As he is known to do, Paul Krugman is rattling a few Republican cages. These folks always seem to have trouble accepting one thing. Hard truth. Krugman never refrains from dosing it out on economic issues but now he is raising a firestorm over comments made about 9-11 which caused the ensuing, "War on Terror". In retrospect as usual Paul Krugman got it right.
Krugman dished it out simply in a blog post yesterday:
What happened after 9/11 - and I think even people on the right know this, whether they admit it or not - was deeply shameful. The atrocity should have been a unifying event, but instead it became a wedge issue. Fake heroes like Bernie Kerik, Rudy Giuliani, and, yes, George W. Bush raced to cash in on the horror. And then the attack was used to justify an unrelated war the neocons wanted to fight, for all the wrong reasons.
A lot of other people behaved badly. How many of our professional pundits - people who should have understood very well what was happening - took the easy way out, turning a blind eye to the corruption and lending their support to the hijacking of the atrocity?
The memory of 9/11 has been irrevocably poisoned; it has become an occasion for shame. And in its heart, the nation knows it.
Shameful indeed. A tragic event was allowed by incompetence and then at the very time our nation finally united around something it was used to tear us apart. Instead of uniting against our enemies our "leaders" used it to propogandize America into pursuing a partisan, disgraced vision of the world and embarking to accomplish a theft of rights they had long salivated over. Democratic leaders were no better as many of them were simply cowed into going along instead of pointing out the many idiocies embarked upon by the Bush Administration.
And so 9-11 turned from a tragic, unifying event into what it became. A way to shove war down our throats and silence critics by calling them cowards, or worse yet traitors. All for the profits of the very few and an extreme, heartless vision of what the neo-cons want the world to be. A place where no life is sacred and causing death is perfectly fine as long as the right folks profit from it. A place where Americans funded it all with tax dollars giving those very certain few essentially no-risk investments which paid handsomely to politicians and "leaders" too.
Shameful too was the media. Instead of reporting the real facts of 9-11 and the "War on Terror" they seemed bent on propogandizing the American people into complicity. When a large percentage of Americans STILL believe that Iraq had something to do with 9-11 that speaks all you need to know about the performance and corruption of the Corporate media. For all of them the good times were rolling on.
And sadly the American people can share in the shame. While they pulled together nicely in the aftermath of the tragic event in the months and years after they allowed themselves to be robbed blind, lied to and actually re-elected the folks that did it. The truth was there to be seen but our country just seems to be so enamored with the shiny object over and over and do not care what is really happening as long as someone comes up with a slogan that makes them feel warm and fuzzy.
And what was happening was not only a robbing of American treasure but a stealing of the very rights that Americans had long held sacred and refused to give up. And once again Democrats were there to help the Administration rob American rights with the Patriot Act. Russ Feingold was the only Senator to vote against it. Here he is in 2004 talking about it:
And what was the result of all of this?? Failure:
THE US and western allies' "war on terror" has failed to deliver peace and has triggered unexpected consequences, including a resurgence of al-Qaeda and the Taliban, the British Science Association's annual Festival of Science was told yesterday.
It was 10 years since September 11th, 2001, and the deaths of almost 3,000 people at the World Trade Center that triggered the so-called war on terror. Yet, said Prof Paul Rogers, this war had failed to deliver any of the aims originally set by the Bush administration in Washington and had thrown up unexpected negative consequences.
Prof Rogers is professor of peace studies at Bradford and a global security consultant to the Oxford Research Group. The group yesterday released a research paper highlighting gross misjudgments made in the conduct of the war on terror, failures that were likely to be repeated in the coming years, he said.
The Oxford Group analysis "shows that the actual outcomes have been radically different to those anticipated", he added. Al- Qaeda became far more active in the five years after September 11th than they were before the atrocities in New York, Washington DC and Pennsylvania.
And in the times we live in, when we are told that America cannot invest in her own infrastructure or people it is not only shameful how much blood and treasure was wasted on this "War", it is ungodly:
In addition to the 2,752 lives lost in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, more than 6,000 U.S. military personnel have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. According to estimates, wartime operations directly resulted in the deaths of 224,000 to 258,000 people, including 125,000 Iraq civilians.
Joseph Stiglitz, a Columbia University economist, calculated the costs between $3 trillion and $5 trillion -- and that was three years ago.
"With almost 50 percent of returning troops eligible to receive some level of disability payment, and more than 600,000 treated so far in veterans' medical facilities, we now estimate that future disability payments and health care costs will total $600 billion to $900 billion," Stiglitz wrote in a book, "The Three Trillion Dollar War," co-authored with Linda Bilmes.
But of course as always in this country the last thirty years it did not cost everyone. Yes, the same few always seem to profit no matter what:
While defense contractors have profited -- for example, Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., the maker of Black Hawk helicopters, saw its global sales more than double in
five years to $6.7 billion in 2010 - the benefits have not trickled down.
"There's a lot of money to be made by war contractors and rent-seeking special interests. But for the economy as a whole there's a less efficient use of resources," says Adam Summers, a policy analyst with the libertarian-leaning Reason Foundation in Los Angeles.
So really anyone that thinks this was not a shameful time needs to wake up to reality. That was and is the same mindset that allowed it to happen and a worse version of those folks are ready to take over. They believe they can do whatever they want because they have been allowed to for so long and no lie is too big to keep the profits rolling in. The same coalition brought us the debt-ceiling fight and will do anything in their power to keep America from recovering for everyone but themselves and will expect us to sacrifice for their profit anew.
If Americans cannot see it and stand up for themselves and their families we are well into creating a more shameful time than that for history to judge us by.