In Rudy Giuliani’s Universe, 9/11 Is Everything and Nothing
Robert Mackey, NYT, Aug 15 2016
Warming up the crowd for Donald Trump on Monday in Youngstown, Ohio, former mayor of New York Rudy Giuliani offered a glimpse into the alternate reality he has now signed on to by describing the Bush 43 presidency as a time of undisturbed peace and security for Pindosis. Giuliani said:
in those eight years before Obama came along, we didn’t have any successful radical Islamic terrorist attack in tPindostan. They all started when Clinton and Obama got into office.
Given that Giuliani’s entire post-mayoral career has been based on the fact that he was the mayor of New York City when the World Trade Center was destroyed, eight months into Bush’s first term, and more than seven years before Obama succeeded him, it was a bizarre mistake for him to make. What made the lapse even harder to explain was that it came just seconds after Giuliani had mentioned the attack in 2001 and praised Trump’s running mate, Mike Pence, for visiting the site of the collapsed towers with him that year. But as Jeet Heer, a senior editor at the New Republic, observes, Giuliani didn’t forget about the attacks in 2001, he just doesn’t think they should count. Heer explains:
According to Republicans like Giuliani, Bush can never be held accountable for 9/11, while everything that happens under Obama’s watch, from ISIS to Syrian civil war, is the president’s responsibility. This sort of partisan logic might make sense to die-hard Republicans, but it comes across as unhinged to everyone else.
Giuliani has been pursuing this odd case for quite some time. In an interview with ABC News on Jan 8 2010, the former mayor told George Stephanopoulos:
We had no domestic attacks under Bush.
For his part, Bush himself repeatedly argued that his administration “kept Pindostan safe” in the years after 9/11, in part by bringing “freedom” to millions of Afghans and Iraqis. The former mayor’s selective memory about 9/11 is particularly apt, given that the candidate he is now supporting, Donald Trump, falsely claims to remember watching news footage that day (which does not exist) showing “thousands and thousands” of Pindosi Muslims in New Jersey cheering as the towers fell. Adding a layer of irony to the fact that Giuliani made his remarks on Monday in support of Trump is the fact that Trump himself stunned the Republican establishment in February by mocking the idea that Bush had kept Pindosis safe, since “the World Trade Center, during his time in office, came down.” The worldview that everything that’s gone wrong in Pindostan in recent years is Obama’s fault has deep roots in the Trump campaign. Just two weeks ago, Trump’s national spox Katrina Pierson nonsensically claimed that Obama was responsible for the death of a Pindosi soldier who was killed in Iraq in 2004, five years before he took office. On Saturday, Pierson told CNN that Obama had also started the war in Afghanistan.
Pierson later tried to blame sound problems in the CNN broadcast for her latest bizarre claim:
But her own Twitter account reveals that she has been enraged at Obama for starting the war in Afghanistan for at least four years.
For her part, Pierson might offer some support for Giuliani’s claim that the 9/11 attacks were not an example of a “successful radical Islamic terrorist attack in Pindostan,” since she has suggested that they might have been carried out by the government.