Saturday, September 09, 2006

Rick Hertzberg: Lost Love (reflections on post-9-11)

The New Yorker: The Talk of the Town: "Bush’s reply:

Americans are sacrificing. I mean, we are. You know, we pay a lot of taxes. America sacrificed when they, you know, when the economy went into the tank. Americans sacrificed when, you know, air travel was disrupted. American taxpayers have paid a lot to help this nation recover. I think Americans have sacrificed.

And so we have. Not by paying “a lot of taxes,” of course; we pay less of those than we did before, and the very, very richest among us pay much, much less. But we have sacrificed, God knows. “The military occupation in Iraq is consuming practically the entire defense budget and stretching the Army to its operational limits,” John Lehman, Secretary of the Navy in the Reagan Administration and a member of the 9/11 Commission, wrote in the Washington Post a couple of days after Bush’s interview. “This is understood quite clearly by both our friends and our enemies, and as a result, our ability to deter enemies around the world is disintegrating.” That’s a sacrifice. And here’s another: our country’s reputation."

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