President George W. Bush acknowledged today that he made a critical error in late 2001. He had been planning an effort to crack down on tourists. In the frenzy following the 9/11 attacks, he was announcing the plan but misspoke, saying terrorism instead of tourism.
Bush explained to this reporter over breakfast at a local diner: "We'd been having real problems with all them tourists coming here to Washington. They make a mess, screw up traffic and all that. So we figured we could make things a bit better."
The President was joking around with some friends and called his strategy the War on Tourists. The word "terrorists" popped out when he said it again, and that moment was captured on an open mike by an ABS news camera.
Thus, the War on Terror was misconceived. Bush recognized immediately that the idea was being played out wrong, but his advisers suggested that they wait and see what kind of reaction it got. "When we saw overwhelming support, I figured we'd go with it. Laura told me we should abort it but I knew the pro-lifers would get upset."
In fact, the policy has helped reduce tourism. Increased border enforcement has yet to yield any terrorists, but quite a few tourists have been caught up in the sweeps. While accidental, the President indicated he's happy with the results. He also hopes that other nations will join in. With recent outbreak of violence in Mumbai, he may get his wish.