Friday, August 06, 2004
Even a President Sharpton would respond after an attack.
To achieve bipartisan consensus, the 9/11 report softened many hard disputes, for example the Patriot Act. But compare the arguments and conclusions inside this report against the antiwar craziness of last year's Democratic presidential contest--the candidates' rhetoric and the marches in San Francisco and New York City. The 9/11 report is a reality check for any who take time to read it. It moves mainstream thinking toward a more activist response than our political elites would allow before the morning of September 11. (It pointedly cites the example of Pearl Harbor.) The report is most certainly not suggesting that we postpone acting until after another attack such as September 11.
"Once the danger has fully materialized, evident to all, mobilizing action is easier--but then it may be too late," the report says. Those last words are the new conventional wisdom: Waiting is deadly.