Two Attacks, Two Responses
by James Glaser
Most Americans forget that in the first year of Bill Clinton's Presidency, like George Bush's first year, the world Trade Center in New York was attacked by Islamic extremists.
Although the only six Americans were killed, and the building did not collapse, over 1,000 Americans were injured. This was the first large terrorist attack on American soil by Islamic terrorists.
Both Presidents had to decide on what type of response we should take. Bill Clinton decided to treat the 1993 attack as a crime, while George Bush decided the 2001 attack was an act of war.
With Clinton's decision, America's law enforcement and our court system went to work. In two years, Sheik Omar Abel-Rahman and nine others were convicted of the bombing, and three years after that, the mastermind of the whole operation, Ramzi Yousef was convicted of "seditious conspiracy" to bomb the Trade Towers. Each man convicted in this 1993 bombing got an average of 240 years in prison, where they are today. Clinton's decision to use law enforcement cost no further American deaths. Law enforcement went all the way to Pakistan to arrest Ramzi Yousef.
George Bush decided on another way to go after the terrorists who attack the World Trade Center in 2001. Bush declared war on Terrorism, and used the American Army, Navy, Air force, and Marines to go after those like Osama bin Laden, who admitted to taking part in the attack. To date over 19,000 American troops have been killed or wounded in Bush's attack on terrorism, over one hundred thousand innocent civilians have been killed or wounded in the Middle East, and not one terrorist has been convicted and sent to prison for the 2001 attack on the World Trade Center.
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