Clinton could have handled this mess better. Why? He would not turn down the invitation to go to the UN convention on racism. He would have sent someone to articulate the American point of view.
He would not have had to rely on the statesmanship of Colin Powell to appear credible to the rest of Europe and would have found a way to communicate to the Muslim leaders of the world.
Bush could not understand why some of the Muslim population hate us so much. Clinton would have understood.
There is a piece in the New York Times magazine last Sunday that says it unequivocally. We are in a religious war. Bush doesn't get it. This is why the Muslim community hasn't spoke out forcefully enough against bin Laden. There is a quiet consensus there that America had it coming. Also, an antipathy to Israel which goes beyond the Islamic extremists.
What happened to us on the 11th was horrible, unforgiveable and dangerous to everything that we as Americans believe in.
We need someone in the White House who is really up to the job. Instead of sending double messages such as getting the American people to fly and at the same time authorizing the military to shoot the planes down, we need measured responses and not hysteria provoking cowboy talk. "Les smoke 'im out!"
Clinton, despite his pecadillos (which BTW were not as bad as John Kennedy's) would have handled this crisis in a more mature and intelligent way.
My opinion of course.