Simon Schama and Sean Wilentz on “After 9/11: The Long View”

We seek out historians to reveal the present, not the past. We want to find a doctor who’s seen our symptoms before… on the general suspicion, from Ecclesiastes, that “there is nothing new under the sun.” Or as Joyce’s Stephen Daedalus said, because history is “the nightmare from which we are trying to awaken.” Also: because so much of the daily news — of mad military overstretch abroad and commercial and cultural decadence at home — feels like the late-imperial lurch that our own Founding Fathers warned us about and that contemporary historians say is here. (Historian Niall Ferguson — only recently an empire enthusiast — has “The Descent of The West,” in the subtitle of his new doomsday book, The War of the World.)

The terrorism section at a bookstore.

We will have at the grand historial scheme of things (“Where the hell are we?” and “How did we get here?”) with Simon Schama, historian of the Dutch and British Empires and the most thrilling English-language talker since Churchill; and with Sean Wilentz, a preeminent historian of American 18th and 19th Century democracy who, in Philip Roth’s glowing estimate, “redeems the time he writes about without sentimentality or cynicism and with a deep understanding of every last detail of the American political tradition.”

We want them to play the counter-factual (what if?) game (as Roth did in The Plot Against America, the novel in which the isolationist hero Charles Lindbergh unseated Franklin Roosevelt in 1940, to keep the US out of the war in Europe.) What if Al Gore had been elected in 2000? What if Abraham Lincoln had been president when Al Qaeda struck America? What if Tony Blair had leapt out of the Bush lap before the invasion of Iraq? What if the Bush administration had by now dragged us oil addicts into a tough detox program and led an agonizing recalibration of our role in the world? What if Osama bin Laden had been captured by a concerted police effort in 2002 and been tried and convicted at the Hague in 2003?

Please fire up the conversation with yet more pointed, or more philosophical, what ifs…

And above all, on the day after this fifth birthday of 9/11, help us locate this uneasy moment, this “long war,” as the Pentagon calls it, in a longer story. We live life forward, as Kierkegaard said, but what if it can only be understood backward?

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  • Looking forward to it. I recommend that all listeners watch the rest of ABC’s “Path to 9/11” Monday night– and read up on the controversy if you’re uncomfortable or want to learn more. jdyer said on the Fear Factor thread he wasn’t impressed; I enjoyed the first half. FYI, here’s a picture for the lead-in above.

  • taliesin

    I am often fascinated by the magnitude of small changes.

    What if Flight 93 stuck the Capital building and Bush used it as an excuse to suspend the Constitution?

    What if Flight 93 struck the White House, killing Bush, and President Cheney used it as cause to suspend the Constitution?

    What if the Bush Administration was part of the plot and the public found out?

    The first one in particular is very plausible. A small change in history I am quite confident would have generated a very different response than the history we have.

  • 2001: only weeks into his first term of office Ralph Nader is assasinated. Winona LaDuke escapes the assasins and is sworn into office as President of the United States. She immediatly calls for a council of the sacred elders of Turtle Island.

    to be continued…

  • Umm, tataliesin: Bush was in the Florida school reading “My Pet Goat.” And how could they have suspended the Constitution any more than he has? This second point has been covered on this radio show before. Welcome to the show, that is your first post, but you’ve got to do your homework.

  • Ok, JonG, so what if one of the flights hit that school building where “My Pet Goat” was being read?

    First of all, we wouldn’t probably have the “My Pet Goat” reference in our vernacular today.

    And yes, the consitution has been seriously eroded, but in a back door kind of a way. They are trying to claim they aren’t eroding it. If Cheney didn’t have to go through Bush, would he be more blunt? And would have put up with it?

    I would be surprised if somebody didn’t ask: What if Ralph Nader hadn’t run in 2000?

    But going back further, what if Britain had not taken over Perim Island in 1799?

    What if the Arabians had not signed the Perpetual Maritime Truce in 1853 and ceded Persian Gulf dominance to Britain?

    What if the first king of Saudi Arabia had not banned companies with any interest in Iraq from participating in the oil discoveries in Saudi Arabia?

    What if the Standard Oil Company of California had never discoverd the oil deposits?

  • jdyer

    Speaking of the Long View, check out this article on the Rise and Fall of Empires:

    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=3550&print=1

    Empires with Expiration Dates

    By Niall Ferguson

  • jdyer

    “Looking forward to it. I recommend that all listeners watch the rest of ABC’s “Path to 9/11″ Monday night– and read up on the controversy if you’re uncomfortable or want to learn more. jdyer said on the Fear Factor thread he wasn’t impressed; I enjoyed the first half. FYI, here’s a picture for the lead-in above.” Jon

    Well, I am still glad it aired. It’s time now to produce some other versions which will delve deeper into the history of Jihdism going back to the end of the Ottoman Empire.

    I believe I mentioned this before, but in case I didn’t there is an important article about the Europe and America’s complicity in the Rise of Jihadism that was written by Fred Halliday an long time leftist.

    The Left and the Jihad

    Fred Halliday

    8 – 9 – 2006

    The left was once the principal enemy of radical Islamism. So how did old enemies become new friends? Fred Halliday reports.

    In the article sees every western ideological movement of the 20c century trying to make use of Islam for their own purposes and thus helping to strengthen the Jihadist impulse in Islam.

    This was as true of Communism as it was of Fascism and Nazism as well as Liberalism and of American anti-Communism.

    http://www.opendemocracy.net/globalization/left_jihad_3886.jsp

    For those who want a succinct historical overview problem the article is indispensable.

  • Yes, jdyer you cited that earlier. As you and I are fellow moderates, I supposed to swallow that there is this nefarious Left out there that coddles “radical Islamism.” But just who are the members of this Left? Hugo Chavez? “Red” Ken Livingtone, the mayor of London? A “Basque country militant”? This is hardly the measure of American liberals.

    There is a reasonable “what if” for President Gore in 2000, though I’m trying to imagine how anything but a sweeps-week Star Trekkian wormhole could have put Abraham Lincoln in the White House 6 years ago. There are reasonable what-ifs on the elimination of Bin Laden at Tora Bora, or even before 9/11.

    Allison, those are some deep what ifs. But the whole Cheney-the-Constitutional-shredder what-if has effectively happened. Yes, in a backdoor way, but were we expecting him to do this with a shotgun on Meet the Press?

    I did catch the rest of the movie tonight. The second half was rather disappointing, though the Massoud thread was rather poignant. But now I realize how much the series missed. If only…

  • whoops– here’s a public link to my photo on Flickr.

  • babu

    It continues to amaze me how identical in posture and statesmanship the bush crowd and their enemy have become. It has devolved into nothing more than a politics of fear and other very raw and base emotions – a reversion to tribalism at its meanest, narrowest, and most self-serving on both sides. Cultural time has doubled back on itself. The last Ice Age might have just melted.

    And here we are on the eve of the New Hot Time. One wonders, not if, but how the two are related. Boys with sticks…..

  • Jon G. said: “Yes, jdyer you cited that earlier. As you and I are fellow moderates..”

    what?

    jdyer, you don’t consider yourself to be a moderate do you? I disagree fervently with you on just about everything and thus have never taken you to be the middle-of-the-road, everything-in-moderation type.

  • hey babu,

    here we are the late night west coasters. I agree with the first part of what you said but I think going tribal (in its most caring, egalitarian, respecting the earth, kind of way) might be the very key to our survival. That’s why in my fantasy “what if?” Winona LaDuke is president. She’s tribal.

  • 1st/14th

    I am really having a hard time getting my hands around the concept that we have “lost our freedeoms” and that “the constitution has been shredded”. I hear these arguments so many times, I almost take them for granted, but after thinking about them for a while I come to my senses and realize how full of shit they are. What specific rights have we lost? Is my making a multimillion dollar FOREX transaction and the NSA running a background check on the individuals shredding the constitution? Is tapping a phone conversation I am having with a member of Islamic Jihad shredding the constitution?

    This argument is such a ridiculous piece of demagoguery that I dismiss it out of hand, but since so many seem to believe its true, I would like to hear one concrete example of how our “rights” have been taken away.

    But since we are talking about what if scenarios …. what if flight 93 did make it to Washington and took out the administration. Newly Sworn in POTUS Tom Daschle sees the futility in fighting and delcares the “United States” the “Islamic Republic of the United States” and replaces the constitution with sharia law.

  • I took jdyer to be a moderate based on his support of Hillary Clinton.

    “1st/14th” — there is a plausibility for a Democratic president. But how on Earth do you see an Islamic Republic declared here? Do you really see that in the realm of possibilities?

    As for the shredding comment– see the ROS show I linked to above regarding Presidential Signing Statements (and also, for fun, read the original reporting of the “goddamned piece of paper” comment. That story to me rings true enough. Yes, my rights personally haven’t been shredded, and nor have those of 99.99% of Americans. But it’s the very concept of equal rights for all that we try to uphold. Here’s some we failed— many of whom the government felt necessary to apologize to afterwards.

    “Shred” is the wrong term, though I have in mind an illustration by Edward Sorel in The New Yorker of the Vice President and his counsel David Addington happily putting the Constitution in a shredder. Lincoln and FDR also suspended rights during wartime; I can’t ignore that. But the degree to which its been done, and the comfort with which its been done, over the last 5 years, seems to me to be unprecedented. But that’s another show.

  • 1st/14th

    Presidential signing statements are nothing new and in no way shape or form change the law! The president adding a comment to a bill when he signs it in no way shape or form impacts the legality of the bill and this is a poor example of rights being “shredded� as every president since Madison has done this.

    You link from the ACLU was cute, but it contradicts itself very quickly. Title: â€?U.S.: Scores of Muslim Men Jailed Without Chargeâ€? and then in the second paragraph it states quite explicitly that the Feds detained these men under federal law “Following the September 11 attacks, the Justice Department held the 70 men — all but one Muslim — under a narrow federal law that permits the arrest and brief detention of “material witnesses” who have important information about a crime, if they might otherwise flee to avoid testifying before a grand jury or in court.â€? And if you cannot honestly see that there may have been a very good reason why this was done considering the circumstance.

    On the “goddamn piece of paper� your source is a third hand recollection from a left wing weblog? Who are you, Jason Leopold? Certainly you could better than that.

    “Yes, my rights personally haven’t been shredded, and nor have those of 99.99% of Americans.“

    Well, at least you can admit the validity of the hyperbole when pressed.

    And I cannot let this one go….

    “But the degree to which its been done, and the comfort with which its been done, over the last 5 years, seems to me to be unprecedented.�

    The Alien and Sedition Act, Japanese and German Internment, suspension of habeas corpus, The Smith Act, jailing of anti war journalists all took place since September 11th, right?

  • 1st/14th

    The declaration of an Islamic Republic in the US is definitely hyperbole on my part, but demographic forces, immigration, a once proud continent’s post-modern nihilism, and immigration will allow us to see the green crescent of Islam fly of the capitals of Europe within a generation.

    Or to use a verifiable quote: “our minarets are our bayonets, and our mosques are our barracksâ€? – Recep Tayyip Erdogan

    But thats for another show as well….

  • nother

    I’m sure this will be a great show but the concept makes me cringe a little. The “what if� game is what got us into this mess in the first place. The genesis for the whole Iraq debacle was a “what if� question: What if Saddam gives his WMD to terrorists?

    Therein lies the fundamental problem with the “what ifâ€? game, too many assumptions must be made. Remember what our teacher told us happens when we assume, we make an ASS out of U and ME. We assumed Saddam had WMD and now we are all – a great big ass.

  • ok, hyperbole on both sides, so all’s square. Let me try to take care of my point. First of all, I’m not a very good advocate on behalf of the ACLU; I’ve read a few of these news stories over the year and tried to find what I could through Google this morning.

    I really was trying to argue against people who figured “what if” something happened in the last 5 years making a change in the executive leadership– and predicting an outcome like the movie The Siege with New York City under martial law. I believe that we have seen the extreme of what could be done. Many have argued that they have gone too far; you have argued that they have not; I am in all truthfulness very much on the fence. But I do not think that we would have seen something more extreme than what has transpired. We did not go to the extremes of The Siege (which, I just realized, was co-written by Lawrence Wright, who has reported on Al-Qaeda extensively for The New Yorker.)

    And yes, in fall 2001, I heard good Democrats say “I’m glad Gore’s not president now”– either because he wouldn’t have to deal with the situation, or perhaps he would be unable to. I can’t summon those Democrats today, but I’m sure most of them are much more yearning of a Gore Presidency now than 5 years ago. So, ROS posters, let’s get away from the partisan tug-of-war and back to the realm of hypotheticals. And the demographic tilt of Europe is not safely in historical-hypothetical land, but very much in the present hypotheticals.

  • I’m not sure what evidence people have to claim that Gore couldn’t have handled the post-WTC attack era. I believe he would he would have been more intellectually diligent about his decision-making, at the least. I, also believe that by doing so, he would have garnered and maintained a true international police action with regards to Al Qaeda. He would have been much more stately than the cowboy pretender we have now.

  • Potter

    I agree about Gore Allison. I don’t think we’d be in Iraq.

    What if Hitler never arose?

  • jdyer

    .

    Jon Garfunkel Says:

    September 12th, 2006 at 12:10 am

    “Yes, jdyer you cited that earlier. As you and I are fellow moderates, I supposed to swallow that there is this nefarious Left out there that coddles “radical Islamism.â€? But just who are the members of this Left? Hugo Chavez? “Redâ€? Ken Livingtone, the mayor of London? A “Basque country militantâ€?? This is hardly the measure of American liberals.”

    The members of “this left” are more in evidence in Europe than here, but they are also not totally absent here as the Green party shows.

    It’s true that most leftist in the US who identify themselves with Hizbollah are in the minority, but there is a grwoinig number of leftists who don’t see the scope of the Jihadist danger or who think that Bush is the same as Bin Laden, etc.

    However, this isn’t the worry. The worry is that there is a habit among too many leftists to think emotionally rather than historically and dialectically.

    In any case I do recommend that people read the links I posted. I am not asking them to agree with anything in it. I am just asking them to read it seriously and some follow up research on their on and not merely online.

  • jdyer

    Jon: “There is a reasonable “what ifâ€? for President Gore in 2000, though I’m trying to imagine how anything but a sweeps-week Star Trekkian wormhole could have put Abraham Lincoln in the White House 6 years ago. There are reasonable what-ifs on the elimination of Bin Laden at Tora Bora, or even before 9/11.”

    I don’t do “what ifs” since I consider such counter factual though to be a historical and undialectical.

    I would rather try to understand why Republicans appeal to so many people when it is not in their interest. (Conspiracy theories don’t count.)

    On another note: I was disappointed in Bush’ speech last night. It was warmed over “feel good” nonsense. He delivered the same speech so many times before that he could have recorded it last year or even two years ago.

    There was nothing in it that told me when it was written. It didn’t address the resurgence of the Taliban in Afghanistan or the continued violence in Iraq.

    It was typical Bushspeak!

  • nother

    What if we were not slaves to our nature?

    David Hume writes: “Mankind are so much the same, in all times and places that history informs us of nothing new or strange in this particular. It’s chief use is only to discover the constant and universal principles of human nature, by showing men in all varieties of circumstances and situations, and furnishing us with materials from which we may form our observations and become acquainted with the regular springs of human action and behavior.�

    War was inevitable; it feeds our inclination and our economy. Remember, half of our budget for war.

  • jdyer

    peggysue Says:

    September 12th, 2006 at 3:47 am

    “Jon G. said: “Yes, jdyer you cited that earlier. As you and I are fellow moderates..â€?

    what?

    jdyer, you don’t consider yourself to be a moderate do you?”

    Moderate is a relative term. I don’t agree with most of what Peggy posts and hence to me she is a rabid extremist. I am sure she doesn’t think of herself in those terms.

    I consider myself a Liberal Hawk.

    I support a strong and effective foreign policy. Bush’ policy isn’t effective. I supported the war i Iraq but I don’t support the way it was conducted. I support his stance on Jihdism but not the ineffectual way he is carrying it out.

    I also oppose Bush’ domestic policies on the economy such as the tax cuts, as well as his stance on social issues.

    If this makes me a moderate in Peggy’s eyes all good and well; if not, I can live with that too.

  • jdyer, I need evidence. I know a lot of Green Party folk and I’ve never heard support for jihadists. What are you talking about?

    Given that leftists are usually very progressive on human and civil rights, I have a hard time seeing how they would agree with radically fundamental Islamists.

    There are people on the left who belive in non-violence. And plenty who disagree with the invastion of Iraq. But most agreed with the idea of going into Afghanistan to go after Bin Laden. The other disagreement is on the human & civil rights fronts. Many don’t believe these have to be sacrificed to fight terrorism.

    Many think Bush shows aspects similar to Bin Laden. Attacking Iraq because Bin Laden attacked us, is a little off-kilter. It makes Bush look a bit fanatic. Couple that with his religio-political agenda and it becomes easy to see how people start making comparisons.

    You need to provide some solid data that isn’t provided by backers of a political party before throwing such a wide net with the word ‘liberals’ – whatever that means to you – to cast such silly aspersions.

  • jdyer

    David Rolde, Secretary and Administrative Committee member of the Green-Rainbow Party of Massachusetts

    http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/2769/3367/1600/rolde.jpg

  • jdyer

    The image of Rolde holding a sign in support of Hizbollah didn’t work. I’ll try again.

    http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/2769/3367/1600/rolde.jpg

  • jdyer

    It not working, however if you cut and pase the url link it should work.

  • jdyer

    “There are people on the left who belive in non-violence.”

    That’s ok, allison, but they can’t stop those of us who believe in self defense.

  • tbrucia

    “Help us locate this uneasy moment, this “long war,â€? as the Pentagon calls it, in a longer story…” Well, most stories have a narrative. But history is simply a jumble of collisions, and we are either passengers in the wrecked vehicles, or the onlookers driving past… There is no narrative. If the Big Picture is that there’s ‘a long war’, it’s not that clear who the players are, or how to know when there is/has been a battle… And as to how one knows when The Story has finished, who is to say: ‘It started in 19?? and ended in 20??’ Like a hopelessly tangled traffic jam, the future simply moves on and on and on….

  • jdyer

    Allison: “jdyer, I need evidence. I know a lot of Green Party folk and I’ve never heard support for jihadists. What are you talking about?”

    About Green Party:

    http://www.green-rainbow.org/pipermail/statecom/2006-August/007105.html

    “David: we are considering only 3 points from the proposal

    one: “The GRP State Committee asks our slate-of-candidates to make

    Palestine a campaign issue, e.g., by putting a line on their flyers

    saying ‘Divest from Israel, not from Sudan’ “

    two: “The GRP will ask the GPUS to take a position recognizing the

    recent history of US imperialist intervention in Sudan and opposing

    divestment from Sudan and opposing expanded foreign military

    intervention in Sudan, i.e., something similar to the GRP position.”

    three: “GRP requires all candidates endorsed by GRP to agree with our

    statement on Palestine (just like we require them to support equal

    marriage, they should also be opposed to Israeli apartheid in

    Palestine.)””

    So the murder of millions of Sudanese is of no importance to these antisemites. Only hating Israel is important to them.

    Are these your friends Allison?

  • Supporting Palestinians does not equal hatred of Israel. It does not been supporting Hizbollah. Or any jihadist. Again, you cast an awfully wide net with your aspersions. You equate Palestinian with jihadist. Do people really let you influence them with this type of twisted rhetoric?

    I don’t know any Green Party members who are anti-semite. Some of them are concerned about the treatment of the Palestinians. Concerned about treatment of Israelis, as well. They are NOT mutually exclusive. You painting it as such is reflective of the mechanisms that keep the whole area in violent conflict.

    It is another hateful aspersion to accuse anyone who has human rights concerns about Palestinians as anti-semite. The way you throw that word around, you are devaluing it. It is coming to mean nothing.

    And your point about Sudan is silly. In the Green Party discussion they are making a statement about what they perceive as a Zionist push to get the US out of Sudan. (A move that would cause more bloodshed there.) They are stating that they prefer the US to divest from Israel and put resources into helping fight the atrocities in Sudan. They wouldn’t be pitting the two as mutually exclusive except for the fact that they believe that Zionists are pushing that agenda.

    So, what do you do, troll the internet for any reference to Zion and make sure to make the worst possible interpretation to support your life’s mantra? What would you do with yourself if we all coverted to Judaism and you couldn’t call anyone an anti-semite?

  • 1st/14th

    One of the few things I have ever agreed with Scott Ritter about (its bad enough that he is a traitor, but a Marine as well sickens me), and a sentiment that garnered him a number of jeers from his audience was that regardless of who sat in the White House we would have gone into Iraq in force sooner or later. He compared the rhetoric and actions of both the previous Clinton administration as well as the continuation of it through Bush and saw that the logical conclusion of it was war. His point was that no US administration would have backed down to Iraq until Saddam was gone, and I think that on that point he was right. Regardless of who was in office or when it might occur, war with Iraq was an inevitability.

    Had Gore been in office during 9/11, he would have essential done exactly the same thing that Bush did, only Gore would have gotten an endorsement for it in the Nation Magazine. The details would have been a bit different perhaps; Rumsfeld’s doctrine would not have gotten a chance to play itself out in Afghanistan, but the end result would have been pretty much the same.

  • 1st/14th

    Allison, Bebel’s phrase that “anti-Semitism is the socialism of fools� is just as relevant today as it was 150 years ago. A few years ago a cartoon was published showing Ariel Sharon eating a Palestinian baby. This plays on many longstanding racist ideas about Jews, but what made it most exceptional was that it was published by lefty cartoonist Dave Brown of the Independent. Needless to say, blatant display like this are neither rare nor exclusively the domain of the neo-Nazi right.

  • How do you fight an effective war against terrorism with a strict reading of the constitution? that opens up the war powers act and all sorts of things. could be interesting.

  • On the Green party stance in Sudan,

    The Green Party, as a whole embraces non-violent action. They do not agree with the invasion of Iraq and the policy of ‘regime change’. David Cobb argued that it was reprehensible that we were willing to invade Iraq and support interests in the Middle East if it got us access to oil, but we were not willing to send troops into to protect the victims of genocide in Sudan. He also disagreed with the concept of going into Sudan for regime change. He very clearly called for military intervention, though.

    WIthin the party, his call for military intervention was debated because the party embraces non-violence. I think they struggle with the language to use when you do want to send people in to protect others. But the investment in Sudan that they are interested in is a humanitarian effort to end the genocide and to interptret thier perspective any other way is willful disregard.

    I am not a Green Party member. But I do appreciate their willingness to struggle with their positions and how their different agenda items relate to one another. They are a young political party and I encourage the development of a multi-party system. Because of that, I will defend them when they are willfully misrepresented. The Green Party is concerned with a sustainable humanity. Initially, this stemmed from ecological concerns. To be viable as a political party, they had to develop a philosphy about human social issues. As they are very committed to non-violence, I find it rather amusing that anyone would accuse them of supportig the atrocities in Sudan and of being hateful.

  • 1st/14th, why are you writing about these things and addressing them to me?

  • 1st/14th

    I dunno? I suppose it was a response to the following:

    Supporting Palestinians does not equal hatred of Israel. It does not been supporting Hizbollah. Or any jihadist. Again, you cast an awfully wide net with your aspersions. You equate Palestinian with jihadist. Do people really let you influence them with this type of twisted rhetoric?

    I don’t know any Green Party members who are anti-semite. Some of them are concerned about the treatment of the Palestinians. Concerned about treatment of Israelis, as well. They are NOT mutually exclusive. You painting it as such is reflective of the mechanisms that keep the whole area in violent conflict.

  • Peggy Sue @ work

    I do not think of jdyer as a liberal or a moderate. Not at all. He seems a bit too much the zealot for that. I do wonder sometimes though why jdyer refers to me only in the 3rd person. Thats why I’m writing about him in the 3rd person on this post. To see what it feels like. Guess he wants to keep his distance from the likes of me being. That is OK. I was just thinking it seemed odd.

  • 1st/14th

    “Both sided tend to use hyperbole and that does not make for good political debate” -Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

    The best line of the show from the most realistic guest.

  • jdyer

    Allison:

    allison Says:

    September 12th, 2006 at 2:16 pm

    “Supporting Palestinians does not equal hatred of Israel.”

    This is a red herring. No one said it did.

    However, wanting to boycott Israel while embracing the Sudan and HIzbollah is a sign of vile antisemitism, period.

    btw: I know people who resigned from the Greens because of their stance on Israel and because of what they perceived as antisemitism.

  • jdyer

    Peggy Sue @ work Says:

    September 12th, 2006 at 4:20 pm

    “I do not think of jdyer as a liberal or a moderate. Not at all. He seems a bit too much the zealot for that. I do wonder sometimes though why jdyer refers to me only in the 3rd person. Thats why I’m writing about him in the 3rd person on this post. To see what it feels like. Guess he wants to keep his distance from the likes of me being. That is OK. I was just thinking it seemed odd. ”

    Peggy I wrote about you in both the second as well as the third person. I did it because it felt right.

    I don’t care if you don’t think of me as a “moderate.” No sweat of my back. I just state my political views.

    Otoh, I think of you as an extremist who cares more about trees (the environment) than about people.

  • jdyer

    1st/14th Says:

    “September 12th, 2006 at 4:31 pm

    “Both sided tend to use hyperbole and that does not make for good political debate� -Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

    The best line of the show from the most realistic guest. ”

    Great point, thanks for bringing it up.

  • Peggy Sue @ work

    I am a card carrying Green myself and I do not perceive the Green Party as being antisemitic at all. I do not know any Greens who embrace hizbollah. I think that is nonsense. Nonviolence is part of the Green philosophy.

  • Peggy Sue @ work

    I don’t care if jdyer thinks I love trees more than people… he may be right…

  • Hmm. Let me try to summarize this thread. Obviously, both on the left and the right, there’s a range of opinions. The right feels that the left is on a slippery-slope towards anti-Semitism, anti-Americanism, and softness to jihadism; the left feels that the right is on their own slippery-slope towards militarism and corporatism.

    There’s also a centrist sense that partisans on each side ought to be more proactive in taking on the wingnuts in their midst. Here’s me, two years ago, dealing with a liberal loon who felt the Bush administration was complicit in 9/11. I felt it was irresponsible. But, I only bothered to respond to him be because he posted to a Mass. Democratic Party mailing list.

    Now, Peggy Sue, if you are a card-carrying Green Party member and you see the secretary of the state party carrying a sign in favor of Hezbollah, that’s your quarrel with him, and not ours.

    But we digress. Hmm. 20 minutes till airtime and no sign from the staff. But let me try to hone the what-if’s argument somewhat. Yes, jdyer, it is nonsense, but no one ever went broke studying nonsense, or at the least having a talk show on it. My point about President Gore, to clarify, is that five years ago today, good Democrats I know (which you can read as “friends and family”) abandoned the what-if about Gore winning the 2000 election. Granted, that didn’t last. And I’ll add now that a Gore 2008 campaign takes this what-if full circle.

    Like jdyer, I supported the war. I’m a liberal chickenhawk. I thought about going to one of the service academies after high school, but in the midst of Pax Clintonia it really didn’t pull me. So I figured I’d support the Iraq war, why not? But of course, the reasoning was a travesty, and I was lulled in. We have the very same reasoning to go to war against Iran or North Korea now, but obviously we are not.

    There’s always the what-if of the war against Iraq having been fought correctly. That’s sorta missing from the list at the top, and that’s an easy one.

  • Peggy Sue @ work

    Jon G. I’m not sure what you are talking about here…

    “Now, Peggy Sue, if you are a card-carrying Green Party member and you see the secretary of the state party carrying a sign in favor of Hezbollah, that’s your quarrel with him, and not ours.”

    I was refering to the jdyer post…

    “However, wanting to boycott Israel while embracing the Sudan and HIzbollah is a sign of vile antisemitism, period.

    btw: I know people who resigned from the Greens because of their stance on Israel and because of what they perceived as antisemitism.”

    Maybe you were both refering to a Massachusetts thing… I live in Washington State.

  • Peggy Sue @ work

    Hey, no “what if” about it. Gore did win the 2000 election.

  • Peggy Sue @ work

    Yes, I see now you were refering to a Massachusetts thing. Sorry, hard to read the whole thing while I’m at work.

  • enhabit

    call me joe j,

    it seems that our story right now is about oil and a desire to see a return to the 90’s market growth.

    ever since navies converted from coal. history is going to take a look at how we progressively occupied the middle east after oil shortages affected the viet namese conflict and then our economy. (look at iran, it’s effectively surrounded by the usa right now) this has also become a convenient position as our economic rivals in asia grow ever more interested in the area as well. keep an eye on sudan and chad with respect to that one.

    our addiction to oil and our lust for bull markets may have compromised our moral judgement and standing.

  • “Politics are retrograde and culture is in fantastic shape”

    Hmm. Sounds like the USSR.

    It is uplifting, though, to be reminded of our cutural richness.

    Thanks, Chris for those guests.

  • enhabit

    sorry about my typing between getting the kids to bed. this could be a show idea. look at the timeline of our military presence in the region and its affect on politics. start with the birth of saudi arabia. then modern israel, turkey, diego garcia, even yemen. iran, with u.s. and nato troops to the east and west, no wonder they are playing the nuke card. we are militarily, at least, well positioned to protect our interests in the area.

  • 1st/14th

    Chickenhawk, I always thought that was the dumbest, meanest most chicken shit phrase ever thrown around. Does the chickenhawk argument extend to male gynecologists? Just a random thought.

  • lagoa

    If complete secularism is a liberal value we should be promoting abroad, then we should not be surprised if the Islamic World rejects it.

    This is unfortunate, because Islam does have a tradition of toleration that could become a basis for liberal democracy. But, if legalizing abortion and banishing school prayer are necessary, as the guests today implied, then we’re setting ourselves up for an unfortunate war of civilizations.

    Far from being disqualified from promoting the liberal democratic creed, I believe our conservative right-wing is uniquely qualified for showing the Islamic world that liberalism and religious conviction are not mutually exclusive.

  • Thanks for posting my photo! I missed the show, I’ll catch it on the stream later.

    enhabit– welcome to the show. Yes, you’ve certainly hit upon the central of foreign policy today: oil. I think there may have been a few shows about it.

    Last night on the threads, jdyer had expressed interest in the long view “about the Jihadist history going back to the 20’s when the Ottoman Empire was disolved” in a discussion on the roots of 9/11.

    That’s one telling. There’s been a lot of focus on the religious writings of Sayyid Qutb for inspiring Islamic fundamentalism. But there’s also a plain part of it that’s a criminal racket using religiosity as cover. al-qaeda covets the oil as well. That’s what I got from Robert Baer’s book. I’d have to review this area again.

  • jdyer said: “I think of you as an extremist who cares more about trees (the environment) than about people”.

    I’ve been called an extreamist before. Why it is that wanting to live in peace on a healthy planet is such an extreamist position I’m not sure but if that makes me an extreamist I wear the lable with pride. Personally, I think the people who pursue policys that they know are jepordizing the entire biosphere of this planet are the real extreamists.

    Jon G. said: “There’s always the what-if of the war against Iraq having been fought correctly.”

    How do you fight a correct war? Is that when all the soldiers wear tidy uniforms and line up in straight rows before they kill other?

  • joe j said: “our addiction to oil and our lust for bull markets may have compromised our moral judgement and standing.”

    Absolutly!

    I was thinking that we are in the “oil age” now in the same way we were once in the “stone age”, “bronze age”, “iron age” ect. So what is next? A “solar age” seems obvious what with oil giving us a bad case of global warming not to mention perpetual oil wars.

  • These are the 10 key values of the Green Party. For more on each point see the following web link.

    http://www.greenparty.org/values.php

    Ten Key Values

    Grassroots Democracy

    Ecological Wisdom

    Social Justice and Equal Opportunity

    Nonviolence

    Decentralization

    Community Based Economics

    Feminism

    Respect for Diversity

    Personal and Global responsibility

    Future Focus and Sustainability

  • 1st/14th

    Al-Qaeda covets the oil because they are piss ass broke. Oil is a commodity that is never in short demand, and third world tyrants have used it fuel murderous ambitions for quite some time.

    How do you fight a correct war? Simple, you fight to win, not just to not lose. You are loyal to your allies and brutal to your enemies, “No better friend, no worse enemy” is a great slogan to fight by.

  • Again my bad choice of words. What should have happened “correctly” was the reconstruction effort. The point is, there was a chance for things to go smoothly in Iraq, and we’d be in a much better stature today on the world stage.

  • 10:17 PM Pacific Time

    Enjoyed the show and guests. I’ve watched Simon Schama’s History of Britain. He’s great.

    I was delighted to hear Christopher Lydon laugh while telling about Wanona LaDuke escaping the assassins.

  • enhabit

    john garfunkel,

    i think you are missing the point. of course its oil and its obvious to us. but in the future, people are going to be talking about it in many ways, consider our PHYSICAL presence overseas. take a map put little pins in it that represent our military deployment in the indian ocean, middle east and adjacent areas. we are occupiers on a very large scale. now consider sudan and chad, the chinese are up to something in that region. chad just booted out 60% of the foreign oil companies. there is a massive chess game going on here. is it any wonder that we are resented and not just in the arab world. i’m suggesting a big picture show about this aspect of the situation. just look at what the people of diego garcia have been through.

  • Potter

    I think it’s an illusion that things could have gone “correctly” or smoothly in Iraq at all no matter how well conceived and executed the regime smashing or the reconstruction. Breaking a long held tyranny released a flood of repressed feelings and an anarchy. But don’t forget also that the regime was ended with tremendous violence, bombs and an invasion that was bound to be turned into occupation. All that following years of brutality and repression.

    Simon Schama referred to Taha from this article in the New Yorker:The Moderate Martyr: A Radically peaceful vision of Islam

    Thanks for the show, the guests, the ability to listen again.

  • nother

    It was nice to end the show with hope.

  • jdyer

    peggysue Says:

    September 12th, 2006 at 9:00 pm

    “jdyer said: “I think of you as an extremist who cares more about trees (the environment) than about peopleâ€?.

    I’ve been called an extreamist before. Why it is that wanting to live in peace on a healthy planet is such an extreamist position I’m not sure but if that makes me an extreamist I wear the lable with pride. Personally, I think the people who pursue policys that they know are jepordizing the entire biosphere of this planet are the real extreamists.”

    Caring more about trees than people is a little extreme, don’t you think?

  • jdyer

    peggysue Says:

    September 12th, 2006 at 9:29 pm

    “These are the 10 key values of the Green Party. For more on each point see the following web link.

    http://www.greenparty.org/values.php

    Ten Key Values”

    Did you ever read the Soviet constitution. It’s beutiful document full of high sounding phrases about freedom, justice, equality, etc.

    The proof was/is in the governance, Peggy, and not in any declaration of principles.

  • Peggy Sue @ work

    jdyer said: “Caring more about trees than people is a little extreme, don’t you think?”

    Not really, what I actually care about are healthy ecosystems and that can include people too. If the trees are all gone people will also be gone. Frankly, this planet could do well with a lot less people. I favor controlling human population with birth control rather than wars and famines but there I go again with my extreme views.

  • jdyer

    Peggy Sue @ work Says:

    September 13th, 2006 at 4:11 pm

    “jdyer said: “Caring more about trees than people is a little extreme, don’t you think?â€?

    Not really, what I actually care about are healthy ecosystems and that can include people too. ”

    I am much obliged to you for including people in the eco system.

    That’s mighty green of you.

  • rc21

    Why is it that liberals feel that they are the only ones who believe in peace.

    So many act as if they have some moral supperiority about them because they oppose war. Most if not all conservatives also value peace.You dont own the word.

    Some of us feel that sometimes war is necessary in order to gain a peace that will last and be sustainable. We look at the big picture and we look at history.

    It would be wonderful if we did not have a war going on now. but down the road we might end up in a bigger war. Peggy sue you feel the earth would be better if we had alot less people. Who would you like to get rid of?

  • Enough. Must this continue? The show’s topic was history and global affairs. Peggy Sue is not on trial here. She has a right to her politics and her ideas. She has a right to make statements and not have them twisted. I try to watch my words and then find I have to later scramble to defend them.

    It would be nice, if people were here to learn a little thing about the world and about other people. But, that’s not enough. In the presence of other sentient beings who live somewhere in the world, some people are just out to seek out weaknesses, and then attack.

    Now, one or all of you may just be joking here, and maybe I’m not in on the joke. Maybe a smiley doesn’t hurt every now and then. But just call it off for now.

  • But, I thought jdyer was complimenting me. (thats how I took it anyway jd)

    But Yeah Jon, you’re so right. This thread is so done.

  • jdyer

    yes, this thread “was done” a while back.

    However, Jon, let’s not stage manage postings. If people want to keep on posting, it is their right.

    That includes posting back and forths about “nothings.”

  • That’s right too jd. So here’s a little “nothing” for you.

    rc21 said: “Peggy sue you feel the earth would be better if we had alot less people. Who would you like to get rid of?”

    Actually, I support birth control as a means of controling population but for the sake of adding a “nothing” post let me speculate and ponder rc21’s question.

    jd, for all your long winded weirdness and paronoid delusional fixation on antisemetism it would not be you. There are in fact a few other candidates around here that I think it would be far more deserving of a free trip to another planet. :^)

  • rc21

    Peggy sue I only asked the question because you said our planet would be better off with less people. To me that means someone has to go.

    I look at it another way. With our planet having so many people, we need to find a better way to manage our ecosystems. Maybe that is what you meant.

    I also value our environment. There is no more beautiful place than New England in the fall.Or the winter for that matter. I’m just not sure mass abortion or possibly a form of eugenics is the way to preserve it.

    When you get right down to it what we are saying is ”I would rather see more mothers kill their unborn child or( fetus if you choose that term) so as to preserve my ability to enjoy the beauty of nature.

    There really is no need to respond I’m not trying to rag on you I feel the same way much of the time.People keep getting in the way of my trying to enjoy my self.

  • Joel Lenox

    Love the show but am getting tired of hearing the quote, “The Pottery Barn Rule”

    As I suspected, according do wikipedia there is no such rule at Pottery barn, Colin Powell got it wrong! Unlike Iraq if I break something in the store they don’t make me fix it.

    Can we just correct this once and for all or at least refer to it as the ‘erroneously quoted “Pottery Barn Rule”‘ ?

    Thanks, keep up the amazing work, you’re ever faithful listener,

    Joel