[Guest post by DRJ]
Just 9 days after 9/11, President George Bush told Americans: “I ask you to live your lives and hug your children.” He was criticized for it, even by Republicans, but it was good advice. America could not afford — either economically or from a security standpoint — to be cowed by 9/11.
I’ve been thinking about what President Barack Obama will tell America following the Flight 253 terrorist attack, especially since the British and Abdulmutallab say there may be more attacks. The Obama administration is reportedly debating what his response should be.
Initially, I assumed the Administration’s concern was for potential jihadi listeners but they may also be conflicted about what to tell Americans. Should Obama tell Americans to “live your lives” — that is, to keep flying as if nothing happened? Anything else could decimate an already damaged airline industry, but doing so will make Obama sound even more like Bush.
We’ll know soon. ABC News reports Obama will address the terrorist attack today. I wonder if he will also explain why the British put Abdulmutallab on an official watch list and refused his visa, but the Americans did not?
UPDATE 2 — The restrictions on passenger movements announced 2 days ago have apparently been eased — probably because someone realized the restrictions weren’t helping.