In a column about Bill Clinton's recent outburst, E.J. Dionne writes:
By choosing to intervene in the terror debate in a way that no one could miss,
Clinton forced an argument about the past that had up to now been largely a one-sided propaganda war waged by the right.
It's absolutely preposterous for Dionne to argue that the debate over who was to blame for 9/11 has been dominated by the right. Yes, this month, especially with the controversy generated by the airing of ABC's "Path to 9/11," there has been a lot of conservative criticism of
With that said, it's important that conservatives don't get sucked into the debate of "who is more to blame for 9/11." In my view, President Bush's record on terrorism in the first eight months of his administration is abysmal. The truth is, prior to 9/11, the nation as a whole didn't take terrorism seriously. Aside from some wise sages, we generally viewed it as a manageable risk. There is a value in pointing out the mistakes that were made by both administrations prior to 9/11, but only to make sure people do not return to the mindset of the 1990s, which is a greater risk the further we get from 9/11 without a major terrorist attack. Already, there is a growing chorus of thinkers, who I have written about before, who simply don't think terrorism is a big deal. We can't let that sentiment become a dominant one. That's the intellectual battle we should be fighting rather than arguing about whose pre-9/11 record was worse.