Image via WikipediaWow. From a long range historical perspective, we have never really had a nation-wide war on terror. We only sent some expendable troops, and started some deficit spending to help military contractors and keep the money out of the hand of the lower classes.
Doris Kearns Goodwin: “What would have happened right after September 11th if President Bush had called for a Manhattan Project for independence from Middle Eastern oil?”: "
Yesterday, Meet the Press focused on the failed effort to blow up an airline on Christmas Day. One exchange was especially illuminating (transcript here)
MR. GREGORY: Doris, you’re familiar with writing long and wonderful volumes of history. And if the war on terror, if chapter one was written by President Bush, now it’s chapter two and beyond; and it’s still very, very complicated, an entire decade really defined by, by terrorist acts at the front end and at the back end, an attempted act at the back end. So much different than the wars we have fought in our past.Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, as always, provided a crucial historical perspective:
Image via WikipediaMS. GOODWIN: True. But I think there are certain lessons, even though the war on terror is a war about individuals, loose organizations, it’s not countries, there aren’t going to be treaties. We’ve learned things from other wars that I still think are valid here. Number one, you have to have allies on your side, and I think that’s what the Obama administration has begun to do. I mean, after we made the announcement about the Afghan escalation, NATO put in 7,000 troops. That showed that some work had been done at that point. I also keep thinking that somehow what we really missed in the beginning of this decade on the war on terror, what would have happened right after September 11th if President Bush had called for independent–a Manhattan Project for independence from Middle Eastern oil? What if he’d called for a lot more people to join the Army? We wouldn’t have had these same soldiers going back three and four times. What if we’d had a tax increase, as we’ve done in every other war, to fight a war? We wouldn’t be facing the deficits right now. So I think even though it’s a different war, the need to mobilize the spirit and the energy of the American people, so it’s not just our soldiers fighting those wars alone over there, is still relevant in history’s terms.