This brief article by Zbigniew Brzezinski in the Washington Post provides a useful contrast to Albrechtsen’s opinion piece. Here are the opening few lines to give you the flavour:
The “war on terror” has created a culture of fear in America. The Bush administration’s elevation of these three words into a national mantra since the horrific events of 9/11 has had a pernicious impact on American democracy, on America’s psyche and on U.S. standing in the world. Using this phrase has actually undermined our ability to effectively confront the real challenges we face from fanatics who may use terrorism against us.
The damage these three words have done — a classic self-inflicted wound — is infinitely greater than any wild dreams entertained by the fanatical perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks when they were plotting against us in distant Afghan caves.
Sadly, we too have inflicted this wound upon ourselves, albeit with somewhat less fervour.
Another article worth a read is from the excellent Tom Engelhardt. Again, a few tidbits to hopefully whet your appetite:
I came home wondering whether some Bush-era version of the old Roman formula had indeed been working. Had bread and circuses become croissants and iPods, or Bud and American Idol, or Sony PlayStation 3 and 24? I couldn’t help puzzling over the gap between public opinion on the President’s war and public action, or between the conclusions opinion polls tell us so many Americans have reached and those generally reached in Washington as well as in the mainstream media.
Oddly enough, as far as I can see, the only disqualification for being a pundit or expert in our TV world, when it comes to the President’s Afghan and Iraq wars (or his prospective Iranian one), is having been right in the first place, having imagined from the start something of what actually did occur — as, for instance, was the case with Nation columnist Jonathan Schell and Boston Globe columnist James Carroll, or, for that matter, any of the millions of protestors who took to the streets in early 2003.