Challenging the Notion of 9/11 Republicans vs. Abu Ghraib Democrats


talkinghead_leftg.gifHere is an interesting snippet of a Blogginheads Diavlog between Jacob Heilbrunn and Eli Lake that the New York Times ran this morning.

Here is the longer, 63 minute long
I particularly like Heilbrunn’s comments at the end of this clip about John McCain’s absorption of the neocon ethic — and the fatal mistake that neocons in the Bush administration made in confusing the actions of “discrete groups of terrorists” with states.
Heilbrunn is the author of the must-read They Knew They Were Right: The Rise of the Neocons, and Eli Lake is Washington Correspondent for the New York Sun and recently wrote this take on Obama’s foreign policy team.
— Steve Clemons


11 comments on “Challenging the Notion of 9/11 Republicans vs. Abu Ghraib Democrats

  1. karenk says:

    9/11 was the best thing that ever could have happened…for them


  2. ExBrit says:

    I’d like to see Steve comment on The Shock Doctrine, too. I found Klein’s book convincing, and it is directly to the point re: Republican confusion or Republican intention.


  3. downtown says:

    “Creative destruction is our middle name”
    Michael Ledeen


  4. izc says:

    Steve, buildng on Mike’s question, I’d like to ask specifically what you think about Klein’s theory of shock doctrine/disaster capitalism. (haven’t seen you address this yet in TWN.)
    The influence of big economists like M. Friedman and big thinkers like Leo Strauss on the neo-cons is clear. What bothers me is the level of ‘conspiracy’ involved in accepting this theory.
    Is it not very difficult for mainstream, respected political commentators –perhaps like yourself– to bridge the gap between fringe academics/reporters like Klein and her supporters and the DC thinktank culture?
    While many bloggers easily address this issue because they are blisfully independent of the mainstream, I see little discussion among thinktank-types about the very sketchy buildup to and fallout from 9/11.
    Is this because there is simply no reason to question both our failure to prevent it and the unfolding of the War on Terror as a result of it? Or is it because bringing up anything remotely ‘conspiratorial’ is grounds for marginalization/dismissal from the discussion?
    I do hate to sound like a crank in bringing this up, but I think the problem is that the discussion is framed in precisely this way. Then the next thing you know you’re blaming the complicity of the corporate media, etc etc…
    I’m eager for a response as I feel this remains an underreported issue of great importance.


  5. Mike Treder says:

    Steve, it looks like there is a strong consensus among your readers — based on all the comments above — that the neocons deliberately chose to destabilize the Middle East. Their goal was not to “fight terror,” but to inflict chaos.
    If that’s true, as I believe it is, then you’d have to say the neocons were eminently successful. Naomi Klein (“The Shock Doctrine”) is right on. Are you ready to agree with all this?


  6. ... says:

    karlo -wall street and the bankers have to get their cut…


  7. Karlo says:

    It wasn’t confusion. The neocons were very clear about what they wanted to accomplish. The only problem is that their goals didn’t correspond to the goals of the average American. We’ve inherited a 3 trillion debt so that the oilmen in the administration can pass a couple hundred billion to their friends. If this is what we needed to do, we could have saved money by having everyone sign 20 year IOUs and then sending the money to the extremely wealthy. That way, we could have at least cut out some of the middle men.


  8. bks says:

    “Rout the Iranians!?” Ahmanijedad was doing a victory dance in the Green zone today!


  9. erichwwk says:

    Ditto for me. Absolutely NO confusion, except that deliberately produced to confuse the gullible, and create a smokescreen under which to act.
    In the modern global world of cheap communication, humanoid mobility,international corporations, mercenary armies, and militias isn’t the concept of “nation state” itself, as defined by Weber, becoming ambiguous, if not obsolete?
    Seems to me more and more humanoids fly the invisible flag of humanity, and there are more this and that “without boundaries”.


  10. .. says:

    i agree with dan.. i don’t think it was confusion, so much as intentional and to further particular interests that are not beneficial to ordinary americans.. anything to keep the military machine in biz seems to have been – and continues to be – the name of the game… the dems are fairly complicit in this too as i see it..


  11. Dan Kervick says:

    I don’t think it was confusion. The neocons never cared that much about terrorism. They were eager to promote whatever excuses they could find to get the US public to support a militarized transformation of the Middle East and its government. Pegging terrorism to real and imagined “state sponsors” fit the bill.


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