Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Musings in the Aftermath of Fahrenheit 9/11 

Thanks to Michael Moore I now know the answer to my burning question the morning of 9/11. Where in the world was George W. Bush?

My best friend called me from Rowland, North Carolina and told me to turn on the TV. The first tower was already smoking from the impact of American Airlines Flight 11 and we were about was to watch the whole horrible thing unfold without any input from our national leaders.

Now I know that a couple of thousand miles away George W. Bush was sitting on a grammar school room chair, his eyes shifting this way and that. When the second plane went into the second tower, a man walked over to him and whispered in his ear. He continued shifting his eyes. This way and that.

Moments later, back in Iowa, I was watching those towers come crashing down and I needed a leader. Rudi Giuliani was there for me, obviously in shock, depressed, real. Thank you, Mr.Giuliani , I will always be grateful to you for anchoring me to reality that horrible morning.

Later on in the day commentators told us Mr. Bush was on Air Force One. Hmmm. Maybe like Harrison Ford in Air Force One he was valiantly fighting off the bad guys in order to Save the Nation? Maybe that was what he was doing when I needed him?

The media were strangely silent on the subject of the whereabouts of Mr. Bush throughout that morning. Why? There was a camera in that classroom. Couldn’t he have said something to us? After the teacher had finished reading her book, of course. We wouldn’t have wanted to interrupt that.

Someone somewhere closed down the airports. That was a good idea. Maybe Mr. Bush had been busy taking part in that decision? Finally, hours after we had bonded with Rudi Giuliani in the vacuum left by our national leaders, George Bush made a brief appearance and said a few unmemorable words. I don’t remember whether the smirk that played around his lips later when he mentioned the deaths of American soldiers in Iraq was there that morning. But he did say something. We knew he was still alive.

I hope I’m still around when the book is published that fills us in on the blanks. Only the people who were with Mr. Bush in those first few hours can do that. Hopefully they were not merely lackeys with a job description that would obligate them to keep forever silent. For history’s sake, I hope not.


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