We have a bit of a probem here in America in that a bunch of people sort of lost their minds after 9/11. I was there. It was a bad fucking day, and a deeply weird and sad and confusing time for a while after, but some folks seem to have taken a harder swerve than others. A few seem to have never returned.
When the shit went down I was in a meeting in Midtown, pitching some older guy for funding on a business plan I worked up with my man Peter Crawford. Once we got the gist of what was going on, that this wasn't some terrible tragic accident, this older fellow took a quick and savage turn of mind, going off on a diatribe about "flamethrowers in the foxholes" and "the sands of Iwo Jima."
That's fine and all. Vengance is a deeply human desire, especially in the immediate face of such a monsterous act. But I think a lot of people took two steps down that path and never looked back. Now it's going on five years later, and we have the likes of Joe Lieberman claiming:
"too many people... donâ€™t appreciate the seriousness of the threat to American security and the evil of the enemy that faces us â€” more evil, or as evil, as Nazism and probably more dangerous than the Soviet Communists..."
This is, not to put too fine a point on it, fucking insane. Mark Schmitt at TPMCafe:
[U]nder any possible definition of "threat" or "enemy" it cannot possibly be as dangerous than the Soviet Union at the peak of the Cold War, with multiple thermonuclear devices pointed at every one of our cities and towns. And, I donâ€™t know exactly how to score "evilness," but not much matches Hitler. I suppose in some way bin Laden and Zawahiriâ€™s hearts may be as filled with evil as Hitlerâ€™s or Stalinâ€™s, but they donâ€™t have the SS and Luftwaffe at their disposal. Maybe they would send us all to concentration camps if they controlled half of Europe, but thankfully, they live in caves and canâ€™t use the phone.
I'll reiterate: I experienced 9/11 live and in-person. I have no illusions about the committment of terrorist networks to strike at the US, their willingness to destroy innocent human life to do so, or the threat that this represents. However, looking at the statements from the likes of Joe Lieberman, Dick Cheney and company, I can draw only one of two conclusions: either these people have gone off the deep end, or they're among the most cynical and manipulative fearmongering douchebag demogagues to ever hold positions of power and authority in this country. Crazy or criminal, take your pick.
UPDATE: Likewise, you have pundits like Andrew Sullivan who are trying to stake out a new position against the war, but who still need to peddle the belief that people who are (and always have been) anti-war (which is to say: right), are still somehow "unserious" and have not in the past four years put forward alternate proactive strategies for dealing with the problem terrorism presents in particular, and/or the problems of the Middle East in general. This is willfully-ignorant dishonest bullshit. The Editors rap it down.