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Customer Review

on March 28, 2004
The important point of this book is not whether Clinton or Bush was more to blame for failing to prevent 9/11. It seems clear that neither administration would have been able to muster the political will from Congress, the American public, or foreign allies, that would have allowed an invasion of Afghanistan or other military measures sufficient to so disrupt Al Qaeda that the attack might have been prevented.
What is so important, and so very clear from the book, is that:
1. The Bush Administration was actually less concerned, and devoted substantially less resources and attention, to combating Al Qaeda, than the Clinton Administration. While Clinton's efforts to fight Al Qaeda were not sufficient to prevent 9/11, Bush further diminished the government's efforts.
2. The Bush Administration made a catastrophic mistake in launching an unnecessary and counterproductive war against Iraq while failing to complete the job in Afghanistan or otherwise focus sufficiently on Al Qaeda after 9/11.
Prior to 9/11, neither administrations did what would have been necessary to prevent the attacks, and neither would have had the political support to do so. After 9/11 however, the Bush administration did have the political support, both domestically and internationally, to do whatever was reasonably necessary, but squandered that support on the wrong war at the wrong time in the wrong place, for reasons that were preconceived prior to 9/11.
These truths are so clear that they are beyond reasonable refutation, which is doubtless why the Bush administration has undertaken personal attacks on Mr. Clarke rather than any refutation of his book on its merits. With the domestic economic policies of the administration so obviously a failure, there is no rationale for the Bush administration except its supposed wisdom and skill in fighting terrorism. This book demolishes that rationale
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