Remember: 9/11 Was A Major Failure Of Leadership

While the media will be remembering today as the day when 3,000 Americans die, I can bet that few if any media outlets will remind us that the attacks themselves were the result of a massive failure of the leaders of the time to take intelligence of an imminent attack seriously.

As we engage in a national day of mourning with the outpouring of sentiment for those who died that day and an outpouring of gratitude for first responders, what we will be missing will be an outpouring of rage for those who held the reigns of power at the time and blew off their number one responsibility – to keep Americans safe.

The lack of national outrage at this failure made it seem as if being a national failure is acceptable, even laudable. After the failure of not acting on warnings came the failure of trapping and then allowing the mastermind of the attack to be set free. Then those failures were compounded as we went to war with two countries that had little to do with the attacks – Afghanistan and Iraq.

While our leaders spent vast amounts of the country’s treasury on missions not really connected to the 9/11 attacks, the country that did have some connection to the attacks – Saudi Arabia was notably left alone.

Thus we were led into seemingly never ending wars that 20 years later we are just extricating ourselves from.

This failure of leadership with its massive costs both social and financial seems have become the expectation of leadership from the Republican side of the aisle. Eighteen years later we see yet another failure to react to intelligence on the spreading corona virus. This is followed by a massively weak response based on political gain. 

The failure of this response along with the purposeful disinformation campaign and the propagandistic campaign against science, the vaccines and life saving behaviors has been viewed as acceptable by a large portion of the American public and the media. This has led to at least 650,000 deaths and probably in reality well over a million.

Yet just like 9/11 failures, the Covid failures have produced little outrage. It is truly surprising that there is so little outrage at the party whose irresponsibility has allowed the virus a chance to come roaring back. Just like there should have been outrage against the W. Bush administration in 2001, there should have been and should be now huge outrage against anything Trump after his administration did nothing to stop the pandemic and actually accelerated it with their policies.

Republican governors especially including Iowa’s own Covid Kim Reynolds have used their leadership positions to foster policies that have allowed the virus to spread and mutate. Taking away one of the main protections from our children – OUR CHILDREN! – a universal masking policy illustrates Republican leadership’s to foster failed policy. Our children are being used as pawns in their political game.

We didn’t learn after 9/11 to hold our leaders responsible for their failures. Will we learn this time to hold leaders accountable for their failures? Bush’s failures cost us huge amounts of time, money and lives. Trump’s failures coupled with those of various state governors continue to cost us a huge amount of treasure and lives while breaking down societal norms and institutions such as our health care systems.

So while we engage in our national day of mourning, I will once again be reminded of the massive failures of Republican leadership in this century. I will also be wondering how many more failures of Republican leadership Americans are going to subject themselves to in the future. Recent history tells us Republican leadership will almost certainly fail in a crisis.

Remember that while the previous mentioned failures have been one time incidents, we have the potentially the biggest disaster of all that has been building for over 2 centuries. That is of course climate change. If we as Americans choose once again to look to Republican leadership and their policy of failure we will most likely doom humanity.  

About Dave Bradley

retired in West Liberty
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