"'Whatever it Takes'": The common denominator of our ruling class's domestic and international strategy in the post-9/11 decade is its determination to double its bet on already failed policies."
10/20/11, "The lost decade," Claremont Institute, Angelo M. Codevilla
"At home, the American people are less free, less prosperous, more bitterly divided, and much less hopeful in 2011 than in 2001 because a decade of the War on Terror brought a government ever bigger and more burdensome, as well as “security” measures that impede the innocent rather than focusing on wrongdoers. Our ruling class justified its ever-larger role in America’s domestic life by redefining war as a never-ending struggle against unspecified enemies for abstract objectives, and by asserting expertise far above that of ordinary Americans. After 9/11, far from deliberating on the best course to take, our rulers stayed on autopilot and hit the throttles....
Because the Bush Administration took CIA director George Tenet’s snap judgment that Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda were responsible “game, set, and match” for 9/11 as a warrant for identifying them with America’s terrorist problem in general, it failed to ask the classic headwaters question: what is the problem?...
That would have pointed to the Middle East’s regimes, and to our ruling class’ relationship with them, as the problem’s ultimate source. The rulers of Iran, Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the Palestinian Authority had run (and continue to run) educational and media systems that demonize America. Under all of them, the Muslim Brotherhood or the Wahhabi sect spread that message in religious terms to Muslims in the West as well as at home.
- That message indicts America, among other things, for being weak.
And indeed, ever since the 1970s U.S. policy had responded to acts of war and terrorism from the Muslim world by absolving the regimes for their subjects’ actions. For example, when Yasser Arafat’s PLO murdered U.S. ambassador Cleo Noel, our government continued building friendly relations with Arafat, and romancing the Saudi regime that was financing him. Since then the U.S. government has given $2.5 billion to the PLO. Part of the reason was unwarranted hope, part was fear, and part was the fact that many influential Americans were making money in the Arab world....
In the American political marketplace of 2012, the American ruling class's stock is at a historic low. President Obama and nearly all who vie to replace him try to disassociate themselves from the decisions of the past decade. So do most of our elites. But since none explains and accuses his own errors, it is by no means clear whether any have learned from their mistakes. More important is what the rest of the country may or may not have learned. For us to understand how these mostly intelligent people could have made errors so big for so long requires understanding the principles they violated, and the moral as well as the intellectual dimensions of their errors. More difficult yet, both intellectually and morally, is the essential task of explaining the hard choices that will be required to deal with the troubles bequeathed us
- by this decade of defeat."
Robert Zimmerman's comment:
12/14/11, "I have always believed that when we went to war after 9/11, we needed to clean out all of the corrupt regimes in the Middle East, much as we did after World War II. Sadly, Bush did not. Had he fought World War II like he fought the “War on Terror” he would have stopped at the German border after Normandy and declared victory.
Read the whole thing. There is a lot more there, about freedom, government oppression, the TSA, and much else. The read is definitely worth it."
Ed. note: People like George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld would say to this day, "whatever it takes," and many right of center Americans would say, "yeah, USA, USA." This is the problem. These wars are business deals, period. If they are wars at all they are by politicians against ordinary Americans. It's a giant fraud. As this wonderful article says, none of the candidates addresses this situation nor their own role in perpetuating it. ed.
via Robert Zimmerman, Behind the Black