From Le Monde, Paris France, September 12, 2001,
In this tragic moment, when words seem so inadequate to express the shock people feel, the first thing that comes to mind is this: We are all Americans! We are all New Yorkers, just as surely as John F. Kennedy declared himself to be a Berliner in 1962 when he visited Berlin. Indeed, just as in the gravest moments of our own history, how can we not feel profound solidarity with those people, that country, the United States, to whom we are so close and to whom we owe our freedom, and therefore our solidarity? How can we not be struck at the same time by this observation: The new century has come a long way.As long as I live, I will never forgive GWB and Karl Rove for their response to September 11. Julian Sanchez does a wonderful job of summing up Karl Rove's legacy.
...it is astonishing sometimes to think what an extraordinary opportunity the 9/11 attacks presented—an opportunity to rally not just the country but the whole of a sympathetic liberal West (and anyone else who was game) in affirmation of the shared values that distinguish us from fanatical theocrats: pluralism, freedom of speech, secular government, democracy, reason, the rule of law.Indeed.
And then, before we could catch more than a glimpse through the window, it snapped shut. The administration took the spirit of terrified solidarity that emerged in Congress as a sign of weakness to be exploited. The great uniting tragedy was unceremoniously reduced from an icon to a blunt cudgel, with which opponents were to be bludgeoned as frequently and mindlessly as possible. To the nations turning a sympathetic ear, we screeched our contempt. It was the inversion of Karl Rove's infamous sobriquet: Tiny flowers struggling up from a sea of shit, abruptly smothered in it again. And at least some small measure of the invoice for all this grotesque waste must come due at the door of the man so rapt in his "big picture" dreams—his grand vision of a great political alignment, a permanent Republican majority—that he could not see, in the historical moment he occupied, how profoundly petty an aspiration that was.