I’m back from Philadelphia. The train home was delayed to the point that I ended up reading a copy of the New York Times that someone left behind. Paul Krugman had this to say: “On almost every front the outlook for the United States now seems far bleaker than it did two yars ago. Has everything gone wrong because of evildoers and external forces? The answer is no. The fault lies not in our stars, but in our leadership.”
The key word in this passage is seems. Two years ago, things seemed fine because we didn’t know that Al Qaeda was about to strike or that North Korea was on the verge of developing a nuclear capability. We would have known if we had been paying attention, but we weren’t. I do agree with the Pop Economist to this extent though — the fault does lie in our leadership. If the first President Bush had pushed on to Baghdad; if Bill Clinton had attacked Al Qaeda, or even just accepted the offer of Sudan to turn Bin Laden over; and if Clinton had acted firmly against North Korea in the mid 1990s, before it became a nuclear power, the world would be a much more peaceful and secure place. With luck, it will be more peaceful and secure after this President Bush reverses years of foreign policy neglect.
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