Free Markets, Free People

Classless and gutless

Who has decided to politicize the day of remembrance that 9/11 has become?  Why none other than the crass and classless Paul Krugman, of course:

What happened after 9/11 — and I think even people on the right know this, whether they admit it or not — was deeply shameful. Te [sic] 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.

Rewriting history so he can attack political strawmen on a day the rest of America has put aside its politics to remember the victims of that day. 

What a piece of garbage.

Oh, and gutless too:

I’m not going to allow comments on this post, for obvious reasons.

Yup, pretty obvious.


Twitter: @McQandO

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42 Responses to Classless and gutless

  • Richard Trumpka can be added to the list of the classless and gutless.

  • Krugman asks, why is this 9/11 subdued ? Because our President has done everything to make it that way.
    Hey, how about a day of civic responsibility ?

    This is as bad a using “Gunwalker” to complain about illegal guns.  … oh, never mind the man behind the curtain.
    As for the coulda, shoulda, woulda …
    If Al Gore had won the presidency in 2000, would the world be…?

    And now this month’s fantasy hypothetical question. Twenty-five percent of Americans think the world would be a better place if Al Gore had won the 2000 presidential election and 16 percent think it would be a worse place. Predictably, the former group had more Democrats and the latter more Republicans (surprise!). The majority of Americans (56 percent) led by Independents did not think that the world would be very different at all.

  • You’re just NOW figuring this out?

  • When I saw this earlier, I thought the exact same thing. This man not only lives in an echo chamber, but he defines the dimensions of it.

  • In case you’re interested in learning about the Shameful Parts of American Exceptionalism read this by Mark Danner, who you may consider “gutless” also ==>

  • For once, I think Krugman backed into a bit of truth, accidentally.  Not the partisan pointing the finger at only the GOP.  But at all the unjustified actions which used 9/11 as a flimsy excuse.
    The invasion of Iraq was a waste of lives and treasure.  The occupation and nation building in Afghanistan, likewise, was a waste of lives and treasure.  Not just those of Americans and allied forces, but of the civilians in those countries killed, maimed, harassed, terrified, or dispossessed as a result.  All of this solidified, in the minds of many around the world, the image of the United States government as an imperialist bully, which is willing to steamroll over the lives of innocents to maintain dominance.  The less the military was used to hunt down terrorists responsible for attacking Americans and the more it was used to maintain puppet rulers, the more it became evident that the administration’s lofty goals and justifications were just excuses.
    Then there was torture, which sullied the image of all American troops by association.  Those of us who were willing to give the Bush administration the benefit of the doubt that they were doing the right thing in Guantanamo or in their other clandestine operations around the world, who dismissed the accusations of anti-war types as paranoid, sadly came to realize that the assurances were mostly lies.  News trickled out confirming the worst: innocent people were locked up for years, some tortured.  That such things were done in our names was indeed shameful.
    The Patriot Act, TSA, and all the other anti-American erosions of our freedoms have transformed the “Land of the Free” into a mere ghost of itself, making what was once a special place in the world more and more like Europe, or the authoritarian regimes that were so easily contrasted to life in America in decades past.
    Krugman is an ass and a dishonest apologist for big government excesses.  But he’s not completely wrong about the wrong turns that the US government took after 9/11.

    • Yeah, and since we’re talking about unjustified wars – let’s talk about Libya.

      • I agree.
        If you look at the comment section on this very website, you’ll find me objecting to Libya from the start, for the same reasons.

    • Two things –
      and let’s talk about hero Obama, you know, the kid they made sit in the corner while the adults waited for news of the Seals taking out Bin Laden.
      Good lord, when IS Krugman’s home planet either going to cancel the invasion plans and come get him, or launch their damned invasion.

      • Like I said, Krugman is an ass.  He distorts everything into a partisan finger-pointing exercise, facts be damned.
        Obama has never displayed any heroism.  He’s established himself as an enemy of individual rights long ago.  Krugman’s predictable choice to single out Republicans is where he’s wrong.
        But the Bush administration was never really a friend of individual rights, even if they were less hostile on most economic terms (TARP and prescription program being notable examples of failure).  The heroism of first responders, as well as troops in foreign entanglements had nothing to do with the people in charge in Washington during Bush 43, or now.  Good people who thought they were fighting for freedom have been exploited, and their lives often squandered without good reason.

        • I seriously doubt Bush ever, at any point, considered himself any kind of hero.  The same goes for Rudy.  Only a numbnuts like Krugman would venture to think they did, and only because a numbnuts like Krugman probably does think Obama was some kind of hero for ordering the hit on Bin Laden.
          If leaders were awarded medals every time one of the men under them did something valorous they’d start looking like Curly from the Three Stooges doing his impersonation of a NAZI general – with medals on the front so thick he had to wear em on the seat of his trousers too.
          Krugman doesn’t understand what makes a hero and what doesn’t in the first place.  And I’m gonna step out on a  limb here and say we’ve let the media degrade the value of the word hero…as proof…people who were killed on 9/11 sitting at their desks or in their seats on planes weren’t heros.  They were victims.  There’s nothing heroic about dying when that’s all you did.  Unfortunate, regrettable, but not heroic.

    • Perhaps you agree with Chris Hedges…formerly of the NYT…

      Those of us who were close to the epicenters of the 9/11 attacks would primarily grieve and mourn. Those who had some distance would indulge in the growing nationalist cant and calls for blood that would soon triumph over reason and sanity. Nationalism was a disease I knew intimately as a war correspondent. It is anti-thought. It is primarily about self-exaltation. The flip side of nationalism is always racism, the dehumanization of the enemy and all who appear to question the cause. The plague of nationalism began almost immediately. My son, who was 11, asked me what the difference was between cars flying small American flags and cars flying large American flags.

      “The people with the really big flags are the really big assholes,” I told him.

      Read more:

      • My love and devotion is to America, not the flag or the US government.  I’m anti-war, but I still have respect for those in the military who maintain their honor in the face of all the crap that politicians put them in, exploiting them for what are unfortunately often less than noble goals.  I have two nephews in the Marines, one in Afghanistan.
        Some of the more thoughtless, blind demonstrations of false patriotism left me cold, as they were not dedication to the ideals of America, but more about jingoism and Homer Simpson style stupidity.  And, while I’m sure there were those who saw the brown people on the other side of the world in racist terms, Hedges’ blanket statement about racism is bullspit.
        I have no problem with taking out Al Qaeda or even Saddam Hussein.  I just don’t see wholesale invasion as the way to do it, considering the great costs to those who live there, who did nothing to harm Americans.

        • I just don’t see wholesale invasion as the way to do it, considering the great costs to those who live there, who did nothing to harm Americans.

          What were the costs of our NOT taking out the Taliban and the Baathists?  You guys NEVER consider the whole picture.
          Or history.

          • “What were the costs of our NOT taking out the Taliban”

            The Taliban? I thought we were after AQ. The only thing the Taliban did was allow AQ to stay in Astan. We solved that problem, and from what I have read AQ is not all that popular with the Taliban anymore. Mission accomplished, time to go home.

            Oh, wait. We have a new mission. Now we are going to cram a millenium of social and political progress into  a decade or two, whether they like it or not. What could go wrong?

          • Again, all you have to do is read, time.  The CLEAR mission was to take out the Taliban.  Google is your friend.

          • Rags, I agree with you most of the time, but I seriously question the parallel – with respect to the best method of engagement –  between WWII Germany/Japan and the Taliban/Baathists.  It’s a bit cavalier to toss that out there with no justification and I don’t think Elliot was arguing to NOT take them out, just disagreeing with the method.  I mean it almost seems as if you’d argue we should have invaded Pakistan to remove Bin Laden.  I don’t think you’d actually argue that.
            I’m still not convinced our approach in Iraq was the best one, but I do think Saddam needed to be stopped.  I could toss out a flip line too that ‘you guys’ never consider the whole picture or the costs with respect to the post-invasion mess and the geo-political impact of such an invasion but that would be trite, wouldn’t it?  One of the costs is that it provides cover for a weak administration to justify invasions that are clearly ridiculous (Libya anyone?).
            There are plenty of thugs and assholes ruling countries today; on what grounds do we decide which ones are worth attacking.  I don’t think American foreign policy has had any clarity on that for a long, long time.

          • What’s this “you guys” crap?  I don’t know what pigeonhole into which you’re trying to stuff me, but I’d wager a good amount that you have no clue what you’re talking about.  I have no solidarity with most “anti-war” types, particularly those who put down their placards and shut up once Obama took office, ignoring the expansion in Afghanistan, maintaining Guantanamo, attacks in Pakistan, Yemen, and elsewhere, as well as starting a new war in Libya.  They’re more about opposing Republicans than about raising moral objections to harming civilians, squandering the lives of American troops, or propping up immoral regimes, and doing all this in our names with our money.  For example, I think Michael Moore is a scumbag and I let him know it on a regular basis.  And, our favorite punching bag from Maine was even a cheerleader for Obama going to war against Libya from the start, even though he describes himself as a pacifist.  People like that can go to hell, as can anyone who lumps me with them in some lazy “you guys” quip.
            The fact is I look at the whole picture, not just the sanitized news stories which typically don’t show the bloody civilian corpses and maimed.  The media either waves the flag and focuses on the bravery of American forces and how they help civilians (mostly ignoring the cost to other civilians), or only focuses on brutalities and intractable difficulties when it makes for a certain type of political propaganda (e.g., Dan Rather).  They’re all propagandists, either way.
            My concern is how a particular action affects others, including innocents.  I’m not a pragmatist.  I don’t believe the ends justify the means.
            If you want to talk history, then let’s go over some specifics:
            Japan attacked us.  Using military force against their armed forces was justified.
            When the operations went from naval battles or entrenched forces on key islands, to fire bombing air raids on cities on the main islands—some of which had no military benefit—the justification as a “lesser of two evils” no longer holds.  It becomes one of revenge and terror, which may very well be an effective way to demoralize the enemy, but it is decidedly immoral.  At some point, bombing civilians is morally indistinguishable from attacking the WTC.  And, while I don’t buy the moral equivocations used by some to condemn the use of the atomic bombs, I do recognize that using those weapons was a “lesser of two evils” choice, in which tens of thousands of innocents suffered, in exchange for the greater number of lives which would have been lost in an invasion.
            I lived in Okinawa and Tokyo.  Most of the people there loved American culture and were quite happy to live in peace with Americans.  It was the political leaders, the top brass, and the “just following orders” soldiers who engaged in atrocities who deserved to die, not these civilians.  That bombs from US planes killed people just like them was a terrible tragedy, and the US government should have taken more care to avoid such things, including resisting the temptation to make symbolic acts of revenge.
            Germany didn’t attack us and Uncle Joe, the wartime ally of the US and UK, had already murdered as many Ukrainians in the Holodomor as Jews murdered by Hitler, or perhaps even more.  Even worse, after the total defeat of the Nazis (which, in and of itself, was a fantastic moral victory), the USSR and its puppets kept half of Europe behind the Iron Curtain, which negated much of the value of the victory over the Nazis.
            US involvement in North Africa and Europe wasn’t a black and white affair.
            Certainly, assisting the UK and free France to defend themselves was justified.  Liberating people from German occupied territories was also a noble goal, though again, that meant more “lesser of two evils” choices.
            Early US involvement in bombing missions resulted in heavy USAAF casualties, since they made daytime raids to minimize civilian casualties.  By the end of the war, however, the US was part of the monstrosity of firebombing civilians in Dresden, as well as other terror attacks aimed more at demoralizing the Germans than at destroying their military forces.  Such is the result of making ethical compromises for the sake of expediency.
            As for the Taliban, they didn’t attack the US.  They harbored Al Qaeda.  Their oppression of the people in Afghanistan was abominable, but the replacements put in place after the US invasion are not enlightened or respectful of freedom.  Apostasy is still a capital crime.  Women are still treated as chattel.  “Honor” murders are commonplace.  So, while killing AQ was justified, toppling the Taliban and engaging in nation building wasn’t.
            The Iraqi Baathists had nothing to do with 9/11.  They didn’t have any significant WMD programs and weren’t a threat to the US or even neighboring countries, post Desert Storm.  Invading Iraq was wholly unjustified.  It was nothing at all like Japan or Germany.  The cost of not invading Iraq would have been nothing, in all likelihood.  In the worst case, Saddam would have murdered some more civilians perhaps started something with Saudi Arabia (and lost).  None of that is even 1% of the cost of the invasion of Iraq, either in terms of civilian causalities or US tax dollars.

          • grim, sorry, but I had to go be a lawyer.
            You don’t take out a regime by killing the head thug.
            You don’t invade a nominally friendly, nominally democratic, NUCLEAR power (i.e., Pakistan).
            Estimates of jihadists killed in Iraq vary widely, with some as high as 80,000.  Worth it?  To my mind, yes.
            We fought two wars in Iraq; the brilliant invasion and the bloody “insurrection” (which was largely a plain old war against terrorist thugs–NOT Iraqis).
            I suggest that a MAJORITY, BIPARTISAN vote by Congress is the best way we have to decide someone is dangerous enough to the US to take out.  I don’t know a better one, even while allowing that is NOT fool-proof.
            As part of the calculus, you have to consider what it will cost if you palliate and equivocate when you have good intelligence that someone like the Baathists are driving toward regaining WMD, flaunting internation law and their own treaties, and destabilizing the region.
            Is any of this a slam-dunk?  Nope.  You gotta go with the best info you have, take your balls in you hand, and make a decision.  That does not make you evil, a liar, or a stupid cowboy.  I makes you a President.

          • Estimates of jihadists killed in Iraq vary widely, with some as high as 80,000.  Worth it?  To my mind, yes.

            Worth it FOR WHOM? Who gave you the authority to decide for those 80,000 Iraqi innocents (not to mention the countless more maimed, orphaned, widowed, dispossessed) that their lives mattered less than people on the other side of the globe attempting to gain an illusion of security from toppling Saddam?
            Are you willing to subject your life and the lives of those around you to the whims of foreign governments?  Bear in mind that you only get to laugh that off as long as the US military holds some measure of supremacy.  Thanks to Bush, Obama, and the rest, those days are numbered for simple economic reasons.
            One day, your grandchildren or great, great grandchildren will watch foreign tanks roll down American streets, based upon a vote taken in some parliament or politburo around the globe.
            Ron Paul makes some excellent arguments, though I think he doesn’t go far enough.  Bring them home and let our so-called allies pay for their own damned defense.  And, let the people in crappy nations solve their own problems, rather than tossing money on the futile attempt to force the US government’s blueprint on them.

          • Estimates of jihadists killed in Iraq vary widely, with some as high as 80,000.  Worth it?  To my mind, yes.

            Oops, I missed the word “jihadists” and thought you were talking about civilian deaths.
            My response remains the same.  The cost in lives, both coalition forces and Iraqi civilians, plus the wounded, orphaned, widowed, displaced, and dispossessed, in addition to the US taxpayer bill, is extraordinarily high.  Since you’re not the one dying, losing your family (I presume) or home, or living in a destabilized country rife with sectarian mass murder, and your portion of the taxes don’t cover the cost to those of us who have grave moral objections to the whole invasion, you don’t have the authority to declare that such costs are “worth it”.
            Again, any such declaration must be qualified by specifying worth it for whom? I could care less if you think your small sacrifice of tax money is worth it, to you.  I care about the people with feet on the ground in Iraq and the dissenting taxpayers who could have used that money for better things.

        • Let’s not forget, accurate or not, it was thought Saddam had WMD.  We thought so, the Euros thought so, even Saddam’s men thought so.
          In absence of final proof, that was the kicker.
          Saddam dicked us around for months and months – lest we all, very convientently forget – we were hit on September 11, 2001, we did not actually launch the assault on Iraq until March of 2003.  Blame it on logistics, blame it on what you like, but Saddam had MORE THAN AMPLE time to demonstrate to us he had NO WMD.
          And the whole freaking time, the Russians were telling him we were bluffing.
          Forgetting the months of diddling with the UN weapons inspectors? – not being allowed in, being held up from inspecting, you name it.  In January 2003, even Hans Blix acknowledged “Iraq appears not to have come to a genuine acceptance—not even today—of the disarmament, which was demanded of it and which it needs to carry out to win the confidence of the world and to live in peace”.
          So let’s not gloss over the year and a half that Saddam had to get clean with the world.  We didn’t invade Iraq on September  1st 2001.

          • Let’s not forget, accurate or not, it was thought Saddam had WMD.  We thought so, the Euros thought so, even Saddam’s men thought so.
            In absence of final proof, that was the kicker.

            Pakistan, Iran, Syria, Libya, China, North Korea, and many other countries have WMDs and the US isn’t invading them to topple their regimes (except Libya, though Obama’s people seem not overly concerned with “bad guys” taking control of weaponry).
            I gave the Bush regime the benefit of the doubt and thought the people who accused them of fabricating the WMD excuse were paranoid, or cynically trying to score political points.  Now, I have my doubts.  At best, the Bush administration was lazy and incompetent, relying on hearsay from unreliable sources and exaggerating the certainty.

            So let’s not gloss over the year and a half that Saddam had to get clean with the world.  We didn’t invade Iraq on September  1st 2001.”

            Even if he had WMDs, he didn’t pose a real threat to the US.  If Bush knew where the WMDs were, where Saddam was, and engaged in surgical operations to remove both, that might have been worth the risk.  But total invasion was not a good choice for such a tenuous excuse.
            Again, what does “September 1st 2001” have to do with anything?  Or, September 11, for that matter?  Iraq had nothing to do with the attack on American soil.  Nothing.  Why even bring that up?

          • A) he used WMD
            B) he had ties to terrorist groups who would use WMD

            That alone made him much different than all the rest. Plus, after Desert Storm, he was looking for revenge.

          • And after Desert Storm, he had been told the world reserved the right to clean his clock again if he failed to comply with orders.  Then there was the last minute threat he had UAV’s loaded with neurotoxins or some other bio-chem weapons that could allegedly strike the east coast of the US.  Crappy intel?  How do I know?   I know half the Western world is convinced us breathing and driving SUV’s are going to tip the world into disaster, why should I disregard the idea that Saddam wanted to whack us?  He’d fired SCUDs at Israel during Desert Storm alleged to have chem weapons on them, Israel wasn’t even involved in Desert Storm.  So….precedent.
            And Desert Storm is why we reserved the right to mashSaddam, but didn’t claim the right to mash Kim in North Korea (we’re still technically at ‘peace action’ with the Kims).
            If we can’t trust our intel agencies, there’s not much point in having them, so you go with what you know, at the time, that’s the way it works.

          • Saddam killed about 500,000 civilians in the decade before we invaded. The total number of dead (included Saddam’s forces and foreigners brought in for the insurgency) is about 100,000. From a casualty standpoint, invading Iraq has proven to be far better that doing nothing.

  • The hypocritical irony is immensely thick on this.   The key one is what’s to be gained by going off on Bush on this now?  Other than campaigning for 2012, I don’t see it.

  • Nope, “United We Stand” is a fantasy. I’ll NEVER stand with liberals again. EVER.

  • Fake heroes like Bernie Kerik, Rudy Giuliani, and, yes, George W. Bush raced to cash in on the horror.

    WTF???  “Fake heroes”?  When did any of the men noted try to assume the mantle of “hero” or otherwise “cash in” on 9-11?  Jebus.  I can’t believe that anybody would make such a despicable accusation.

    [T]he attack was used to justify an unrelated war the neocons wanted to fight, for all the wrong reasons.

    F*ck me, is he STILL flogging that dead horse?  Dammit, the DEMOCRATS in Congress VOTED for that war.  Their current standard bearer has carried them on.  Does Crazy Paulie even live on this planet???

    Unbelievable.  Really f*cking unbelievable.

    shark – “United We Stand” is a fantasy. I’ll NEVER stand with liberals again. EVER.

    Right there with you.  That pack of backstabbers… Remember how all of them lined up on the Capitol steps after passing the Patriot Act?  Remember how they made speeches since the ’90s about how eeeeevil Saddam was, and how he had to go?  Now, of course, they never heard of the Patriot Act… except when they quietly vote to reauthorize it, or when JaNo uses it to have TSA agents confiscate collostomy bags or feel up small children.

    And now they are blatantly politicizing 9-11 to (again) go after Bush or even the Tea Parties.

    F*ck those lying, hypocritical b*stards.

    Mark Steyn, to get that sickly bastard Krugman out of your head.
    Krugman has increasingly marginalized himself in the Fat Mikey Moore brigade of the moonbattery.  His choice.  Let him eat the consequences.

  • “At best, the Bush administration was lazy and incompetent, relying on hearsay from unreliable sources and exaggerating the certainty.”

    Gee you mean hearsay from Bill And Hillary Clinton, Albright, Kerry, Edwards, and just about every friendly intelligence agency in the word.

    • That’s just finger pointing, saying, “He did it too, Mommy!”
      Considering the cost in lives lost or bodies maimed, from the Iraqi babies to the American soldiers, the cost in property and tax dollars, not to mention the damage of Abu Ghraib and the like to the image of American troops, I’d say that short of knowledge of ICBMs with high-yield nuclear weapons, the invasion was not worth it.  It certainly should not have been done in my name with my money, or rather, with my grandchildren’s money.  If you think it was so necessary, then the ethical thing to do would be for you to put up your money for the effort and not included me or anyone else opposed to foreign invasions and nation building exercises.
      Just as Obama, Pelosi, Reid, and the rest should not be dictating to us how we get medical treatment, what light bulbs we use, how we manage our business, etc., it’s not the business of anyone in Washington to dictate to Iraqi civilians how they should pick their leaders or run their lives.  Let those people figure things out for themselves.

  • At best, the Bush administration was lazy and incompetent, relying on hearsay from unreliable sources and exaggerating the certainty.

    OK, with that you have qualified as an idiot.  Read up on “intelligence”.  Jeez.

    • Intelligence?  You mean Ahmed Chalabi and Khidir Hamza?
      If there were reliable sources who claimed there were WMDs, then where the hell are those weapons?
      Until then, you’re just a huge sucker for the next government FUBAR, ready to accept promises and assurances from an organization which has demonstrated its unreliability, from Tonkin to Clinton’s bombing of the Al-Shifa factory in Sudan, from the Branch Davidians to Fast and Furious.
      When you believe the lies of professional liars, you really ought not go around calling others idiots.
      At least I learned from my mistake of having a modicum of faith in what they told me.  They won’t fool me again.

      • Yes.  You are too smart, you betcha.  One of the finest arm-chair quarter-backs and hind-sight generals I have EVER seen.
        What a moron.

        • Where are the WMDs?

        • BTW, you’re the only one pretending I claimed to be “too smart”.
          And, after I said I fell for the lies the first time around, it makes no sense to pretend I behaved as an “arm-chair quarter-back” or “hind-sight general”.  On the contrary, I admitted to being gullible, to making the mistake of trusting.  There was no Erbian revisionism, in which I claimed I was right all along.
          Your ad hominem attacks are not based upon facts or reason.  If you’re angry that I don’t march in lockstep and express moral objections to the wars, you need to get the hell over it and accept that not everyone is going to agree with you, particularly when you’re defending action which results in death, destruction, and squandering of treasure.