Krugman’s op-ed on terrorism is generally excellent. No, those puny terrorists can’t destroy western civilization, a spectre raised by Jeb! Bush, who apparently learned nothing from his big brother. And yes, appeasement (as the Liberals in Canada are doing) is a dreadful idea.
But right at the end he misses the most horrible truth when he says “Do you remember all the pronouncements that 9/11 would change everything? Well, it didn’t — and neither will this atrocity.” Unfortunately Krugman’s dreaming. So what did 9/11 change?
By enabling the Rumsfeld-Cheney-Bush overreaction, it caused:
- The Iraq war (100,000 dead Iraqis, 5,000 dead Americans, $2 trillion + cost).
- Bush to install the Iran-supporting Shiite, Nouri al-Maliki as President,
- who required US troops to submit to Iraqi law or leave,
- and then treated the Iraqi Sunnis so badly that ISIS took hold.
- ISIS moved into Syria, flooding Europe with refugees, and attacked Paris.
- This is enabling the far right and fascist movements in Europe.
- It’s not over yet.
And so the effects of 9/11 continue to multiply. It has not changed everything — yet. But the changes have been more, not less, massive than people imagined at the time. Krugman knows all this, so where did he go wrong?? Idealistic thinking.
Krugman, like my liberal friends and Bernie Sanders, see that 9/11 should not have led to the Iraq war. So in their heads, they pretend it didn’t. They pretend the Cheney gang caused all this, and they feel that admitting the effect of 9/11 might absolve Cheney. Well it doesn’t. Both views are true. Cheney et al. caused it AND 9/11 caused it. Most things have more than one cause. So 9/11 did cause all this. Without 9/11, Bush would not have invaded Iraq. Period. (And yes, absolutely, the Bush-Cheney gang also caused it.)
And that’s what’s horrendous about terrorism for western civilization. It strengthens the crazy right — from the German neo-nazis to the Cruz-Trump-Jeb! bozos. And sometimes they gain power, as the neocons did. And then we get Iraq-style adventures that play into the hands of the terrorists.
9/11 changed the world, and Paris may too, by enabling or electing Euro’s Dick-Cheney’s.
There’s no easy answer, but there are some obvious traps to avoid.
- Do not let the Republicans pull another Iraq-invasion (Trump, Bush III, Cruz and Rubio sound like they would if they could).
- Do get the Europeans and Canada to stop ducking responsibility and face up to the source of their immigration problem, and the danger of ISIS.
Basically, limit ISIS as much as possible without ground troops while ISIS wakes up Europe to their responsibilities. And that’s exactly what Obama has been doing. He’s playing tough with the Europeans and other should-be allies. Unfortunately, that’s necessary. If we try take care of all this by ourselves, so the Europeans don’t have to do anything, (1) it won’t work, and (2) why the hell do the Republicans want do that anyway?
Sure it’s true; ISIS is Muslim (just a horrible sect of the that religion). Sure it makes Republicans feel good to talk so tough. But ultimately it costs American lives.
The trick to this battle is to get the Muslims to fight ISIS. They should have to pay the price, not American boys. Why can’t Republicans get this? And if you want Muslims to fight ISIS they have to believe ISIS is not Muslim. Sorry, that’s just how it is.