Sunday, September 11, 2011
September 11 retrospective: From the Twin Towers to Baghdad (2 of 2)
I quoted Daniel Benjamin and Steven Simon in The Age of Sacred Terror (2002) on how the post-Cold War belief among the US public that the country "had never been more secure" because "the world had not seen such a dominant power since ancient Rome." That belief not only contributed to the shock of the 9/11 attacks. It also set the stage for a wild overestimation of the ability of the United States to conquer and remake countries like Afghanistan and Iraq.
As Ivo Daalder and James Lindsay explain in America Unbound: The Bush Revolution in Foreign Policy (2003), even prior to the 9/11 attacks, George Bush and his foreign policy teams thought of foreign policy in "hegemonist" terms. They describe the particular variant of hegemonist thinking that dominated the Administration as including the following tenets:
[C]ritics argued that the Bush strategy suffered from considerable conceptual confusion, which had real policy consequences. Most important, it conflated the notion of preemptive and preventive war. Preemptive wars are initiated when another country is clearly about to attack. Israel's decision to go to war in June 1967 against its Arab neighbors is the classic example.The 9/11 attacks created the conditions in which the Cheney-Bush Administration could take those concepts to the destructive conclusions they did. How much of that the religious fanatic Osama bin Laden had hoped to produce, it's a reality that the United States has in the last 10 years has done far more damage to our international standing and destruction that Bin Laden had any rational expectation of doing. In that way, Dick Cheney and Osama bin Laden were the perfect partners for one another.
Tags: 9/11, iraq war
| +Save/Share | |
Links to this post:
No subject for immortal verse
That we who lived by honest dreams
Defend the bad against the worse."
-- Cecil Day-Lewis from Where Are The War Poets?
[Tip: Point cursor to any comment to see title of post being discussed.]
SEARCH THIS SITE
News & Media Links