 11, 2001, must accept some of the blame for the catastrophe. It was a collective failure.

I expect this editorial to cause some pretty big waves.

posted by Jeff | 9:06 AM |
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