Bush didn't get bin Laden


Last September, George W. Bush visited ground zero in New York City. Granted, it took him several days to get around to it, but there he stood, bull horn in hand, atop a smoldering pile of rubble, twisted metal and crushed bodies, and proclaimed to the world in the plainest possible language that Osama bin Laden would be brought to justice, "dead or alive."


It has taken six months to determine the sincerity of that promise, but as of last Wednesday, the answer was clear. At his first press conference since the terrorist attack, Bush was asked about the progress in finding the mastermind behind the terrorist attacks.


"So I don't know where he is," our commander-in-chief retorted. "You know, I don't spend that much time on him... I am truly not that concerned about him."


OK, so 10 out of 10 for honesty, but minus several million for integrity. We're very glad, George, that you sleep so well at night. But I have a feeling that the families of the 3,000 victims might spend a little more time thinking about bin Laden than you obviously feel is necessary.


This should come as no surprise. If there's one thing that the Eternal War On Some Terra cannot bear, it's a sense of futility or of finality. A protracted search for bin Laden doesn't keep the old approval rating up. However, a nice long war against a new opponent -- oh, say Iraq, Iran or North Korea (but not Saudi Arabia, which harbors more terrorists than any of them) -- will surely distract attention from the administration's continuing neglect of domestic and other world affairs.


To find bin Laden would only bring closure to this sordid chapter in American history, and thus allow the Enron scandals, the federal deficit and the bloodshed in Israel to creep back onto the front pages.


Geoff Trowbridge The Elkhart Truth, 3/18/2002