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comment by Kaius
Kaius  ·  131 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: ‘Never Forget’ Is Breaking America

I remember reading this David Foster Wallace article when it first came out (2007). His thought experiment was that America should not respond with rage, and instead the right approach was to view the victims of 911 as "democratic martyrs" as Wallace puts it. Over the years his sentiment has returned to me several times, usually when I take my shoes off in an airport.

Of course it is also an impossible response for a country to accept. Were the 88/12% split in the opposite direction, which it would need to be to be accepted; my guess is that the 12% would burn the country down in their grief and anger.


One thing that I am constantly amazed by is the "They hate us because of our freedom!" sentiment. I mean do people really think that some dude in Afghanistan hates a country 3K miles away because of their political system? I'd say its far more likely the fact that his grandmother was blown to bits by a drone strike is the root cause don't ya think. Or in other words, they might have good reason to hate.

kleinbl00  ·  131 days ago  ·  link  ·  

The Bush administration made a fateful choice to pursue 9/11 as an act of war, rather than as a crime. The 20 years since have been a direct consequence of this action.

Had the United States pursued bin Laden as a criminal, the Taliban would have given him up to the Hague. There would have been a trial. The United States would have been the sympathetic victim. Of course, in The People vs. Osama bin Laden, the defense would have brought to light bin Laden's work for the CIA with the mujahedin, his inroads with the Saudi royal family and the general skullduggery of American foreign policy.

A Gore administration would have happily sacrificed the CIA's South Asia program on the altar of geopolitics. There would have been a reckoning, there would have been outrage on the right, but the world would have ended up a closer, more tight-knit place. The consequences of empire would have been held up for all to see and the price of hegemony discussed ad nauseum by all sides.

But Bush's dad was the head of the CIA, Cheney and Rumsfeld were black bag scumbags going way back, and tying a Reichstag fire to the Project for a New American Century was an opportunity the neocons couldn't miss.

Results were predictable. Those of us with any insight into foreign policy saw this coming a mile away; I personally didn't think we'd be in Afghanistan for 20 years but 5-10 was inevitable.

Nobody went to war over Ramzi Yousef.

b_b  ·  131 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I've argued to many people, almost entirely unsuccessfully, that W was a worse president than Trump. For all his bluster and missteps, the lasting policy consequences of the Trump administration are mostly containable. The Afghan war to a certain extent and the Iraq War to a major extent are foreign policy fuckups that have been producing results for two decades with no end in sight. He paints now. Great. He is friends with Michelle Obama. Cool. He fucked our country worse than any president since Hoover. Awesome.

kleinbl00  ·  131 days ago  ·  link  ·  

W was a more competent president than Trump, and that's scary. We're talking about a man who confused Sweden and Switzerland. His administration allowed the neocons to change the world to suit their fantasies. However, you're now arguing that the neoconservative view is worse than the neoliberal view, and that's tricky.

Here's the thing, though. Reagan fucked shit up worse than W. As far as the Republicans are concerned, he's a greater president than Teddy Roosevelt.