Our Truth, and Theirs

A New York Times op-ed revealing the extent of the Bush administration’s extraordinary indifference to early warnings of 9/11 motivated former administration spokesman Ari Fleischer to tweet: “Disgusting op-ed in NYT by a truther implying Bush knew of 9-11/let it happen. NYT decries lack of civility, then adds to it.” An additional tweet reiterated the … Continue reading “Our Truth, and Theirs”

Ten Years and One Month Later

When I look back on the news cycle over the last two months, I think of 9/11 and floods. On the morning of Aug. 28, I turned on the television and watched as the local newscaster showed the Hudson River lapping against the top of the concrete bulkhead, threatening to rush into the streets of … Continue reading “Ten Years and One Month Later”

Edward Gibbon at America’s Grave

1. Twin Towers Two years from now the staffs of Vanity Fair and The New Yorker will move into the most haunted building in the world. There, the elite of American celebrity photographers, gossip columnists, and magazine journalists may meet some macabre new muses. Aloft in the upper stories of 1 World Trade Center (where … Continue reading “Edward Gibbon at America’s Grave”

Government Always Seems to Focus on the Wrong Things

The 10th anniversary of 9/11 vividly illustrated the continued use of the horrible attacks to score political points. The first promise that Barack Obama made as president was to close the torture-tainted Guantanamo prison. Although this could have been a meaningful step toward abandoning the lawless behavior of the George W. Bush administration, Obama has … Continue reading “Government Always Seems to Focus on the Wrong Things”

Ignoring the Deaths of Innocents After 9/11

In the commentary on the tenth anniversary of 9/11, the news and infotainment media predictably framed the discussion by the question of how successful the CIA and the military have been in destroying al-Qaeda. Absent from the torrent of opinion and analysis was any mention of how the U.S. military occupation of Muslim lands and … Continue reading “Ignoring the Deaths of Innocents After 9/11”

Who Is Winning the War on Terrorism?

New York is a city under siege. As I write on the morning of the tenth anniversary of 9/11, thousands of police, federal agents, and the National Guard are swarming over the panicked metropolis, as reports proliferate that three suspected terrorists who entered the country recently are planning a car-bomb attack. Bomb-sniffing dogs patrol Grand … Continue reading “Who Is Winning the War on Terrorism?”

How an Empire Defines Victory

Seeing the end of the Gadhafi regime has somehow vindicated the war on Libya in many Americans’ minds, including some previously on the fence. This is a usual pattern: The U.S. goes to war, always with some lofty goal advertised, and the euphoria kicks in as soon as the regime is defeated. It happened throughout … Continue reading “How an Empire Defines Victory”

Al-Qaeda’s Project for Ending the American Century Largely Succeeded

A decade after its spectacular Sep. 11, 2001 attacks on New York City’s twin World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon and despite the killing earlier this year of its charismatic leader, Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda appears to have largely succeeded in its hopes of accelerating the decline of U.S. global power, if not bringing … Continue reading “Al-Qaeda’s Project for Ending the American Century Largely Succeeded”

Let’s Cancel 9/11

Let’s bag it. I’m talking about the tenth anniversary ceremonies for 9/11, and everything that goes with them: the solemn reading of the names of the dead, the tolling of bells, the honoring of first responders, the gathering of presidents, the dedication of the new memorial, the moments of silence.  The works. Let’s just can it all.  Shut … Continue reading “Let’s Cancel 9/11”