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Thursday, October 20, 2016

If the latest polls are accurate, most voters believe that Republican politicians deserve greater trust on matters of national security. At a moment when Americans feel threatened by rising terrorist movements and authoritarian regimes, that finding is politically salient – and proves that amnesia is the most durable affliction of our democracy.

Every year around this time, ever since 2001, we promise never to forget the victims of 9/11, the courage of the first responders, and the sacrifice of the troops sent to avenge them all. Our poignant recollections seem to be faulty, however, obliterating the hardest truths about that terrible event as well as the long aftermath that continues to this day. The result, attested to by those polls, is that Republicans escape responsibility for the derelictions and bad decisions of their party’s leaders at crucial moments in the recent past.

Not long after the 9/11 attacks occurred, the Republican noise machine instantly began blaring a message of blame aimed at former president Bill Clinton, insisting that he had ignored the threat posed by al Qaeda during his White House tenure. That accusation was wholly false, but discovering the truly culpable wasn’t easy — because President George W. Bush and his vice president, Dick Cheney, worked hard to prevent a full investigation by the 9/11 Commission.

In due course that probe revealed how Bush and Cheney had ignored clear warnings – from Clinton himself, from counterterrorism advisor Richard Clarke, and finally from the CIA on August 6, 2001 – that al Qaeda was preparing to strike the homeland. Preoccupied by their tax cuts and their plans for an invasion of Iraq, they had done nothing.

The country and the world rallied around Bush as he declared war on the Taliban and sent U.S. and NATO troops into Afghanistan. But thanks to the incompetence of Bush, Cheney, and their military command, not only did bin Laden and Mullah Omar escape and remain at large for years, but the entire effort eventually collapsed into futility, with no plausible goal or exit strategy. It soon became clear that the Bush White House and Defense Department had other fish to fry, over a few borders in Baghdad.

Even the most forgetful citizens probably recall how Bush, Cheney, their national security cabinet and their allies in Congress misled the nation into war against Iraq, falsely alarming us about non-existent “weapons of mass destruction.”

They may even recall how those great Republican statesmen pursued the invasion, lawlessly, and without adequate preparation or clear objectives, costing thousands upon thousands of Iraqi and American lives and trillions of dollars. Their actions led to horrific human rights and Geneva treaty violations; they embarrassed the United States and enhanced the regional influence of the ayatollahs in Iran.

And now, of course, the current dismal situation in Iraq – unfairly blamed on President Obama – is a direct consequence of the war, the American occupation, and the divisive sectarian government installed in Baghdad by the Bush administration, which also disbanded the Iraqi Army and all of Iraq’s government institutions. Without the destruction inflicted on that country and especially its Sunni population by Bush and Cheney, there would be no burgeoning “Islamic State” movement today.

Disremembering all of those unpleasant facts, voters may well consider the Republican Party better able to manage foreign and defense policy. After all, Republicans have long styled themselves as the tough-guy “daddy party,” and bamboozled much of the public with that image. What remains to be seen is how much more of their brilliant stewardship this country and the world can survive.




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Copyright 2014 The National Memo
  • Eleanore Whitaker

    I’d love to know “which” “polls” these are. Americans trust the GOP on National Security? When it was on Bush’s watch that 9/11 occurred? When it was on Bush’s watch that NSA laws datamined millions of Americans’ personal information?

    Who’s poll is this? Murdoch’s? Zuckerberg’s? Adelson’s? The Koch Bois? Sorry, “trust” and “Republican” are two words that should never be used in the same sentences.

    • Get back on your meds…..

      • Eleanore Whitaker

        Kenndeb…Mental deficients like you need to get back on your Thorazine…When did they let you escape from the mental ward? Were you diapers overloaded little one? or did you trip up the basement stairs to McMommy and McDaddy’s McMansion from an overdose of Viagra?

        • The hag of NM speaks. And no one listens. so sad.

          • flyinjs

            I so PRAY that the senate and congress all stay and go democratic. It would be a blessing and a big slap to your unworthy views

          • Doubtful that will happen, especially after 6 years of the Emperor. Just like people were sick of 8 years of Bush, the liberals have become too aggressive in their policy making, and no one wants it. Just those few that are on board with our country becoming a communist state.

          • Eleanore Whitaker

            flyinjs…Pay no attention to kenndeb..He/she is one of those grossly insecure individuals who gets his/her jollies from having someone, anyone, pay attention to his hateful anti-American bashing. It’s possible he isn’t an American at all. Notice in one of his/her posts how frightened he became at having to reveal who he really is? Once you see that kenndeb, like all right wingers is born and bred from hate, you see why they have zero productivity and lavish in the realm of hate. This is a certifiable loser.

      • flyinjs

        Look at the WORLD news reports, unless you believe that the world is lying

        • I see the news every day, and all I see is the world burning while Nero plays golf. Most of the worlds problems have been caused or helped along by the Emperor.

          • tntlimited

            kenndeb, your convoluted lies and misrepresentations are as garbled as your apparent sex transition. Are you Ken or Deb? Or do you even know? Obviously you should stick to something less brain-taxing than trying to advise others on something you have absolutely no grasp of…

          • Where are the liberals recruiting all you total morons from. More invited illegals who have been promised citizenship if they post here and vote for democrats?

          • tntlimited

            Yes, this moron has only been a citizen for only 76 years…since the day I was born here!

          • Then you are old enough to know better. How can a sane person support this regime?

          • Were you also promised citizenship to post for the liberals?

          • tntlimited

            Well, of course, weren’t you?

          • Independent1

            No he wasn’t promised citizenship but you were obviously promised a lollipop.

      • charleo1

        look who’s talking about meds.

    • FT66

      I don’t blame the polls neither those who were polled. People are now confused, scared after seeing the beheading. They think anyone who takes them to war is the one who can manage well on National Security. They are being driven by fear.

      • Eleanore Whitaker

        I’m not so sure the GOP warmongers will spend House money on another war. Watch what they do when the bill President Obama presented yesterday has to force the GOP to spend on military funding for ISIS…It’s almost hugely amusing to watch the same GOP who imposed a sequester to thwart the Executive branch of government now have to open their wallets…with our tax dollars of course.

        Americans are willing to defend their country. I also don’t believe the polls for another reason…they are largely misrepresented by US media Titans who have more to gain with another boots on the ground war.

        If you want unbiased news, check out the media from the US, CAN, AUS and other international outlets not beholden to Murdoch, Zuckerberg, Turner, Adelson or the Koch media bulls. You’ll see that the reporting isn’t partisan because it doesn’t have to be. It isn’t biased because there are too many other international media outlets who can disprove a biased media blurb.

      • dpaano

        It’s the GOP way……fear and lies!

    • Independent1

      Eleanor, a recent Rasmussen poll (one which I somewhat trust) found that a majority of Americans are concerned that Obama won’t cut spending enough to spur the economy – an oxymoron actually – cutting spending will depress the economy not spur it. This demonstrates clearly how clueless the vast majority of the America populace is – so although I too question who did the poll – I’m not totally surprised by the finding given how ignorant the American populace is with respect to reality.

      But there’s a couple recent articles you may appreciate viewing if you haven’t seen them. One is talks about how the Saudi’s have recruited Graham and McCain to goad them into getting the U.S. to start a war with the Syrians so the Saudi’s can take over Damascus:

      Saudis Lobbied John McCain & Lindsey Graham to sell War.

      (You’ll love the picture of Rice and Bush with the Saudi Prince)

      And then there’s this link to the White House Blog which really provides a lot of good info on how America is working its way out of the Great


  • Dominick Vila

    Why does the GOP lead on national security? The answer encompass ideology, stupidity, and an effective disinformation campaign that would have made Goebbels blush in envy.
    Exonerating the President and the Congressional majority in office when 9/11 occurred, when 11 U.S. diplomatic facilities were attacked, when a myopic foreign policy altered the balance of power in the Persian Gulf region in favor of our, alleged, nemesis, and the party responsible for the death and maiming of hundreds of thousands of people – including Americans – ostensibly to propel the political image of a pathetic President by diverting attention from his ineptitude and laziness, and helping his friends benefit from the largest redistribution of wealth from the public to the private sector in U.S. history, may be sickening to those who understand the implications and consequences of what happened.
    The fact that so many Americans don’t understand, or ignore, what happened highlight the naivete of the electorate, and the effectiveness of a well crafted and executed disinformation campaign, and the failure of the Democratic party to articulate the contrast between what happened in the not too distant past and where we are today.

    • Blueberry Hill

      Makes you wonder if an actual poll was even done, doesn’t it? We know how they lie about every single thing. If there was a poll done, maybe it was done at the Kochroach party.


      • Any data that comes from this regime or the liberals are almost always lies.

        • Blueberry Hill

          Well, there you go again. Buzz off.


          • BUZZZZZZZ

          • Joyce

            you’re a moron

          • No, just a concerned American that is tired of all the lies and deceit coming from this regime and most liberals.

          • tntlimited

            The lies are all yours, (Ms) (Mr) kenndeb!!!

          • None from me, but I have seen many from the rabid jackal liberals on this site.

          • tntlimited

            Kenndeb, the only excuse I can make for your lack of knowledge…is that you must be a totally brain-washed product of “Faux Noise”…nothing else explains your absurdity!

          • Independent1

            And the fact that he or she never even made it past the fourth grade of grammar school. Still operating with the mind of a juvenile!!!

          • Really? You have no idea of much of anything , now do you? Actually fourth grade was a memorable year. Great teacher. I doubt you will ever get to my level of education, or to my age, youngster.

          • BillP

            Actually I think there is only one person with an alter ego that thinks it’s a female.

          • Independent1

            If you’re so tired of them, why can’t you identify truly meaningful lies and deceits rather the childish examples you’ve provided in the past???

        • flyinjs

          Bush still HIDES to this day

        • charleo1

          Did you read Dom’s post? The part about, “ideology, stupidity, and an effective disinformation campaign,
          that would make Goebbles blush in envy?” Well, you should read it again. Your picture has been placed
          next to the definition of useful misinformation.

          • Independent1

            Charle, it looks like even the Saudis think that the Republicans are America’s war mongers. See this article from the Daily Kos about the Saudis lobbying Graham and McCain into starting a war with the Syrians so the Saudis can take over Damascus:

            Saudis Lobbied John McCain & Lindsey Graham to sell War.

            An excerpt:

            At the Munich Security Conference in February 2014 Senator John McCain praised Prince Bandar again,

            JOHN McCAIN: “Thank God for the Saudis and Prince Bandar, and for our Qatari friends,”

            So, Saudi Arabia’s Prince Bandar enlisted Senator John McCain, Senator Lindsey Graham, and probably a host of other Senators, to goad America back into a middle east war so that Saudi Arabia can use the U.S. Military in securing Saudi Arabia’s ultimate goal, control of Damascus, Syria.


          • Allan Richardson

            And is one of the Saudi princes still the number two (after Murdoch himself) shareholder in Newscorp, the parent of Faux Nooz? Or did he sell his shares so the “big bad liberal media” (i.e. fact checkers) can point out his connection to the (un)fair and (un)balanced network?

          • charleo1

            We sometimes tend to forget the austere brand of Islam practiced in Saudi Arabia, is not all that divergent from Al Qaeda, or ISSL. And the enormous influence they have over the policies pursued by the U.S. and Europe, due to the Western economies’ reliance on reasonably priced oil from the region. The reality is, aside from ISSL’s barbarism, animating the public. It was the immediate security threat of ISSL controlling enough oil in Iraq, to effect world oil prices, if they so desired. And this could do harm to the World’s Economy. Another component of this, were this to become the case, the Iranians would be dealing with efforts to curtail their nuclear ambitions, with a much stronger hand. As any sanction, or embargo on Iranian oil, with an ISSL created shortage, might become out of the question. So, it’s all nastily connected at the intersection of strategic geo politics, fanatical religious divisions, and, of course, the absolute necessity of an uninterrupted flow of oil to the interdependent economies of the industrialized World. And if we delude ourselves, if we believe the Saudis are somehow our friends in all of this. I think we make a great mistake. As ISSL, like Al Qaeda before them, is another progeny of the Saudi backed, and financed, proxy war against the Shias of Iran, Iraq, and Syria.

          • Independent1

            I’ts hard to fathom that there can people as barbaric as Prince Bandar appears to be within royalty in today’s world (telling Tony Blair that his objective is to commit genocide against the Shias). And It’s absolutely appalling to me that America would actually buy oil from a country that is funding so many terrorist organizations: ISIL, al-Qaeda, the Taliban and Hamas.

            Some excerpts from the DailyKos article:

            Saudi Arabia’s ultimate goal is to control Damascus, Saudi Prince Bandar appears to go to any length, including threats of terrorist attacks, to get his way. Saudis are the largest bankroller for worldwide Sunni Terrorist groups: al-Qaeda, including ISIL, Hamas and the Taliban,

            At one point, Saudi Prince Bandar expressed a desire for genocide against the Shiites.

            I2 years after Prince Bandar was put in charge of toppling the Syrian (Shiite) government, al-Qaeda in Iraq (ISIL) expands into Syria with lightening speed and as the most well-funded Terrorist group,

            Saudi Prince Bandar enlisted Senator John McCain, Senator Lindsey Graham, early on, to goad America back into a middle east war so that Saudi Arabia can use the U.S. Military in securing Saudi Arabia’s ultimate goal: control of Damascus, Syria.

            Other than Saudi Arabia funding ISIL, the Taliban, al-Qaeda and Hamas, I don’t know how deep the ISIL-Saudi connection goes. I do know, however, that both ISIL and Saudi Arabia are simultaneously trying to goad America into jumping headfirst into another war in the middle east. They do not want America to carefully design an operation that would have greater success. They want us to just jump in headfirst. They’ve enlisted John McCain and Lindsey Graham to sell us that war.

          • charleo1

            As to the Saudis barbarianism, and capacity for brutality, I think we have to look to their heritage. Before the oil wealth, they were a nomadic tribe of bedouins, surviving despite living in one of the most inhospitable places on Earth. It’s like they say, ‘You can take the boy out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the boy’ The Saudis, like many of the tribes in that region, are essentially the same people they’ve always been, only now, they are very, very rich. And as such, can project, and seek to enforce their duoplistic, black, or white, good, or evil, vision of Islam on the wider world. As to buying their oil, enriching them. And then, having that financial power turned against us, or the economies we depend on, that depend on ours, is a dilemma for which we have no answer. Until such time as we in the West, can replace their energy, with other sources. And we see the almost immovable opposition to that course of action, presented by our own domestic energy sources. On the issue of climate change, and renewable energy. Or in Democrats, who are running for Congress in Kentucky, and W.Virginia, by promising to protect jobs in those States, by opposing Barack Obama’s perceived agenda against the coal business. As to
            the insanity of fighting yet another war in that part of the World. I think former Defense Secretary Bob Gates put it as well as anyone. This a quote from his invocation to a class of Cadets at West Point in Feb, 2011. (NY Times.)

            ““In my opinion, any future defense secretary who advises the president to again send a big American land army into Asia or into the Middle East or Africa should ‘have his head examined,’ as General MacArthur so delicately put it,” Mr. Gates told an assembly of Army cadets here.

            That reality, he said, meant that the Army would have to reshape its budget, since potential conflicts in places like Asia or the Persian Gulf were more likely to be fought with air and sea power, rather than with conventional ground forces.

            “As the prospects for another head-on clash of large mechanized land armies seem less likely, the Army will be increasingly challenged to justify the number, size, and cost of its heavy formations,” Mr. Gates warned.

            “The odds of repeating another Afghanistan or Iraq — invading, pacifying, and administering a large third-world country — may be low,” Mr. Gates said, but the Army and the rest of the government must focus on capabilities that can “prevent festering problems from growing into full-blown crises which require costly — and controversial — large-scale American military intervention.”

          • dpaano

            What’s interesting is that the Saudi’s were buddy buddy with the Bush family, and the president even flew them out of the country on a private plane after 9/11. Just another in a band of brothers! AND, it was mainly the Saudi’s who were involved in 9/11, not Sadaam’s gang!

        • bobnstuff

          Right, The right always tells the truth, and you can trust Fox News and Rush and Glen and every other AM shock Jock to give us the facts. You have eyes but yet you can’t see. After all you are the great and wise one. I hate to break you bubble but The government is not coming for your guns , the Muslims aren’t taking over the country and Obama isn’t the anti Christ.

          • I guess you ill believe once it happens but then it will be too late o stop. Yes, the government IS trying to take Americas firearms. Every bill presented by the liberals have some gun control item hidden in it. Muslims would like to take over our country, and ISIS has stated as much. They won’t have a hard time getting here seeing the Emperor has opened the door for them. And the Emperor is most likely not the anti Christ, but he is an anti American communist that should have never been running much less elected. He was not veted in the least, and still has not produced any verifiable data that actually proves he is who is says he is.

          • bobnstuff

            So just who is going to take you guns, the police? there are 2.6 police man per 1000 people in the US they are hard pressed to enforce the traffic laws, and have you ever meet a liberal policeman? So they will use the Army, now we are up to 7.8 per 1000. You do know that liberals own guns too.
            Have you ever read a bill? Everyone knows when they vote, what’s in them, nothing hidden.

            Next you do know how big the US is and that even Hilter couldn’t figure out how to invade us. It’s not as simple as leaving the door open.
            Next look up what the word communist means, you love the word but don’t have a clue what it means. Take the lies somewhere that non thinking people are.

          • Allan Richardson

            Don’t worry, no police in this country will take away your guns if you are white. On the other hand, if you are black and not threatening anybody, they will shoot you and claim you attacked them. They may even put a gun INTO your cold dead fingers!

          • dpaano

            As I’ve said before….the GOP live on lies and fear. They tell lies and cause fear, which, in turn, causes people like them to believe everything they’re told! It’s pretty sad!

          • dpaano

            shhhh, don’t tell them that….they LOVE to live in their land of lies. You’ll upset the apple cart if you tell them that Bush and his cronies lied to them!!!

    • FT66

      The problem is: Cheney, Bush and all war mongers were not kept behind the bars, for waging war full of lies. That could have reminded people all the time of their wrong doings and kick away amnesia.

      • A_Real_Einstein

        The next dem pres will lock them up and throw away the key. You are watching the the last gasps of the GOP. In 15 years they will no longer be a national party.

    • Theodora30

      You are right about the propaganda campaign! There were multiple warnings to the Bush administration about the threat we were facing. The mainstream “liberal” media has aided and abetted the propaganda campaign portraying Republicans as strong on defense by allowing evidence to the contrary to be forgotten. Reagan’s cutting and running after out Marine barracks was bombed in Lebanon and his sending Rummy to reassure Sadaam that he didn’t really have a problem with his using chemical weapons on the Kurds come to mind. Then there is Poppy Bush’s administration repeatèdly assuring Sadaam that we would not come to Kuwait’s defense. Not only did our ambassador tell him this to his face, State had it’s spokesperson, Margaret Tutweiller, make this clear to the media. Had we intervened instead of giving Sadaam a green light we could almost certainly avoided the first Gulf War which is what led to Bin Laden’s attack as well as the second one yet our MSM never brings these huge mistakes by Republican presidents to the public’s attention. No wonder people are misled.

      • Dominick Vila

        You are 100% correct about the reassurances that Bush I gave to Saddam regarding Kuwait. The game changer was the international uproar when Saddam invaded Kuwait and when Saudi Arabia voiced concern and demanded action.
        Regarding the perception that Republicans kept us safe, all I can say is that 9/11 was not enough to convince the electorate of the ineptitude of the Bush II administration, nothing will. That was, by far, the worst foreign terrorist attack on U.S. soil ever, and it happened with Republicans in control of the WH and both chambers of Congress.
        Only masochists would see that as evidence of security.

        • sorgfelt

          Calling it a “foreign terrorist attack” is still a bit off. Cheney directed the non-response of the U.S. military during the attack. Somehow, even though the Israeli Mossad and Saudi Arabia were heavily involved in performing the major part of the destruction, the whole scenario was highly desired and planned by U.S. neo-conservatives to advance their agenda. Cheney and Bush didn’t merely look the other way.

  • aabsalooka

    This is further evidence of the sound-bite sized mental capacity of too many Americans. Too many prefer the smart-assed, John Wayne style responses to complex international issues. W. Bush standing on a carrier deck in a flight suit declaring “Mission Accomplished” appeals to the dumbest amongst us. Careful, thoughtful diplomacy requires patience, and the American public just wants fast and cheap.

  • latebloomingrandma

    Americans are used to seeing massive problems solved in a 1 hour TV show or a 3 hour movie. They see Obama is inept because he didn’t follow that script. Imagine, 6 years in office and the world is still a mess. Couldn’t he just consult Jack Bauer as the Republicans did?

  • Cheney lied and people died.

    • JustaSlob

      I’d rather it read…”Cheney died & people lied”

  • mah101

    It is simple. A lie, fitting the existing beliefs of others or justifying their fears, told with authority and gravitas, is always more believable than a complex and messy truth.

    That is where the GOP has carved out its niche.

  • FireBaron

    According to the field commanders, we were within a couple of days of capturing Osama binLaden when Rumsfeld ordered the troops to withdraw from Tora Bora. This was just before the manufactured intelligence claiming the WMDs in Iraq were being used by al Quaida operatives training there. Of course, there were no WMDs and al Quaida did not exist in Iraq until our de-Ba’athification program took place. The problem is we couldn’t claim a need to go to Iraq if we already captured the “boogie man”.

  • ExRadioGuy15

    Remember that one of the defining characteristics (DCs) of Fascism is the obsession with national security. Fascist regimes, like the GOP, wrongly claim that national security is at risk to justify increased/further spending on the military and other agencies charged with protecting the nation. In addition, the GOP, who adhere to all 14 of the DCs, employ another one, identification of scapegoats/enemies as a unifying cause, to whip up fear and mistrust. The only reason that polls indicate that a majority of us are fearful is that too many Republicans are Fascists or believe the GOP’s Fascist propaganda.
    SSMDH 🙁

    • The liberals are worse than the republicans could ever hope to be.

      • tntlimited

        Yep kenndeb, get ready, the men in the white coats are coming for you…

      • dpaano

        Continue to believe the lies……the GOP lives on lies and fear mongering, and you’re just one of the many who are uneducated enough to continue to believe them! Sad!

        • I have a very good education, thank you. The lies and deceit come from the liberals that seemingly can not say anything that has an iota of truth. You would be wise to stop drinking the kool ade, and start reading some conservative sites to get a better understanding of what the liberals are actually doing. If things continue under this regimes rule, we will no longer have a country.


    I am with you Eleanore,where do these polls come from,who designed the questions,how many people were involved in the poll,what bias was involved in the questions?

  • Douglas Wills

    Most all wars are for conquest and possession of some asset. Tricky Dick Chaney did a great job of starting the first Iraq war to secure his Company Halliburton’s control of the oil fields in Iraq under the guise of “Weapons of mass Destruction.” The US invasion of Afghanistan (and bribing President Karzai one billion dollars) was rationalized as a response to 911 terrorism. Of course everyone now knows that Osama Bin Ladden was actually hiding in Saudi Arabia with his massive family and entourage at the time of 911. The real goal, for the US to take control of Afghanistan ( If you research online) was to build a multinational oil pipeline. This has been engineered and awaiting construction through Afghanistan for years by the multinational oil companies. The proposed pipeline would connect the vast untapped oil resources of Turkmenistan through Afghanistan and Pakistan to the Arabian Sea for export. Turkmenistan has been wanting this for years because it is landlocked and has no way to develop its fields or export its oil. Afghanistan has been too unstable for the oil companies to risk building the pipeline until the US put our troops on the ground. God Bless American Imperialism. No cost or sacrifice of human life is too great too support American Corporate Greed. Incidentally the US military industrial complex made a few bucks on the deal too.

    • dpaano

      Yes, it’s amazing how much people can forget when the GOP keeps telling them the lies that they constantly use. They rule by lies and fear, and it seems to work on the more uneducated voters.

  • Ronald Harris

    Really??? Bush and Chaney, Rice, and all, could not be trusted in 2002. Now after coming through all the economic, banking, and housing devastation they have caused from then and still struggling with and now they have somehow evolved into people who should be believed now? Nah! we have heard that bull shiggidy before; so many times.

  • dpaano

    Maybe a few Democrats need to stop up to the plate and reiterate this article rather than allowing the public to continue to believe what the Republicans are telling them. It amazes me how the GOP just responds by blaming the Democrats who were in the Congress at that time for the fiasco rather than blaming themselves for the lies that they told the Congress that caused them to vote the way they did!