Friday, February 26, 2010

17 Years Ago Today

February 26, 1993--with Kuwait celebrating their second "Liberation Day" in memory of the ouster of Saddam's Army by valiant US/coalition forces, a sinister event was about to transpire in New York.

Several terrorists led by a man named Abdul Basit Karim, or "Ramzi Yousef" according to his Iraqi passport, drove a rented Ryder Truck packed with explosives and cyanide into the parking garage of the World Trade Center with hopes the massive bomb would topple one tower into the next and kill over a hundred thousand in lower Manhattan.

Little did we know it then but the War on Terror had begun.

It would take eight years and an elaborate plot by Karim's Kuwaiti-born uncle to forever change the landscape of lower Manhattan and bring this war home to the average Jane and Joe. This same man is still wreaking havoc on New York and America from his jail cell at Gitmo as we fight over how to dispense justice.

To this day it's still a mystery as to where Clinton might have retaliated had the attack been successful as planned. Despite Yousef's Iraqi passport and dozens of calls made by cell member Mohammed Salameh to his father in Iraqi--himself with ties to terror groups--and despite Iraqi national Abdul Yasin being a bomb mixer then fleeing to Iraq after the attack, Iraq was never blamed during the 90s. Al Qaeda was unknown.

Clinton did strike back quick at Iraq later in 1993, blaming the attack on the thwarted Iraqi-sponsored hit on Bush 41. He continued to sporadically bomb Saddam and search his sands for WMDs until the final flurry of shock and awe--Desert Fox--came in 1998. He also bombed a pharmaceutical plant in Khartoum in 1998, making a public tie to Osama bin Laden, who had become known via the Embassy attacks. Yes, Republicans accused Slick of wagging the dog but several others were also busy forming PNAC while Congress passed a near-unanimous resolution calling for regime change. Nobody had forgotten.

After the 1993 attack there were no calls for a fact-finding commission; likewise for Oklahoma City despite circumstantial evidence linking the two. Maybe they weren't big enough to cultivate the necessary public outrage but the 9/11 commission seemed to have no interest in dredging up that past in their pursuit of the truth.

Flash forward to today. Conventional wisdom says Yousef was an AQ operative and that bin Laden hated us and declared war on us because we took out Saddam from Saudi soil, even though we helped his mujihadeen defeat the Soviets just a few years prior and despite his much ballyhooed hatred for the scotch-drinking butcher of Baghdad.

And Yousef is locked in the Supermax for life. But it might be interesting to ask the one who almost pulled off the first 9/11 on 2/26/93 why he obtained his Iraqi passport with a date stamp of 9/11/90 to enter America in prep for the job. Was it just an odd coincidence or was it an answer to this? Does anyone really want to know? Or is it all just too much?

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