The July 20 issue of the New Yorker magazine got a lot of attention for its cover, which carried a "satirical" cartoon depicting Michelle and Barack Obama that Obama supporters found tasteless and offensive. Buried inside that issue's feature story, however, was a reaction by Obama to 9/11 that all voters should find even more tasteless and offensive.
The article reprised a piece published in Chicago's Hyde Park Herald on Sept. 19, 2001, and written by a then-unknown and otherwise undistinguished state senator from Illinois. The senator, a former community organizer, wrote that after tightening security at our airports and repairing our intelligence networks, we "must also engage . . . in the more difficult task of understanding the sources of such madness."
According to Barack Obama, the madness that drove terrorists to turn passenger jets into manned cruise missiles aimed at our centers of finance, government and military power "grows out of a climate of poverty and ignorance, helplessness and despair."
As if the answer to the attacks should have been food stamps for al-Qaida.
Sen. Obama advised caution and warned of overreacting. "We will have to make sure, despite our rage, that any U.S. military action takes into account the lives of innocent civilians abroad," he wrote. "We will have to be unwavering in opposing bigotry or discrimination directed against neighbors and friends of Middle Eastern descent."
We should also be just as concerned, he felt, with American anger and bigotry as we were about al-Qaida.
In an opinion piece in Commentary magazine, writer Abe Greenwald commented on Obama's belief that the 9/11 attacks were rooted in poverty and despair. "Strange," he called it, "considering our attackers were wealthy and educated, connected and ecstatic."
As Greenwald put it, Obama "could have asked (terrorist and colleague) Bill Ayers, 'Bill, did your 'failure of empathy' stem from your impoverished upbringing as the son of the CEO of Commonwealth Edison?" Did poverty and despair also cause the Weather Underground member and host of Obama's first fundraiser to bomb government buildings?
Fact is, the roster of terrorists and their handlers reads like a list of of Ivy Leaguers:
Osama bin Laden, the son of a Saudi billionaire, studied engineering. Khalid Sheik Mohammed, architect of 9/11 and other major attacks, has a degree in mechanical engineering. Mohammed Atta, who flew a jet into the World Trade Center, is the son of a lawyer and earned a master's degree in urban planning at Hamburg University. Ayman al-Zawahri is an eye surgeon. Seven doctors were involved in the London-Glasgow bomb plots.
You get the idea, even if Barack Obama doesn't.
In a speech before a joint session of Congress on Sept. 20, 2001, President Bush pointed out the real reasons Islamofascists hate us: "They hate what they see right here in this chamber — a democratically elected government. Their leaders are self-appointed. They hate our freedoms: our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other."
Bush aptly called the 9/11 terrorists and their ilk "the heirs of all the murderous ideologies of the 20th century."
"By sacrificing human life to serve their radical visions, by abandoning every value except the will to power, they follow in the path of fascism, Nazism and totalitarianism," he said.
Knowing the nature of your enemy is the key to victory. On the seventh anniversary of 9/11, we should all thank President Bush for keeping America safe. Along the way, he brought freedom and democracy to the Middle East, draining the terrorist swamp.
Bush gets it. So does John McCain. This is one thing we shouldn't want to change.