Of my essay this

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January 29, 2004 1:18 p.m.
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Of my essay this <$NoAd$>week in The New Yorker Andrew Sullivan writes …

I read it yesterday and then re-read it. Josh manages to write about the Clinton era “soft-imperialism” and the Bush era “hard imperialism” with nary a mention of a certain even that occurred on September 11, 2001. Maybe I missed something. I doubt if his editors noticed the lacuna. Why should they? For the Clintonites, 9/11 didn’t really happen.

I’ll let readers judge whether the essay really ignores 9/11 and the effect it’s had on the country — an interpretation which strikes me as rather strained. But as to the particular point, yes, I think he did miss something.

After September 11th, a left-wing accusation became a right-wing aspiration: conservatives increasingly began to espouse a world view that was unapologetically imperialist.

And in case there’s any unclarity, when I referred to September 11th, I was referring to the terrorist attacks that happened on that day. And in the previous sentence when I referred to ‘terrorist attacks’ I was referring to the hijacked airliners that were flown into the Twin Towers, the Pentagon and the field in central Pennsylvania.

Andrew is of course right that I don’t see Bush administration foreign policy as simply a logical and unavoidable response to 9/11. I see it as both a pretext for and a catalyst of the implementation of an approach which the architects of the administration’s foreign policy had supported long before they even considered al Qaida type terrorism much of a threat.

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