The real inheritance of Pearl Harbor is that it shrank the world in terms of how Americans have thought about their national security ever since.
My strong sense is that the lesson in every subsequent administration has been to try and keep military action off the front pages as absolutely as much as possible.
after 21 years, it’s become painfully clear to many, including to 9-11 victim family members who, after all this time, remain fighting in court for the truth, that U.S. foreign policy and military strategists don’t much care about the unintended consequences or “blowback” to instigate wars.
“I think that if we can learn one thing, it’s to avoid reflexive and violent solutions,” said Sjursen. “The truth is, we probably needed less of me, less machine guns, less people who were trained to fight, and more diplomats and aid workers to get at the root problems of terrorism.”
Sjursen was deployed to Iraq in 2006 and then Afghanistan in 2011. On the tenth anniversary of the attack, he paid tribute to one of the fire crews killed in New York.
Yesterday I found myself dry-heaving and hyper-ventilating in broad daylight, crouched behind the corner of an unused outdoor patio bar in Kansas. I hadn’t had but two beers, but I’d had more than enough of American obtuseness. On a smoke break from wielding my geek-stick (highlighter) with a fatalist fury – brushing-up for today’s Afghanistan column – I made the admittedly willful mistake of trying to explain why the Taliban capture of Kabul was affecting my mood.