another 9/10 lefty, still doesn’t understand is that those barriers weren’t meant to keep the good people out – they’re there to keep people who aim to do us harm from getting inSister – someone is going to say you are feeling paranoid about your safety inside the barricades of protected USA soil. Protected by international loans financing a huge internal monitoring machine of people employed to detect a flicker of an eyelid out of place on the concourse, or the wrong person at the wrong place at the wrong time – whatever that may mean. The true cost of terrorism is the reaction of grief and anger. The USA is well known for its most excessive citizens – it is just that they have rather a lot of them can afford plastic surgery to cure their minds of eternal boredom. The super-super wealthy worry about the dynamic placement of the decimal point at the end of a day or week more than the hunger of the children of their lowliest employee. It is unfortunate that the values that were borne of the New Deal (post Depression egalitarian recovery) did not survive the years of excess, nor was that generation exposed to building leaping poverty in quite the same way. The last fifty years or so have been a success story in so far as wealth creation in the USA is concerned. Unquestionably. But how much of that wealth is being corroded by military adventures such as Iraq and Vietnam, that America would have been better off to avoid, perhaps. What is being protected is the sense of success and empowerment over the rest of the world. Is that a good thing? Probably not. The USA needs to come out of this adolescent need for self adoration and obsession with appearances. Real wealth is not dependent upon attacking the rest of the world. It is reliant on the good faith of your friends and neighbours.
Also, as a comment on the Sistertoldjah.com site: I think Friedman has a point – there is little point in America spending hundreds of billions of dollars on paranoid security if it stops investment that would a) stop bin Laden and b) encourage democracy and free trade everywhere. The mistake is to think that war will achieve either goal. The left and right are both guilty of attacking each other for being what they are. Both sides of a political view are right and wrong. The war on terror has not achieved its basic objectives and seems to be feeding terror rather than destroying it. The US Government has no result for this war and that is why Friedman does have a point. “Let’s fight terrorism until we win, we will prevail!” is not reasonable strategic planning. Neither is sudden withdrawal, neither is continuing to fight. Americans need to stop criticizing each other and think more carefully about their country’s strategy and direction.