Ari Fleischer, press secretary for much of the George W. Bush administration, offered a remembrance of 9/11 yesterday that inadvertently revealed the deeply flawed nature of the administration's response.
"We're at war Dick and we're going to find out who did this and we're going to kick their ass," Bush told Cheney.— Ari Fleischer (@AriFleischer) September 11, 2015
When Bush left office more than seven years later, Osama bin Laden was still at large. Instead of finding out who did this and kicking their ass, the White House tried to minimize the investment of resources in Afghanistan and pivot as quickly as possible to the essentially unrelated project of invading Iraq.
A couple of days earlier, Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) offered a new twist on this old conclusion by proclaiming it "ironic" that congressional votes on the Iran nuclear deal were being held on the anniversary of the terrorist attack.
Ironic that Congress may vote on Iran nuke deal on 9/11— JohnCornyn (@JohnCornyn) September 8, 2015
You see in Bush's conduct and Cornyn's tweet a persistent unwillingness to recognize the existence of disparate forces in the world. Al-Qaeda merges alternately with Saddam Hussein or the regime in Iran in a hazy muddle of "Muslims behaving badly." It's a deeply flawed analysis of the world, and it's one of the main reasons it took so long for bin Laden to be brought to justice.