September 1, 2004

by Reb Yudel
Why George Bush is the Terrorists' Choice

Brad DeLong's Semi-Daily Journal publishes excerpts of James Fallows's new Atlantic Article, "The Lost Year"
At the beginning of 2002 the United States still operated in a climate of worldwide sympathy and solidarity. A broad range of allies supported its anti-Taliban efforts in Afghanistan.... President Bush was still being celebrated... fewer than 10,000 U.S. soldiers were deployed overseas as part of the war on terror, and a dozen Americans had died in combat. The United States had not captured Osama bin Laden, but it had routed the Taliban leadership that sheltered him, and seemed to have put al-Qaeda on the run....

I also remember the way 2002 ended.... 200,000 members of the U.S. armed forces were en route to staging areas surrounding Iraq.... [T]he Administration refused to discuss plans for the war's aftermath—or its potential cost. In December the President fired Lawrence Lindsey after Lindsey offered a guess that the total cost might be $100 billion to $200 billion.... Lindsey's controversial estimate held up very well... at striking variance with the pre-war insistence by Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz that Iraq's oil money, plus contributions from allies, would minimize the financial burden on Americans....

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