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Wednesday, September 22, 2004

The Illusion of Action

"I'm a war-time President." "I lead."

Like all politicians, Bush utters meaningless statements, like the ones above, to foster an illusion of something. In this case, the illusion is one of activity. In the throes of the election cycle, politicians become morbidly afraid of appearing to be inactive, especially on hot button issues.

So, we've got a rush to implement the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, much like Bush rushed to create the department of Homeland Defense. There's ample evidence that HD is a mess that is causing more harm than good. It's a mess because it got thrown together to create a sense of progress on the national security front.

The 9/11 Commission recommendations call for similar action, with brand new departments being created and vast changes in funding policies. Implementing their good recommendations, which most of them are not, should take no small amount of time, in order to insure that we don't juryrig another mess like HD.

Henry Kissinger, who was the original choice to head the 9/11 Commission, is recommending that we wait until Nov. 3 to start tackling the Commission's recommendations. He's got the support of several other former Secretaries of State, and they are absolutely right.


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