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The Ft. Hood Massacre Is George Bush's Fault

If Al Gore (or even Ralph Nader) had been President in 2001, the Ft. Hood massacre almost certainly wouldn't have happened. Because George W. Bush was president, it did.

If Bill Clinton - or, presumably, Al Gore (or even Ralph Nader) - had been President in 2001, the Ft. Hood massacre almost certainly wouldn't have happened. Because George W. Bush was president, it did. Here's why it's Bush's fault:

One of the first lessons aspiring novelists and screenwriters learn is that the goodness of a hero is defined by a single quality - the evil of his opponent. From Superman's Lex Luthor to Batman's Joker to Indiana Jones' Nazis to Luke Skywalker's Darth Vader, for a hero to be perceived as larger than life, he must have a larger than life enemy.

If Frodo in "Lord of the Rings," for example, hadn't been forced to do battle with the supernatural powers of the Ring and its minions, his story would have merely been a boring travelogue. But with an army of supernaturally brilliant, evil, and powerful opponents, Frodo had the opportunity to display his extraordinary inner courage and resourcefulness, qualities he didn't even realize he had until they were called forth by the peril of an awesome evil.

This is a lesson that was not lost on Karl Rove and George W. Bush. If they could recast George as the opponent of a power as great as the Ring, then the rather ordinary Dubya could become the extraordinary SuperGeorge, rising from his facileness to prevail over supernatural powers of evil.

Bill Clinton had a similar chance, but passed on it for the good of America and the world.

When bin Laden attacked us in the 1990s - several times - in an attempt to raise his own stature in the Islamic world, Bill Clinton dealt with Osama like the criminal he was. He enlisted Interpol and the police and investigative agencies of various nations, brought in our best intelligence agents, and missed bin Laden in a missile-launched assassination attempt by a scant twenty minutes (bringing derisive howls from Republicans that he was trying to "wag the dog" and deflect attention from the Monica investigations).

As Clinton left office, he and the CIA were tightening the noose on bin Laden, and his National Security Advisor, Sandy Berger, told me that when he briefed his successor, Condoleezza Rice, he told her to put bin Laden and al-Qaeda at the top of her priority list and thus finish the job the Clinton administration had nearly completed.

As we know, when Rice, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Bush, et al finally came up with the priorities for their new administration in January of 2001, al-Qaeda had been replaced by tax cuts for Bush's rich donors on the "A" list, and didn't even appear on the "B" list.

Thus came 9/11, despite over fifty explicit warnings given to the President, including the infamous August 6, 2001 CIA briefing in Crawford, Texas that in the immediate future al-Qaeda intended to hijack commercial planes and use them to attack east coast targets. (Bush apparently took the warnings seriously - Ashcroft immediately stopped flying on commercial aircraft, and Bush moved to Texas for the longest vacation in the history of the American presidency...and even when that was over, he preferred Florida to target-listed Washington, D.C.)

In the days after the 9/11 attacks - much as in the days after Tim McVeigh blew up the Murrah Building - America had the sympathy of the world, and the police and intelligence agencies of even normally hostile nations offered to help us track down and bring to justice its perpetrators.

Muslims all over the world were horrified at the actions of one of their own, a fundamentalist turned criminal and murderer.

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