Posts filed under “War/Defense”

My 9/11 Update

Every year, I avoid doing/writing anything on (or about) 9/11.  I had my say in 2001 (mirror here).

I hate the entire maudlin retrospective “event” each year: The roll call of lost colleagues and friends; the tragedy porn that the media rolls out; I especially detest the terror tourism down at the WTC site.

But as a life long New Yorker, I am still angry over how the 9/11 event was mishandled — the ignored warnings, the invasion of the wrong country after, the bastardization of what the USA stands for, the lack of accountability for all these major errors of incalculable incompetency.

A few people complained about Doug Casey’s critique yesterday about Bush as president. One asked, “Why today of all days to post this?”

Perhaps this will explain it. I wrote the following on Election Eve 2004:

On September 11th, George W. Bush was presented one of those rare and horrible historical moments. The terrorist attacks united the country and the world around the President: His approval rating skyrocketed to 90%. Even the French Prime Minister announced, “Tonight, we are all Americans.”

The historical opportunity was laid at the feet of the President. With a unified country behind him and a sympathetic world willing to cooperate with him in just about every imaginable way, he could have achieved monumental greatness: He could have asked for great sacrifices from the populace, and they would have willingly made them. At that moment, any reach across the aisle would have been fruitful on a number of vexing issues. A bipartisan approach to any political problem at home – cutting pork out of domestic policies, reforming Social Security, renovating the tax code – could have been accomplished in a bipartisan spirit of strengthening the economy and defending the country. He might have even done something about our education system so, in truth, no child would be left behind.

One would imagine that a man elected under what can be charitably described as “inauspicious circumstances” – with nary a mandate in sight – might have taken the 9/11 tragedy as an opportunity to move to the center, putting aside partisan political differences, and governing “all the people.” To be, in fact, truly a “uniter,” not a “divider.”

Alas, it was not to be.

When people ask why I dislike the presidency of George W. Bush, it was that colossal failure to rise to greatness on that occasion, and indeed, to engage in a series of decisions that not just in retrospect, but at the time, simply reflected terrible judgment.

Unlike many others, I only blame W in small part for ignoring the warning pre-9/11. But for the catastrophic series of decisions that followed, I hold him 100% accountable.

Indeed, my feelings about 9/11 have morphed from sadness over the tragic loss of loved ones into frustration and beyond. Even now, the anger rises over the unwillingness to hold the past administration accountable for their many sins.

Many of you asked, and now you know . . .

>

Previously:
A Personal Recollection From a Day of Horror (September 12th, 2001) http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2001/09/a-personal-recollection-from-a-day-of-horror/

The Tragedy of the Bush Administration (November 2nd, 2004)

http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2004/11/the-tragedy-of-the-bush-administration/

Baby Bush: The Worst President in History?
Doug Casey, September 11th, 2009

http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/09/baby-bush-the-worst-president-in-history/

Reflection on 9/11
David Kotok, 9/12/09

http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/09/reflection-on-911/

Category: War/Defense

Reflection on 9/11

September 12, 2009 It has been two pensive days. Somehow the words won’t come. Difficult for me since I write 100 times a year. I sit staring at the keyboard. No words. Everyone is/was so busy with 9/11. Public moments of silence, ceremonies, TV filled with remembrances, talk shows, websites, commentaries, footage of planes and…Read More

Category: Think Tank, War/Defense

Baby Bush: The Worst President in History?

Doug Casey is chairman of Casey Research, and is a best selling author, international investor, and entrepreneur. He travels the world looking for exceptional opportunities in real estate and undervalued companies in the natural resource sector (precious metals, oil and gas and more). The author of four best selling books, his Crisis Investing was #1…Read More

Category: Bailouts, Politics, Think Tank, War/Defense

Comparing Various War Expenditures

Yesterday, we looked at the costs of various one time events versus the bailouts. It took one year of bailouts to rack up the debt totals of 206 years of war, westward expansion, space exploration, etc. The chart we created omitted numerous conflicts (WWs, the Civil War, etc.) and I was curious as to actual…Read More

Category: War/Defense

Iraq and Afghanistan 2008

Via NYT > Source: A Year in Iraq and Afghanistan ADRIANA LINS de ALBUQUERQUE, ALICIA CHENG AND SARAH GEPHART NYT, February 14, 2009 http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/15/opinion/15opchart.html

Category: Digital Media, War/Defense

Gaza Confliict

The WSJ has a nice interactive map showing the details of the Israeli/Hamas battle: > click for interactive graphic: via WSJ

Category: Digital Media, War/Defense

Why We Haven’t Been Attacked Since 9/11

Barron’s Alan Abelson comes forth with the reason why the terrorists have not attacked the USA since 9/11. They didn’t have to: Thanks to his vigilance, this nation was spared a terrorist attack after 9/11. And so it was, for which we are all profoundly grateful. And only the most vehement Bush-basher would sniff that…Read More

Category: Financial Press, Politics, War/Defense

A conversation about National Intelligence

A conversation about National Intelligence with David R. Ignatius author and columnist for “The Washington Post”, Mark Lowenthal, President and CEO of the Intelligence & Security Academy and John McLaughlin, former American Deputy Director of Central Intelligence and former Acting Director of Central Intelligence

Category: Video, War/Defense

The Three Trillion Dollar War

Excellent infographic depicting the enormous costs of the Iraq war. It explains in 10 steps why Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld’s 2003 estimates of the war in Iraq’s costs at $60 billion were so wildly off by 10 times that figure. click for really ginormous graphic By the time the United States leaves Iraq, the…Read More

Category: Digital Media, War/Defense, Web/Tech

Mike McConnell, Director of National Intelligence

Charlie Rose has a conversation with Mike McConnell, Director of National Intelligence:

January 8, 2009

Category: Video, War/Defense