A reader whose mother and wife both survived 9/11 responds to Bush's new ad campaign.

By Salon Staff
Published March 6, 2004 11:15PM (EST)

When the planes hit the World Trade Center, my mother was inside it; my wife was in the subway, directly below the buildings as they were collapsing. To this day, my mother wakes up screaming during thunderstorms, and my wife is terrified of flying or being in skyscrapers.

That day, and the events that have transpired since then, have raised a lot of questions in my mind. Today, for the first time, I got a definite answer to one of those questions, thanks to the campaign ad with WTC images that President Bush has begun to air.

It has become abundantly clear to me that Bush has no qualms about shamelessly exploiting 9/11 for his own purposes. It is no longer hard for me to believe that he can use that day as a pretext for starting wars and passing laws, that he can take advantage of the attack for his own benefit. Whether his reasons are political or financial, I do not know, but it is obvious that he sees the terrorist act as his ticket for the next term.

My cousin, a 26-year-old reserve Marine, has returned from Iraq without a foot after stepping on a landmine. It is unbearably painful to think that he has become an invalid for nothing.

It is scary to think that instead of trying to address terrorism and respond to 9/11, Bush has simply been misusing the day, ruining lives, breaking diplomatic ties and making the United States less safe.

I am troubled and disgusted. Despite that, I'm also grateful to the Bush campaign for the ad -- for answering at least one question.

-- Leonid Teytelman

Salon Staff

MORE FROM Salon Staff

Related Topics ------------------------------------------