I heard a truism decades ago that went something like this:
In fighting against any anything, we always lose, because we inevitably take on the qualities of “our enemy”, the very ones we are fighting against. In so doing, the “enemy” ends up winning.” Even with World War II and Hitler, if you look at what America became – torturers, invaders of defenseless countries, world dominators, totalitarians to some extent – we lost that war.
Every time I stand in a TSA line at an airport, I can’t shake the notion of what it was like to pass through a Nazi checkpoint in 1941.
This is the way the moderately conservative German newspaper, der Spiegel, sees 9/11, on this the eve of its 10th anniversary Bush’s Tragic Legacy – How 9/11 Triggered America’s Decline:
The smoke was still rising from the rubble of the World Trade Center when Richard Armitage, at the time the US deputy secretary of state, spoke in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. “History begins today,” he said.
In the coming decade, Armitage would turn out to be right — except the politician could not have foreseen how tragic the history would be following the epochal event. It is the history of the decline of the USA as a superpower.
Immediately before the attacks, this country was in full bloom — like Rome at its peak, as TV host Joe Scarborough recalls today.
The Republican President George W. Bush had inherited a fat budget surplus from the Democrat Bill Clinton. In Kosovo, the US, which Madeleine Albright dubbed “the indispensable nation,” had just shown the Europeans how it could resolve conflicts, even in their own backyard…
It was NOT all hunky-dory, though. Enron, along with their fellow criminals at Arthur J Andserson, was on the front pages, as were the collapse of other mega-empires, such as WorldCom. Carnivorous capitalism was taking a severe bruising in the press. The pedophile priests and the Catholic Church were very happy to have something push them off the front pages.
After watching several hours on that day ten years ago, I went to give blood. I wasn’t there five minutes when the guy behind me raised his voice and declared that, “We are so damned lucky that it was George W Bush who is President!” Hackles up, my immediate reaction was to say, “You stupid idiot, if Bush wasn’t the President this never would have happened!” Instead, in the interests of peace among grieving Americans, I bit my lip. Now I know that I should have spoken my peace and then gone to stand way in the back of the line – just to get away from such willful stupidity. In the days to follow, comedians and professors lost their jobs, as America went insane with forced compliance of any and all things Bush.