“I really am convinced we’re in danger of the sort of terrorist attacks that will make the bombing of the Trade Center look like kids playing with firecrackers.”
In 2000, 19 months before Sept. 11, 2001, Donald Trump wrote extensively of the terrorism threat the United States was facing.
Trump, who at the time was considering a presidential bid on the Reform Party ticket, went so far as to say that an attack on a major U.S. city was not just a probability, but an inevitability.
“I really am convinced we’re in danger of the sort of terrorist attacks that will make the bombing of the Trade Center look like kids playing with firecrackers,” wrote Trump in his 2000 book, The America We Deserve. “No sensible analyst rejects this possibility, and plenty of them, like me, are not wondering if but when it will happen.”
Trump even mentions Osama bin Laden by name, in a criticism of an American foreign policy that too quickly jumps from one crisis to the next.
“One day we’re told that a shadowy figure with no fixed address named Osama bin-Laden is public enemy number one, and U.S. jetfighters lay waste to his camp in Afghanistan,” The Donald wrote. “He escapes back under some rock, and a few news cycles later it’s on to a new enemy and new crisis.”
Trump started a full-on war with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush on Friday, when he suggested Bush’s older brother and former President George W. Bush is to blame for the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
Jeb Bush took to Twitter to defend his brother, calling Trump’s attack “pathetic,” and told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday that Trump talks about foreign policy like he’s still on his reality show, The Apprentice.
Four years before The Apprentice ever aired, Trump devoted an entire section of his book to keeping America safe from terrorism, arguing our ignorance of the threats we faced from terrorism was the biggest threat to national security.
“I may be making waves, but that’s all right,” wrote Trump. “Making waves is usually what you need to do to rock the boat, and our national-security boat definitely needs rocking. Let’s point fingers. The biggest threat to our security is ourselves, because we’ve become arrogant. Dangerously arrogant. It’s time for a realistic view of the world and our place in it. Do we truly understand the threats we face? And let me give a warning: You won’t hear a lot of what follows from candidates in this campaign, because what I’ve got to say is definitely not happy talk. There are forces to be worried about, people and programs to take action against. Now.”
“We face a different problem when we talk about the individual fanatics who want to harm us,” The Donald continued, discussing the threat from individual terrorist organizations that despised American culture.
Trump said such people were determined to attack us.
“We can kid ourselves all we want by mocking their references to the Great Satan, but also keep in mind that there is no greater destiny for many people than to deal the Great Satan a major kick in the teeth,” he wrote, adding they despised the U.S. support for Israel.
“Our teenage boys fantasize about Cindy Crawford; young terrorists fantasize about turning an American city (and themselves) into charcoal,” Trump wrote.
Trump predicted a major attack on an American city that would involved weapons of mass destruction, writing, “Yet it’s time to get down to the hard business of preparing for what I believe is the real possibility that somewhere, sometime, a weapon of mass destruction will be carried into a major American city and detonated.”
Trump added that even if the U.S. mobilized, the country probably wouldn’t be able to stop most attacks. Trump said many people would willingly sign up for a suicide mission in America, and that the many U.S. military incursions create more terrorists who want to harm us.
“Whatever their motives — fanaticism, revenge — suffice it to say that plenty of people would stand in line for a crack at a suicide mission within America,” Trump wrote. “In fact the number of potential attackers grows every day. Our various military adventures — some of which are justified, some not — create new legions of people who would like to avenge the deaths of family members or fellow citizens.
“It is one cost of peacekeeping we should keep in mind. I am not a hard-core isolationist. While I agree that we stick our noses into too many problems not of our making and that we can’t do much about, I strongly disagree with the idea that we can pull up the drawbridge to hide from rogue nations or individual fanatics.”