Reason Roundup

17 Years After 9/11, U.S. Hasn't Forgotten—Or Learned: Reason Roundup

Plus: Winklevoss twins launch new cryptocurrency and how refusing a handshake cost a Muslim woman French citizenship.


Trump couldn't even put aside petty boasting on 9/11. An unearthed interview with Donald Trump from the afternoon of September 11, 2001, reveals him bragging that with the twin towers gone, one of his buildings was once again the tallest structure in New York City. "40 Wall Street actually was the second-tallest building in downtown Manhattan, and it was actually, before the World Trade Center, was the tallest," said Trump in the radio interview with WWOR.

"Then, when they built the World Trade Center, it became known as the second-tallest. And now it's the tallest."

Today marks 17 years since the twin towers of the World Trade Center collapsed, after being attacked by Al Qaeda actors under the leadership of Osama bin Laden. Here's what now-President Trump had to say about it this year:

That Trump didn't even feel the need to use this occasion for fearmongering suggests Politico is on to something when it suggests "nobody cares about terrorism anymore."

In the midst of the typical (and increasingly lackluster) punditry pablum about how we will #NeverForget, however, some are seizing the opportunity to highlight how America's current actions abroad are antithetical to both respecting the lives lost and preventing future carnage.

Never forget that American politicians are willing to use the memories of murdered citizens and foreigners alike to justify whatever imperialistic adventures they have their hearts newly set on.

Attempts to equate Russian shitposters on Twitter to the mass murder of thousands of Americans have even started pouring in:

Folks who were in the fetus-to-toddler age range on September 11, 2001, are now becoming old enough to join the U.S. military. The good news is they won't be sent to die in the same post-9/11 folly that the earliest adults of my generation—the millennials—were. But while the Iraq War may (for now, at least) be over, America continues to wreak havoc in the region, endlessly repeating the same mistakes that spurred the 9/11 attacks in the first place.


Refusal to shake French president's hand ruled "failure to assimilate"and cause for denying citizenship.


Facebook foes found new cryptocurrency. The digital tokens known as "Gemini Dollars" will be "pegged in value to the U.S. dollar and transferable on the Ethereum blockchain," Fast Company reports.


No bail for Butina. After federal prosecutors falsely accused her of exchanging sex for state secrets, alleged Russian spy Maria Butina has been denied bail. On Monday, a judge rejected her lawyer's request to allow house arrest for Butina as she awaits trial. The judge also imposed a gag order on Butina's lawyers.


NEXT: Beware the Press's Self-Serving Calls to Regulate Social Media

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  1. Trump couldn’t even put aside petty boasting on 9/11.

    11/9 is worse. Am I right, people?

  2. 17 years since September 11th!
    ? Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 11, 2018

    Uh, get over it already? Is that the message?

  3. Fuck this.
    ? Jeremiah Stephan Dunleavy IV (@JerryDunleavy) September 11, 2018

    Say what you will, Friday Funnies was never that bad.

  4. On 9/11 I was 18 years old. Today I’m 35. It was half my lifetime ago. And we’ve been at war since.
    ? Ilya Lozovsky (@ichbinilya) September 11, 2018

    Way to make it about you, Millennial.

  5. Refusal to shake French president’s hand ruled “failure to assimilate”?and cause for denying citizenship.

    And it should be grounds for an automatic US visa.

    1. that deserves a French salute

      1. Is that where you turn around and run the other direction in fear?

        1. Close enough

          Technically, you should have both hands raised above your head. Bonus points if you don’t drop your cigarette

    2. After she refused to shake his hand, the French president retreated in defeat.

    3. “What we have here is…a failure to assimilate.”

  6. “An unearthed interview with Donald Trump from the afternoon of September 11, 2001, reveals him bragging that with the twin towers gone, one of his buildings is once again the tallest structure in New York City. “40 Wall Street actually was the second-tallest building in downtown Manhattan, and it was actually, before the World Trade Center, was the tallest,” said Trump”

    1) That statement doesn’t say what you say it says. He isn’t bragging about 40 Wall Street being the tallest.

    2) He’s saying that 40 Wall Street might have been the target on 9/11 instead of the Twin Towers–if the Twin Towers hadn’t been taller.

    Your TDS is showing . . . again.

    1. You seem also to be reading a lot into it. Or is there more in the full interview to support what you say?

      1. Do you have any evidence that Trump’s statement meant he was glad that 9/11 happened because it meant he could brag that his building was now the tallest–besides, “ENB and the Washington Post say so”?

        Read the quoted statement. It doesn’t say what they say it says.

        1. Christ in a bucket, it doesn’t have to be either. It’s simply him making a stupid remark to get his own name into the news cycle. It’s all about him, that’s all.

          1. The media contacted Trump!

          2. That is also how I read it, so both ENB and Ken are reading far too much into it.

        2. No. I never once considered the possibility that that is what he meant. Sounds to me more like he’s just a self centered guy who can’t stop talking up his own stuff. Which comports well with everything else he does and says in public.

      2. You have to fact check the media’s work. They are almost entirely a group of liars who have TDS and twist events and statements to make sure they fit a narrative.

        Its why the MSM is an enemy of the American people.

        1. Part of the problem is that most journalists today earned journalism degrees from journalism schools, where they learned how to write stories and pose for the camera but precious little else.

          In my experience — and yes, I’ve been interviewed by the Media many times — the average reporter has virtually zero knowledge of history, science, or civics.

          So like children they will believe anything, especially if it gives them a “hook” for their story; the more dramatic, the better.

          1. +1

    2. His own PR guy thought that was what he was saying.

      1. “40 Wall Street actually was the second-tallest building in downtown Manhattan, and it was actually, before the World Trade Center, was the tallest ? and then, when they built the World Trade Center, it became known as the second tallest,” Trump said in the WWOR interview. “And now it’s the tallest.”

        Blackmon told The Post late Monday that Trump’s response left her baffled.

        “[Marcus] dialed him up, and that’s when [Trump] gave the answer he did, which stunned us at the time,” Blackmon said to The Post. “Any reaction I had, in the midst of everything that was happening, was, wow, that’s insensitive. It just was.” WaPo Interview

        That was an “insensitive” statement does not mean what you want it to mean.

        1. Blackmon was the anchor, not the PR person.

          1. I stand by my statement as it was people who are not Trump trying to twist what Trump did say, to fit a narrative.

            Americans are just not believing the media anymore because of stupid shit like this.

          2. Since when has a PR person had the final say on reality?

            It is interesting that someone you would NEVER believe a word from (Trump’s PR flack) suddenly has all the credibility in the world to you.

            What could be the reason for that I wonder…

      2. Yeah, his statement is self-centered as in, “Wow, that could have been MY building that was hit!”. It might even be self-centered as in, “Thank goodness it wasn’t MY building that was hit!”

        However, it wasn’t self-centered as in, “Thank goodness the Twin Towers are gone–now my building is the highest!”.

        1. Well, you cannot get Americans against Trump with correct context like that!

      3. That is incorrect

  7. Regulations dictating how social media companies can moderate content and users “might sound like it’s supporting free speech” but “it’s actually an almost certain First Amendment violation by the DOJ and whatever state AGs are involved.”

    Yeah, I thought they were only allowed to violate constitutional protections when drugs were involved.

  8. Missouri’s campaign finance law has been declared unconstitutional.

    Not vague and subjective enough.

    1. Needs more meth.

  9. A Detroit food truck owner is getting attention after refusing to serve police officers, saying that their presence made her other customers nervous.

    Her customers are dogs?

    1. Cops make bad barflies.


    The 95% of the gay activist community that are Stalinists give the other 5% a bad name. No, this isn’t a parody. They really are lauding the virtues of clean living, hard word, and re-education that comes with going to the Gulag. The funny part about this that no one seems to notice is that they are talking about sending other leftists to the Gulag. The whole thing is about the need to “compassionately re-educate” a bunch of radical feminists who refuse to repeat the party lie that a man in a dress is really a woman because he says he is. It shows just how insane transgenderism really is. When radical feminists are the voice of sanity, you have hit pretty epic levels of insanity. And being loyal members of the party wouldn’t save the Radical Feminists from the camps. You would think at some point leftists would understand that the knock at the door is coming but they never seem to do so until it is too late.

    1. Science must be decolonised and de-essentialised in order for this to happen

      Jesus H. Christ.

      1. I’ve lost patience with these people.

        “Just shut the fuck up with your meaningless word salad.”

      2. I noticed that but I don’t speak sjw-ese very well so I’m not sure what they meant

        1. They don’t either. It’s the “baffle with bullshit” technique.

          1. My best shot at a translation: science needs more minorities and then we should all ignore it
            But that just sounds kind of racist

      3. Their entire ideology is a violation of the NAP.

    2. I hate activists. Presuming to speak for all people sharing some characteristic is arrogant and shitty.

      1. You should start a movement against activism.

    3. I’m really glad I’m not near those people. I’ve read Gulag Archipelago. I might not be able to resist their thesis that words are violence and deserve violence in return. And I would feel bad about that. A little bit, anyway.

    1. How dare employers expect sacred Muslims to do the job they were hired to do.

      1. The Libertarian Case for Sharia Law
        (Please hire me The Atlantic! Please!)

        1. I’m surprised Shikha hasn’t wrote a column yet about how these immigrants are benefitting America by forcing us to moderate our alcohol consumption.

    2. You see, the difference here is that… um… Well, you can’t expect someone to do something that violates their relig… um…

      You see, the evil trucking company here fired these people. They have a right to a job. In the baker cases, the government only threatens your life and property at the point of a gun. You don’t have a right to life or property.

    3. What the fuck is the world coming to – you had one fucking job, you are a truck driver – you get paid to deliver shit. Its like the people who move next to the train tracks and then bitch about the trains.

    4. Some years ago a local factory hired a bunch of Muslims. Like 100 in a factory of ~400. Once they were past the 90 day “we can terminate you for anything period” they demanded that they all be allowed to take their religious prayer breaks. When they were refused they all went on strike. And when they were told “either do your jobs or be fired” they sued for discrimination.

      The other factories all refused to hire them. Which resulted in more suits. The only saving grace for the factory that hired them was that they were a union shop, and this was an unsanctioned strike, so the union actually sided with the company.

    5. would liberals like Christians more if they were more vindictive against their employers?

      1. It’s the lesson I’ve taken over the years.

        Christians should kill more people and be more demanding to get respect.

    6. A muslim trucker has a right to not carry alcohol freight, however, he does not have a right to be employed by a company that ships alcohol.

    7. Where is Jerry Reed when you need him?

      1. He’s east bound and down.

    8. Three years old, BTW.

      But that’s fucking stupid.

      It’s not like the trucking company was asking them to drink the shit.

  11. The beauty of crazy is you never know where it’ll land.

    1. It usually lands on my dick.

      1. You know what else usually lands on Crusty’s dick?

        1. Tony?

        2. Hitler?

  12. 50% of kids being sex trafficked in the US are kids, according to the @MurrayLedger
    ? Elizabeth Nolan Brown (@ENBrown) September 10, 2018

    Infantilization knows no age.

    1. The other 50% of kids are not kids.

      1. Well, to be fair, after they have been trafficked they are barely even human. That’s why every time they bust a massage parlor in Houston, they perp-walk the victims in front of the cameras.

      2. Maybe he is talking about goats.

    2. And 50% of that 50% are kids, making 25%.
      And 50% of that 25% are kids making 12.5%
      And so on.

      Zeno’s paradox of sex trafficking.

      1. 1/2 + 1/4 + 1/8 + 1/16 + … = 1

        Thus, literally ALL kids are being trafficked.

    3. Under Obamacare 26 is the new 18.

  13. Time until someone born after 9/11 can enlist to go to war in Afghanistan:
    ? Richard White (@CheekyAmriki) September 10, 2018

    Only on the Western side of things.

    1. Yeah, but really, who cares about the other side?

  14. “That Trump didn’t even feel the need to use this occasion for fearmongering suggests Politico is on to something when it suggests “nobody cares about terrorism anymore.”

    Whomever forms the next government in tolerant Sweden, of all places, will need to do so by making a deal with neo-nazis.

    About 20% of Swedish voters just voted for the neo-nazis–because no one cares about terrorism anymore?

    The far right is on the march around the world because of a paranoid fear of Muslims, and no one cares about terrorism anymore . . . can anyone but a journalist or a Tony level progressive hold both views simultaneously?

    1. Because we want things to be true doesn’t mean we should pretend that they’re true.

    2. Why are people turning to Nazis? Because the respectable parties call them racists every time they demand something about the crime and threat of terrorism. Where reasonable voices are not heard, they will be replaced by unreasonable ones who will have to be heard.

    3. No borders. No wall. No USA at all. This sums up threat from the modernity being faced by every nation in Christendom.

      Of course they are Neo-Nazis. Anything that is not in support of the destruction of the states and cultures of Christendom is Neo-Nazis.

      1. No borders. No wall. No USA at all.

        Speaking of, I had a thought for a political ad spot.

        Start with a shot of black bandanna’d Antifa thugs chanting the above slogan. Two, maybe three repetitions. Depends on the timing.

        Cut to a shot of the Democratic candidate saying something about “Abolish ICE”.

        Message from the candidate: “I’m not crazy like that person is.”

        End spot.

    4. I dont even think most of the ‘neo-Nazis’ are Nazis but Swedish-centric citizens who want what’s best for Sweden, not Syria.

      If they are Nazis, then they’re Lefties anyway.

      Sweden has a multitude of state owned and partly state owned businesses.

    5. The “far right” seems to be on the march because of a paranoid fear of being labeled “racist”, which has paralyzed most Western politicians from dealing rationally with the assimilation problems of the large influx of muslims into their countries.

  15. ‘Silent Donation’: Corporate Emails Reveal Google Executives’ Efforts to Turn Out Latino Voters Who They Thought Would Vote for Clinton
    This wasn’t a get-out-the-vote effort or whatever they say. It wasn’t aimed at all potential voters. It wasn’t even aimed at a balanced cross-section of subgroups. Google didn’t try to get out the vote among say Christian Arabs in Michigan or say Persian Jews in Los Angeles?they sometimes vote Republican. It was aimed only at one group, a group that Google cynically assumed would vote exclusively for the Democratic Party. Furthermore, this mobilization effort targeted not only the entire country but swing states vital to the Hillary campaign. This was not an exercise in civics, this was political consulting. It was in effect an in-kind contribution to the Hillary Clinton campaign.”

  16. But McCain said those terrorists were good dooods!

  17. On the bright side, Trump is the only president since Ford, to not start a new combat operation zone.

    1. He’s got six more years. Don’t go counting those chickens yet. As you indicate, statistics are not on his side here.

      1. True. Those war drum circles are getting louder and louder.

        If we do, North Korea and Iran are likely to the aggressors.

        Even if its self-defense, I hope we can scale back tension with Iran and NK.

        1. Even if its self-defense, I hope we can scale back tension with Iran and NK.

          Concur. I’m not all that fond of the world as is, but it would be even shittier if radioactive.

    If socialism is no longer about providing necessities to the oppressed, but luxuries to those who don’t want to work for them, faking poverty is no longer a pretext for leftist activism. Instead the new horror story is that of a lazy lefty activist who can’t get the thousand dollar smartphone that she wants.

    1. There are progressives that will confess to this every now and again: that the “progress” part of “progressive” means a government that provides you more and more and more over time, that you keep raising the bar of “basic needs” higher and higher to satisfy more and more such that a person gets a better and better guaranteed life materially just for existing, and that the concept of “need” can mean whatever they say it means.

      Which is all fine and good until you disagree, and then the moral cudgeling begins, over why you want poor people and children to die.

      Because confessing to spoiled laziness is unseemly.

        1. Bait and switch.

  19. Junior high school girls “whispering among themselves” and being “disrespectful” to a cop does not rise “to the level of probable cause,” the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled.

    If they had rolled their eyes, however, then it would have been breach of the peace.

  20. “Never forget that American politicians are willing to use the memories of murdered citizens and foreigners alike to justify whatever imperialistic adventures they have their hearts newly set on.”

    Try not to forget that Trump working with vicious dictators like Putin to put down ISIS and working with whomever is willing to fight against Iran’s proxies is on the pragmatic side of the imperialistic adventure/pragmatic realism spectrum.

    Damning Trump for working with Putin is to damn him for being a pragmatist rather than neoconservative–whether you like it or not. If there’s one thing neoconservatives like John McCain, Hillary Clinton, and the deep state at the FBI and CIA agreed on, it’s that Trump’s pragmatic realism was a direct threat to their hopes for an imperialistic adventure in Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East.

    1. You can’t on the one hand claim to be against American adventurism and then on the other damn Trump for being pragmatic and working with dictators. If you don’t want to go to war with these people, then you have to work with them.

      Beyond that, Reason spent 8 years kissing Obama’s ass because he wanted and then got a nuclear agreement with Iran. Even though the agreement was terrible and enriched one of the worst and most dangerous regimes on earth, Reason thought it was great because “the alternative was war”. For them to now criticize Trump for working with dictators proves what establishment leftist hacks the staff is.

      1. I hope Iran is not super close to a nuke but if they are, Trump or some future president will have to deal with it. If its Trump, the Lefties will blame him up and down and take zero responsibility for letting Iran off the hook.

        If some future president is not a Neo-con and has to deal with Iran, the Lefties will attack that president too.

        If the future president is a Neo-con, excuses galore will flow from the propaganda machine that is the MSM.

      2. The abhorrence for working with dictators to pursue American interests is foundational to neconservatism.

        There are two things going on here.

        1) The thinkers: They want to see American foreign policy become isolationist again.

        I have intellectual sympathy with isolationists who criticize Trump’s pragmatism in a rational way. For one thing, isolationism isn’t something that should happen overnight–it needs to be pursued in a pragmatic way. For another, pragmatism is all about arguing over what’s in our best security interests and why. Anyone who is arguing that we should pursue isolationism because of a, b, and c and despite downsides x, y, and z is being a pragmatist. This far superior to neoconservatives who refused to work with Putin–regardless of whether doing so was in America’s best interests. (For pity’s sake, working with Stalin was once in America’s best interests).

      3. 2) The emoters: They damn everything Trump does because he’s Trump.

        These are the people who damn Trump for pursuing pragmatic means–as if it were a neocon adventure.

        These are the people who damn Trump for not being isolationist–and damn him for threatening to withdraw from European security agreements.

        They don’t care what Trump is doing or why. They think that their good intentions somehow justify making the rest of us look like idiots by way of association. It’s like how Dalmia makes me ashamed to be an open borders guy. It’s like how Tony thinks he’s doing progressives a favor, but he’s actually making them look dumber than they are. Ever seen Tony defend Keynes? Keynes was wrong, but he was nowhere near as stupid as Tony makes him seem. That’s how I feel about these foreign policy people. I end up defending positions I despise because the people who are supposed to be taking them apart are making the rest of us look so dumb.

        1. +1 Ken

  21. Attempts to equate Russian shitposters on Twitter to the mass murder of thousands of Americans have even started pouring in

    The attack on our 2016 election was about much more than “Russian shitposters on Twitter.” In fact, Drumpf and his campaign colluded with a hostile foreign power to steal the most important election ever from the most qualified candidate ever. When Mueller has completed his investigation, he will have definitive proof of this fact.

    Therefore, it’s entirely appropriate to compare our hacked election to earlier attacks on the US, like 9 / 11 or Pearl Harbor. Although the death toll of Russia’s act of aggression wasn’t as immediately high, it has the potential to be even worse in the long run as this illegitimate Kremlin asset President pursues policies that will literally kill marginalized people.


    1. #Stillsellingpoliticalaccess

  22. “Governor Brown Sets Ambitious Carbon, Clean Energy Goals By 2045”
    “Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill Monday authored by a Los Angeles legislator that sets a 100 percent clean electricity goal for the state, and also issued an executive order establishing a new target to achieve carbon neutrality ? both by 2045.”

    It’s in the Chron, pay-walled, but even that lefty rag admits:
    “…Brown announced a climate goal so ambitious that many experts don’t know how to reach it”
    That idiot isn’t named ‘moonbeam’ for nothing.

    1. It means Californians will be paying huge prices for electricity to out of state producers. If out of state electric companies did not lobby for that bill, they should have.

      1. Found an article some months back on BMW casting aluminum engine blocks in China, of course the claim was ‘only for the Chinese market’.
        But that takes a huge amount of energy, and with Germany’s ‘zero emission’ policy, it’s a good bet that the BMW execs are scouting places where, when you flip the switch, the light comes on.

        1. I bet you are correct. China’s coal plants may not be all modern and nifty like the birdomatics and solar panels in Germany, but they fucking work.

          1. Y’know, I truly don’t understand why the Chinese don’t build nuke plants. They clearly have the tech, since they make nuke bombs, and they’re just so much more efficient, and it’s not like they have nearly as much concern about public opinion as we do here…

            1. They are. China is one of the biggest markets for nuclear reactors. The problem China has is that they don’t have the skilled labor force necessary to build and maintain them. They can build and maintain some but not enough to meet all of their electricity demands. China is still mostly a backward illiterate country. They are not as advanced as their propaganda makes you think they are.

              1. “China is still mostly a backward illiterate country. They are not as advanced as their propaganda makes you think they are.”
                There’s a billion people who were eating tree bark one generation back; you don’t change that number of people at the wave of a hand.
                Go to even Xi’an, which is a booming tourist attraction, and take a walk two or three blocks off the main drag; you’d rather be ‘stuck in Lodi again’…

            2. Maybe because the Chinese government knows better than to trust their construction industry to build such things? They have the tech but they also have a tendency to be shoddy.

              1. Exactly Mickey. It is easy to forget just how hard such things are to build and maintain and just how amazing our civilization is for doing so.

              2. Both excellent points.

    2. Governor Brown thinks the only problem with King Canute was he did not order the tide to turn back more ambitiously.

  23. LGBT student group argues that gulags were good, anti-trans bigots literally kill and must be re-educated
    So? gulags. First myth to debunk: “u work until u die in gulags!!!!”. The Soviets did away with life sentences and the longest sentence was 10 years. Capital punishment was reserved for the most heinous, serious crimes.

    Why? The penal system was a rehabillitary one and self supporting, a far cry from the Western, capitalist notion of prison. The aim was to correct and change the ways of “criminals”. If it couldn’t be done in 10 years, it couldn’t be done at all.

    1. And Uncle Joe was just a poor, misunderstood mild-mannered man.

    2. John beat you to it above.

  24. Let’s be honest, who here among us has not shagged a few dicks?

  25. Central Oregon Man Cleared of Child Sex Abuse Charges After Oregon Innocence Project Intervenes In Case

    During a nine-month long investigation, Wax says the most prominent discrepancy OIP found in the case against Horner was an accusation that he had shot to death the family’s black lab, Lucy, in front of his daughter. Wax says Horner’s daughter testified under oath that in one instance of abuse, Horner threatened her and then shot the dog.

    The Oregon Innocence Project was able to locate Lucy with her new owner and disprove the allegation.

    1. Always good when its a happy ending for the dog. Poor thing.

      1. Red Rocket.

  26. Since Trump took office, new business applications have surged, business conditions have improved sharply, capital goods orders and shipments have increased sharply, business investment has spiked, and blue color jobs grew 3.3 percent in the year through July, the fastest rate since 1984. Prime-age workers are re-entering the labor force and finding jobs.…..ry-239532/

    But if Trump won the election it was going to be a disaster!!

    1. Blink-182 is going to release an album without Tom DeLonge. I don’t know what your definition of disaster is, but I believe that fits.

      1. I didn’t know they still existed. I will give them credit “What’s My Name Again” is a really funny song. Very few bands can be funny.

      2. Blink-182 releasing any album, with or without any of the band members, would qualify as a disaster in my opinion.

        1. You shut your whore mouth.

          1. How gauche.

            The proper Woke phrase is “you shut your involuntarily sex-trafficked woman mouth”.

      3. Blink 182 already released an album without Tom DeLonge, California.

        1. And it was a disaster! My point is made!

          1. It wasnt very good.

            Hopefully the new album was not as rushed and has better songs.

            Tom DeLonge has a mental illness. It was funny when a few alien songs appeared on albums but Tom gave up a paying gig to obsess about aliens.

    1. “For some reason, he also put towels on top of the grill, the Fire Department said. ”

      don’t bake and bake

    2. Shake and Bake?

    1. The child was in the backseat of a 2000 Saturn when it was pulled over by cops during an “occupant-safety” checkpoint on Route 32 in New Scotland

      Wait, I thought it was only immigrants and the demon alcohol that justified ignoring the 4th amendment and arbitrarily detaining people.

  27. On 9/11 I was 18 years old. Today I’m 35. It was half my lifetime ago. And we’ve been at war since.

    Hey, gal, we’ve been conducting combat operations in the Gulf a hell of a lot longer than that. Try August of 1990, when we first parked troops in Saudi Arabia following Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait.

    1. Which was our first mistake here.

      There was no goddamn reason for us to give a fuck about Kuwait.

      1. Oil and Saudi Arabia thought they would be next.

        The reasons are there but the USA should not have gotten involved.

        1. Yeah, but Saddam invaded because he wanted to be able to sell more oil because he was hurting from the Iran/Iraq War. His invading Kuwait was not a threat to world supply. He was quite enthusiastic about keeping the oil flowing.

          The thing about Saudi Arabia does help explain our motivation for getting involved.

          There’s also some evidence that we could have stopped the invasion by simply telling Saddam ahead of time that we’d kick his ass if he did it.

          1. He was vindictive as fuck.

            Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait because the Kuwaitis and the Saudis had loaned him a tremendous amount of money to fight their enemy in the Iran-Iraq War. The recession started to kick in in, and it became difficult (or impossible) to pay the Saudis and the Kuwaitis back as oil prices fell.

            Saddam Hussein went to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait and said, “Look, if you want me to pay you back, you’ll need to increase my OPEC quota so I can pump more oil. As I recall, it was the Kuwaitis that cast the deciding vote against raising their oil quota at OPEC. They were all hurting from falling oil prices, too, and they woudn’t let Saddam Hussein off the hook for his debts, either.

            His initial reaction was, “Well, okay, why don’t I pay you back with your own oil and the gold from your own vaults?” After rolling over their defenses and helping himself to the contents of their vaults proved to be so easy, he decided to stay. Saddam Hussein was an evil asshole. If Kuwait had done to the United States what they did to Iraq, we might have been calling for our president to invade Kuwait, too.

          2. Yeah, but Saddam invaded because he wanted to be able to sell more oil because he was hurting from the Iran/Iraq War.

            Well, that was part of it. His main reason was that he was trying to get Kuwait to forgive the loans he took out, and when they told him no, he started coming up with pretexts for invasion. His big mistake was not understanding the US’s desire to maintain the status quo in the Middle East, following the breakup of the Warsaw Pact and decrease in influence of the USSR in the region.

    2. If you want to be strict about it, you can go back to the 80s when we were playing cat and mouse with Iran in the straights of Hormuz.

      Looking back, kicking Sadam out of Kuwait was probably the seminal mistake we made. Kuwait is a corrupt tyranny. Saddam just wanted to stay alive. Who cares if he had the oil? The oil is only good if you sell it. And ultimately, who cares if he had whacked the Saudi Royals? Talk about a war where you hope both sides lost.

      If we could have somehow known the coming of fracking and the energy independence that it is creating, I think we would have acted a lot differently in the Middle East and things would be different. Maybe not better, but we at least would have not spent the money and lives we did.

      1. Did you notice that Iran is doing military exercises to close off Straits of Hormuz?

        BI- Iranian exercises to close Straits of Hormuz

        1. “Bi”-Iranian exercises?

          The bigots aren’t going to allow the LGTQ to participate?

        2. If they do that, it only hurts them. If the straights get closed off, they can’t sell oil either. And they need the money a lot more than we need the oil.

        3. sounds like aerobics

      2. Looking back, kicking Sadam out of Kuwait was probably the seminal mistake we made.

        I don’t necessarily agree that kicking Saddam out of Kuwait was the real mistake. The fact of the matter is that we had alliances with Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, and we weren’t going to go back on those for someone that didn’t want to pay back his war loans and carried out a war of aggression on them as a result.

        The mistake was sticking around and trying to undermine Saddam’s rule in Iraq after Desert Storm. We should have accepted that Saddam was a necessary evil to tolerate as long as he wasn’t attacking his neighbors, pulled up stakes immediately and gotten out. Our presence there to enforce the no-fly zones was not only was a colossal waste of time and money, it directly led to Khobar Towers, the USS Cole, and 9/11 because Bin Laden and Al Qaeda considered it sacrilege for us to be stationed on Saudi soil.

        1. Pretty much every problem and conflict we’ve had in the Middle East in the last 28 years can be traced to us not leaving the Middle East after Desert Storm. It’s arguably the greatest foreign policy blunder in the history of the United States, and all because Poppy Bush and his neocon/CIA clique were high on their own supply about our ability to evolve a tribal salad bowl like the Middle East, with its centuries-long shifting of alliances and grievances, into western-style democracies. If any of those dopes had actually read Arabic history, they’d have discovered that the only constant in the Middle East since the Mohammedans took over is how often their leaders stab each other in the back for the flimsiest of short-term gains.

          1. That is a good point. Everyone says Bush was smart not to go into Iraq. But really, he made a worse decision not invading but then set us up to fight a low-intensity war trying to contain and undermine Saddam for the next 12 years. He would have been better off invading Iraq and being done with it than doing what he did. It ended up being a half-measure that did nothing but make us enemies and force us to invade Iraq and dispose of Saddam anyway. If Bush wasn’t going to invade, he should have just walked away and let Saddam back into the international community.

  28. “A Detroit food truck owner is getting attention after refusing to serve police officers, saying their presence made her other customers nervous.”

    If she had refused to serve Jehovah’s Witnesses she could have gotten away with it.

  29. “Never forget that American politicians are willing to use the memories of murdered citizens and foreigners alike to justify whatever imperialistic adventures they have their hearts newly set on.”

    ENB must have a poster of Jeannette Rankin on her bedroom wall….

  30. nice catch on Murray Ledger math

  31. also the cartoon w/the towers being ballot boxes is less than clever

  32. Umm, the French have every right — as does every country — to set rules for citizenship. Either you abide by them or you do not.

  33. This is analysis?

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