Connecting The Dots          

Deborah Venable



The partisan political war of blame for 911 has taken space in the headlines away from the war on terrorism.  The entire news media is in a feeding frenzy over it, and confusion reigns supreme.  We see the administration and congressional leaders in a veritable shouting match over all the “new” old reports of prior warnings about impending attacks on America.  Which came first, the chicken or the egg?  Who dropped the ball the greatest distance, the Republicans or the Democrats? 


The most important question isn’t even being asked – What difference does it make now?   I believe in learning from history, so don’t get me wrong here – let me put a qualifier on that question.  If you can rationally believe that not one single American in the Congress or the administration would have deliberately caused the death and destruction, (even through omission of evidence), that occurred on September 11, 2001, then, what possible difference does it make now who knew what when?


Anyone allowing himself to become embroiled in this current party blame fest should remember a quote from another historical text:  “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.” 


One thing is quite certain – anyone who stirs this pot is bound to come away with a burn.  The Senate Intelligence Committee is complaining that it did not have access to documents from the intelligence community, the intelligence agencies continue to come under fire as the village idiots in government, (even as it is revealed that they tried to warn “people”), and the leaders of Congress and the administration are each indignant to think that the other would accuse them of partisan politics in such a scandalous situation.  This “pot” is splattering out all over place!


Let’s stop and think for a minute – what would have been different if EVERYBODY knew what is contained in those newly publicized “revealing” reports?  Would the FAA have shut down all the airports and grounded all air traffic indefinitely?  That, folks, is the ONLY thing that would have definitely prevented American airliners from being used as weapons like they were.  Even now, as we look at what has taken place in airports to supposedly keep it from ever happening again, we see NOTHING to guarantee it won’t! 


Would the INS have closed our borders, rounded up every single alien they could find and deported them?  Would that have happened, do you think?  Wait a minute – I’m laughing too hard to type . . .


Would ALL flight schools have been closed and any foreign students sent out of the country if everybody had known that we were training potential hijackers here?  Would every tall building in the country and every sensitive government office have been vacated to save potential human casualties if everybody had known about those potential targets?  Do we even have to ask these questions given the reactions to the warnings SINCE 911?  Even the airports are not “profiling” based on KNOWN information, and have, in fact, gone out of their way to hassle those who would never fit ANY profile – known or not!


One other consideration – the various accusatory conspiracy theorists insist that the military action in Afghanistan was a predetermined war to achieve free access to oil.  So, I ask again, IF EVERYBODY HAD KNOWN that this was being planned, would we have all given up using anything that required oil or petroleum products in this country beyond what could be supplied by our own present production or that which could be acquired from some place other than our major suppliers in the middle East?  Would those who have continued to block efforts to open up drilling sites within our own country have backed off and actively worked to see our oil production capabilities increase to the point that we would not need outside suppliers at all? 


For whatever mess we now find ourselves in, threatened economically, militarily, culturally, religiously, governmentally, politically, and personally, IF we had all known the events that have transpired leading up this crisis, WHAT would we have done, and WHAT could we now insist our leaders should have done to prevent it?


Connecting the dots in the right order is imperative before we can learn from history.  Do we know where to start with that giant task?  I propose that we DO indeed know where to start.  Each and every individual citizen in America can look in the mirror and place a big number 1 right on our own foreheads!  If America will ever get back to the business of self governing, beginning with individual responsibility, then we will quit allowing these “pass the buck parties” by gutless politicians that only care about preserving their place at the public trough!  We will get our own houses in order, clear our own debts, take control of our own families and our communities, elect good people to represent us in a lean and clean system of government, manage our own freedom before we presume to tell the rest of the world how freedom works, and go on to number 2 – educate our children to know the difference between how things are now and how they should be in the future!


How many of us would have done things differently if we’d really listened up in history class – those of us that actually learned some of the untainted variety of history – and foreseen the mess we could make out of America if we didn’t?  How dare we, any of us, take such a holier than thou attitude over this volatile issue, and continue to allow America to move down the slippery slope that is greased with our apathy and powered by our inability to see the whole truth!       

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