I wrote, edited, deleted and rewrote this post ten times already today.
I'll just try to put it in simple terms, rather than spending hours writing something that will all come down to a few words, anyhow.
I never believed that Iraq had anything to do with 9/11.
However, I do believe that Iraq and al Qaeda have long, sordid history together. In fact, I believe most Middle East terrorist organizations have an incestuous relationship. After all, they all have the same father, which is their perverted distortion of Allah.
Obviously, the defense on 9/11 could have been handled better. But how prepared were we to deal with this? Who could have imagined - even armed with briefings and reports - that they would use airplanes as weapons of mass destruction?
Can we learn from 9/11? Yes. At the expense of 3,000 people, yes. And it would be a slap in the face to those 3,000 people if we did not learn anything.
I do not believe that the 9/11 commission has helped us learn anything - up until now - except how to place blame in the most unproductive of ways. Ben Veniste's antagonistic ways have marked these hearings with a black dot; everytime I think about the commission, there is Ben Veniste, scowling, growling and generally dirtying up the proceedings.
I am distressed today. I'm listening to the hearing. I'm reading the statements. I'm imagining a scenario in which someone has to make the decision to shoot down a plane full of innocent civilians.
I hope that today's hearings and the findings will teach us how to be more prepared in the future. I think our biggest mistake was in undersestimating our enemy.
No, our biggest mistake was in not realizing who our enemy is. In some ways, we are still making that mistake.
Today is the first time in a long time that I feel disheartened, that my mind is running with various theories, scenarios and whatifs
Oh, not those
kind of theories.
Really, I just hope we have learned enough that we will never have to go through this again.
And I hope that everyone reads the two statements from yesterday and realizes who our enemy is. It is not us. To think that is to condemn us to repeat a horrible history. To think that is to do a great disservice to the memory of 3,000 people.
[Read 9/11 commission statements here
. PDF files]