Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Did Osama Win?

Today's 'must read'. Andrew Sullivan.

Bin Laden hoped to provoke a civilizational war between Islam and the West. And we took the bait.

We need to understand that 9/11 worked. It worked as a tactic to induce American self-destruction, even if it failed spectacularly as a strategy to advance Al Qaeda—and its heretical message of suicidal warfare—across the globe. [...]

[...] This handful of fanatics was supposedly a greater threat than the Nazis and the Soviets. And so much of our inherited moral wisdom—such as the absolute stricture against torture and the ideal of habeas corpus—were tossed aside. Dick Cheney, the man elected vice president as a calming father figure, became the most terrified of them all. And so we joined him in fearing that Al Qaeda was on the cusp of arming itself with WMDs that could be used to end our civilization.

Bin Laden and his henchmen failed, in other words. But our own fear won. Fear stopped us, overwhelmed us, as our ra-tion-al-ity deserted us. Yes, it was understandable, given what we endured that September morning. But we need to admit that our response was close to fatal. A bankrupted America that tortured innocents and disregarded its own Constitution is barely recognizable as America.

A few fanatics with boxcutters may have brought the buildings down but it only took one neocon coward to bring the country down.


Anonymous said...

Shortly after 9/11, I believe I recall hearing that Bin Laden stated that no further action needed to be taken that we would bankrupt ourselves in response. It was my opinion then and now that whether Bin Laden believed that or not, it was an accurate opinion. We went crazy and show no signs of pulling out of the crazy. We do not seem to be catching on that we are a decade out, still irrational, and running out of money and men to pursue our craziness.

I am gob-smacked by the general opinion that our troops in the ME are "keeping America safe" and "protecting our freedoms."

It's pathetic, tacky, foolish, misguided, etc., and it would be sort of funny if it were not my country advertising itself as both stupid and clinically insane.

BNS (big neurotic sigh)

Jay in N.C.

***BTW, where is Sarge? I haven't seen a comment from him in quite awhile.

Fixer said...

Our president, meaning well, did his best, and it was more than good, at the beginning.

Andy needs to continue seeing his pshrink because he can't quite wrap his head around the fact he was duped so badly at that time.

George Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld didn't "mean well" for any of us. They saw it as an opportunity and milked it for 8 years.

Hence the turn to Iraq. Without the psychic terror of 9/11, and its swamping of reason in our frontal cortex, the Iraq War would never have happened. In our panic, fear kept spiraling upward.

Because people like Andy, instead of keeping their heads and taking a rational look at what was going on (like us), jumped, in fear and panic, on the Bush Bandwagon To Iraq. Hello? Professional journalist?

After the last decade, I look at journalists the way I look at lawyers. Most of them ain't smart and would be better off in a different profession because they're doing it for the wrong reasons. I know a lot of lawyers and after keeping an eye on journalists for the last 7-odd years, I'm confident in that assessment. The really good ones aren't "household names".

Gordon said...

I'm glad you picked up on that. I put it in on purpose hoping someone would.

Sullivan finally saw the light and I applaud him for that, but he sees it through a glass, darkly.

He still made some damn good points.

Fixer said...

He still made some damn good points.

Most certainly, and I give him credit for finally getting it. I hope whatever he has is contagious.

Gordon said...

I hope whatever he has is contagious

I'm sure the Repugs think his gay is. Heh.

CAFKIA said...

He still made some damn good points.
However, he and most everyone else glosses over the fact that while the IX/XI attacks were concentrated, they still only caused roughly one seventeenth of the deaths we as a nation gleefully endure from automotive incidents. I acknowledge that it sucked mightily for those who died and it still sucks hard for their relatives and loved ones but, it was not that many people. It was waaaay too many. If I had been the only one killed in the attack it would be waaaaay too many. But in the grand scheme of things, it wasn't that many.

Think of the nations that are smaller yet have endured much greater loss of life and still end up with a net gain in population for the year. Earthquakes and tsunami, hurricane/cyclone, pogroms, civil wars and Gawd knows what all, have been known to kill many more people in much smaller nations and still they grow in size and production.

I am in no way attempting to justify the attack or minimize the impact it had on those most directly affected. Our response however, was a cynical, opportunistic money and power grab by amoral manipulators who care no more for country than they do for vacuum.

If the 3k of IX/XI mean so much, why do the ~50k annual automotive deaths mean so little?