A look back: the eventful Septembers of George W Bush

September 6, 2023
Jen Krausz

A lot happened in September during the presidency of George W Bush. Here are some highlights to consider, along with a contrast to the current president's handling of difficult times.

On this month in history, George W. Bush vowed revenge on the 9/11 attackers (2001) and was told by Kanye West that he doesn't care about Black people (2005).

As we get deeper into September, the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on America nears. Only days after those horrific attacks killed thousands of Americans and set in motion the slow deaths of thousands more, then-President George W. Bush vowed to bring them to justice.

The government would “find them, get them running and hunt them down,” he vowed. It took a little longer than he expected, but Osama bin Laden was finally hunted down by his successor, Barack Obama's administration, and killed.

Captured and killed

Mastermind of the attacks Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was captured in 2003 and is still awaiting trial with four other men who were involved.

One of the sticking points is the torture in the form of waterboarding that was inflicted on Mohammed to try to get other intelligence about the attacks.

Their efforts mostly failed, but they set off a controversy about whether the intelligence they did get could be used against the attackers. Now, Mohammed and others sit in Gitmo, 21 years later, still untried for their crimes.

Bush was steadfast about punishing them, and was strong in a time of turmoil for America. Is Biden as strong and capable?

Bush doesn't like Black people?

Bush faced another challenge when in September 2005, hip-hop musician Kanye West said that Bush didn't like Black people.

The comment was made during a concert for hurricane relief after Katrina in New Orleans, a city that has a large Black population. Bush faced an unfair backlash at that time for not doing more to help New Orleans, and it turns out his staff didn't keep him properly informed about the extent of the damage and agency failures.

Since then, Biden has presided over several natural disasters, and his handling of them has been even worse than Bush's handling of Katrina.

First, he refused to go to East Palestine, Ohio after a train derailment released toxic chemicals into the air and made the water undrinkable. And then, he callously said "no comment" when asked about the catastrophic wildfires in Lahaina, Hawaii a few weeks ago.

He may have finally learned his lesson with a visit to areas damaged by Hurricane Idalia in Florida and Georgia, but it may be too late to win him any goodwill from voters at this point.

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