Home / News Analysis: Part II 9/11 – How Did It All Change Back

News Analysis: Part II 9/11 – How Did It All Change Back

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Part I of this article, We Are Changed Forevermore, examined the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, the international outpouring of support, the sudden and powerful unity of purpose within America, and the upsurge in confidence in many of our institutions from government to religion.

There are people for whom 9/11 irrevocably changed their worlds; nothing will ever be the same. Most are relatives or friends of the thousands who died, but many are simply Americans for whom something was shattered or altered or simply changed … for some there are positive aspects while for others there are only the negatives.

The New Normal

For America as a whole, it seemed in the immediate aftermath that the dramatic changes in attitudes might actually be signifying a new political paradigm.  But what’s striking is how quickly we returned to normal, although not quite the normal of before.  Bill McInturff, of Public Opinion strategies, calls it "the new normal."

McInturff said, "It didn't take America five years to recover.  It was like a year."

Trust in government soared to 64% after the attack.  By the summer of 2002, it had returned to it's traditional 30%.  In December of 2001, Gallop found that 71% of Americans said religion was more important in American life.  By March, according to a Pew Research poll, that number had dropped to 37%.

One key to why attitudes so quickly reverted is that, despite all the rhetoric, behavior had never shifted that dramatically.  For all the calls to stockpile food and water, 30% told Harris Interactive pollsters that they considered it; the reality is that 9% did.  By early March, 2002, Gallup found that number jumped to all of 13%–statistically almost meaningless.

What people reported is that they way they felt changed dramatically, not their day-to-day lives.  Just over 50% told Fox News/Opinion Dynamics in late 2001 and early 2002 that their lives had changed in a lasting way, but 3/4 of those said it changed their feelings, not their behavior.  When behavior fails to change, attitudes often regress to their former state.

Thus we find that the number who reported feeling depressed or had trouble sleeping declined fairly quickly.  By March and September of 2002 Gallup found that smaller numbers had flown the flag, prayed more than usual, cried, or called loved ones “in the past two weeks” than had done so immediately after 9/11.

Karlyn Bowman, resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, said in a recent interview, "There was a temporary spike and people felt a little bit better about government after 9/11, but all those numbers have reverted to where they were before."

Bowman notes that people have accepted that terrorism is a real possibility in their lives, but they've incorporated that into their daily lives.  The fear is worse in large cities, but, by and large, "they don't panic." 

As noted in the previous article, Caroll Doherty of Pew Research said in an interview that the country has changed in ways we may not even recognize.  He noted how little attention Bush and Gore paid to foreign policy in the 2000 presidential election.  "That's not going to happen in the future.  The landscape has changed so much since then."

He also has found that people are showing more interest and engaging earlier in the 2006 mid-term elections that is normal, and that there's more of a national and international focus than usual. 

Bowman also cites "a level of pessimism in American that's just not warranted, say, by the economic indicators."  People expect another attack, and they see the world as more dangerous. 

Ironically, they still seem optimistic about their children's future.  "What's profoundly affected is the view of the present," she said.  That pessimism is reflected in how people view the war on terror.  A 2005 Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll found that 24% believed the war on terror would be won in our lifetimes; 62% said it would not.  Moreover, over 3/4 of Americans told Gallup in July 2002 that today's world is the most dangerous in the respondent's life. 

When asked if people think life in the U.S. will ever completely return to normal, i.e., pre 9/11, 62% said no.

Civil Liberties vs. Security

In a Los Angeles Times poll taken in September of 2001, 61% of Americans said we'd have to give up some civil liberties to curb terrorism.  By July 2005, in a PRSA/Pew poll, that number dropped to 40% with 53% disagreeing.  The reality is that Americans are torn about this issue.  Both Doherty and Bowman said that while there is great concern about government scrutinizing American's behavior, there's this sense that it may be acceptable — just as long as "they leave me alone." 

Bowman, however, notes that there has been a rise in concern about civil liberties, and she attributes it to the return of suspicion about government, the reduced fears of terrorism, and that some Americans have found certain government actions "objectionable."

But public attitudes are complicated and unstable on this issue.  For example, in May of 2006, an ABC News/Washington Post survey found that almost half of Americans believed that the government wasn't doing enough to protect privacy.  Yet over 50% in a Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll at the same time said they'd be willing to give up some personal freedom to reduce the threat of terrorism.

It's U.S. vs. The World

As noted before, Americans are more aware and more concerned about international opinion than at any time in recent history.  While there has been support for America's military activities, the public wants the administration to take a cooperative stance with America's allies. A majority of Americans and nearly half of Republicans say that it should be a top foreign policy priority to improve our relations with our allies. The Pew Research Center conducted a poll with the Council on Foreign Relations and found that, by 49%-37%, "the public believes that the nation's foreign policy should strongly take into account the interests of U.S. allies, rather than be based mostly on the national interests of the United States."

At the same time, AEI's Bowman warns that it's difficult to get to the heart of this issue.  Clearly people are aware that our image has suffered, and they think it would be better for us to have a more positive image, but she doesn't believe we have enough data to state conclusively how important this is for Americans.  Further, she says that "there's a real question in the survey research community and among political scientists about whether we're seeing a new isolationism in the U.S. based on our awareness that we're not very well liked."

The Return to Partisanship and Divisiveness

According to a September 7 article in the New York Times, a big part of the “new normal,” is the resurgence of political divisions on national security questions.  The coming together of Americans in a sense of national unity just after 9/11 has been buried amidst the deeply partisan views over Mr. Bush’s conduct of the war on terror and in Iraq.  A recent New York Times/CBS News poll found wide disagreement between the parties on a host of issues from the war in Iraq to airport security. 

David Broder and Dan Balz, in a July 16 Washington Post article, entitled, "How Common Ground of 9/11 Gave Way to Partisan Split," wrote that the spontaneous outpouring bipartisanship "was quickly swallowed up by a resurgence of partisan differences among voters and politicians."  Ironically, issues of national security no longer held Americans together but created a "new fault line" that's split the parties.

President Bush has seen his ratings drop from the stratosphere to below sea level, apparently stuck below 40% approval.  The challenges to his strategies in Iraq, the growing insurgence of the Taliban in Afghanistan, the failure to capture Osama bin Laden, the accusations of manufacturing evidence to support the Iraqi invasion, the questions of torture and secret prisons — all have taken their toll.

Part of what has caused the divisiveness is the lack of clarity of America's strategic focus.  Michael Hirsch wrote in Newsweek that the War on Terror is losing its focus.  "What began as a crystal-clear fight against a small, self-contained group of murderers has become a kind of murky, open-ended World War III in which the identity of the enemy is less certain and our allies seem to grow less reliable."

Even the Bush Doctrine of spreading democracy to the Arab world has been called into question and held up as a reason for the failure of our military endeavors.  Jed Babbin, the former deputy undersecretary of defense in the administration of George H.W. Bush recently cited as "a strategic error in focusing on democracy as the weapon to counter radical Islam and terrorism."  He said that it's irrelevant if the Arab states are democracies as long as they don't threaten our security.  "By making the establishment of democracy in Iraq a precondition to other action, the president has given control of the pace and direction of the war to the enemy."

The public sees what is happening.  In a Washington Post/ABC news poll taken in August, almost 90% said that politics is just as partisan — or worse — than it was pre-9/11.  Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) has said he hoped that 9/11 would make us less partisan, but "we are more divided and more partisan than I've ever seen us."


How could the spirit of unity that sustained us through the aftermath of 9/11 have dissipated so quickly, leaving scars but so little nobility behind?  Pew's Doherty acknowledges that it's hard to understand why things changed so quickly.  "Some of it is inevitable," he said.  "It's very difficult to keep that spirit.  After all, people are human beings and prone to disagree."

On the other hand, he also has no question that the Iraqi War was a major factor in breaking the bonds, citing the plummeting Presidential approval ratings.

Broder and Balz take a similar view.  They believe that the return to "national rancor and partisan conflict" was inevitable.  There were deep divisions in the country after the 2000 presidential elections that hadn't healed, and, as they say,  "In a 50-50 America, the lust for political advantage overwhelmed calls for consensus and cooperation."

Finally, Republicans and Democrats have long disagreed about the use of American force in the world, and the role we should play as the sole super-power.  Those disagreements may have been covered over just after 9/11, but they remain deep and divisive.

In balance, what we've learned from 9/11 is how little we really understand ourselves or the world around us.

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About Mark Schannon

Retired crisis & risk manager/communications expert; extensive public relations experience in most areas over 30 years. Still available for extraordinary opportunities of mind-numbing complexity. Life-long liberal agnostic...or is that agnostic liberal.
  • “Just over 50% told Fox News/Opinion Dynamics in late 2001 and early 2002 that their lives had changed in a lasting way, but 3/4 of those said it changed their feelings, not their behavior. When behavior fails to change, attitudes often regress to their former state.”

    Summed up by The Onion’s headline two weeks later: “Rest Of Country Temporarily Feels Deep Affection For New York”

    We knew we should change our lives, but most of us were not directly affected by the event, no matter how tragic. We may live in a different world but I sure as heck don’t feel it.

  • I think Bush botched it up. first he did not put enough boots on the ground in Afghanistan, a Afghan warlord who was in Tora Bora claimed that there were hardly 50-60 US troops on the ground and much of the fighting was outsourced to Afghan militias.

    then he did not demand the Unconditional surrender of two rogue states in this drama Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

    This war is being fought miserably and we are seeing miserable results.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem


    The reason your country lost its unity, in the immediate sense, is that your president did not act with righteous anger to destroy the source of his income, the Saudi thugocracy. His patriotism does not go as far south as his wallet. It never did for the Harrimans, the Rockefellers, or the other big time plutocrats of America, and it certainly never did for their office clerks, the Dulles’s and the Bushes. The Wahhabi ragheads pay his family more than you guys do, and like the old commercial used to say, “money talks and nobody walks” – especially after they’ve been blown up by an Al Qaeda homicide bomber.

    Apollo has got that one on the money. I won’t say anything about Pakistan, simply because I do not know enough to say anything intelligent.

    There is a religious reason that I believe that the successes and sense of unity your country felt after the attack on the World Trade Center in New York disappeared like a hoarfrost, but there are too many Bible haters and G-d haters here for me to want to argue with. I have better things to do with my time. I’ll send it to you privately. If you want a copy, Gonzo or BoP, give me a holler at my e-mail address. You know how to look it up…

    Thanks for the birthday wishes, you young geezer, you.

  • Ruvy, hurray, at last we have something in common again – my birthday is Thursday the 14th! When is/was yours mate?

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Happy birthday, young man. On the Christian calendar, my birthday is 11 September – easy to remember, for now. On the Rabbinic Calendar, it is 10 Elul, which was 9 days ago. Both dates are on my Israeli ID, by the way.

  • Young man? It’s a long time since someone said that to me! How old do you think I am? I take astrology less seriously than divinity but find it mildly amusing that we are both Virgoan…

  • Nancy

    Ruvy, regardless of other people’s likes & dislikes, if you feel there’s a reason, religious or otherwise, feel free to say it. It’s your opinion & you’re entitled. I, personally, am interested in hearing it. Thanks.

  • Joan “god-hater” Bias


    Ruvy, like most religious people, won’t engage with those who don’t believe as he does. Remember: the one thing that can’t ever be criticised are people’s religious beliefs, even if they believe that virgins can have children, a man built an arc, or whatever asinine crap long disproved. Even if these stupid beliefs, and the hatred they engender, are literally destroying the world.

    Of course, maybe I’m just a Bible hater. if I said I didn’t like Catcher in the Rye, we could discuss it. But not that book. God wrote that one, after all.

    Religious people rarely have time for those who believe in reason.

    Ruvy would rather e-mail privately, to avoid giving actual reason-based interpretations of world events, of which he’s expressed precious few.

  • Joan On The Bias, you couldn’t be more wrong about Ruvy. Check out “I’m Confused About Jews,” an article I wrote ages ago but got resurrected recently. I’m an agnostic, so is Gonzo the Great (where are you anyway), and I’m blocking on who else, but we’ve had wonderful discussions about religion, proving God exists, the Bible, and theology. I count them as some of the best discussions I’ve had on BC because we respect each other even though we completely disagree.

    Ruvy is very open to people who disagree with him but who are honestly interested in his point of view. He is not interested in being attacked by people who reject not only his religion but him because of his religion.

    Suss, I sort of feel it, but the problem, as others have pointed out, is that Bush so completely blew the War on Terror and Iraq that it’s hard to know what the feeling is/should be.

    I think I hate Bush most because he had an oppportunity to bring the world together, united against terror–and he blew it.

    In Decaf Veritas

  • Joan Bias

    Bias was my father’s name and my grandfather’s name. I’m sure it’s hilarious to you to make fun of it. I’ve never heard any of that before; you are very very clever, Mark.

    I haven’t attacked Ruvy, just his foolish religious beliefs. (For instance, I haven’t made fun of his name. I also haven’t slurred a whole religious sect as “ragheads.”)

    In fact, I think he’s intelligent, and have said so. My comments are directly related to what he has said here and in the Part 1 post. I make them in this public forum.

    He has written that he chooses not to engage me. His choice, and a telling one, to me.

  • I think I hate Bush most because he had an oppportunity to bring the world together, united against terror–and he blew it.

    He didn’t have to unite the world against “terror”. He just needed to stop arming Israel and being on Israel’s side everytime – including most recently in the matter of the genocidal destruction of Lebanon. I think the Arabs just want to be left alone to decide what kind of a culture they want, and that they resent the Man who would be President of the World trying to impose western ideals on them which are alien to Islam, like democracy and multiculturalism.

    All the West needs to do is pay them the respect of leaving them alone, and the terrorist threat would evaporate. But we can’t do that precisely because of our one-sided support of Israel, and our foolish pursuit of multiculturalism which does two things:

    1. prevents us from being able to have our own culture to love and have pride in; and

    2. leads us towards the culturally destructive ideal of a one world globalism in which we seek to obliterate other cultures, like we have our own, by worldwide imposition of the multiculturalist, democratic, culture-destroying agenda.

  • Joan Bias

    Currently, support of Israel and multiculturalism cost about $2.66 a gallon, on average.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    So Joan,

    Engage with what I did write. There is a whole paragraph in comment #3 for you to agree with, disagree with or demur from. And it is all political analysis. Read my articles. Most of the 51 I’ve gotten published here are political analyses. Forget my religious views and pay attention to the arguments presented therein.

    You happen to hate the Bible and everything in it. So, I don’t have to spend time irritating you with what you hate. It’s bad manners, to begin with. But do remember that often I use religion – my religion, because it is what I know best – to provide a misgerét (a framework) within which to present another idea.

    I’m not enamored of Catholicism. The Vatican has caused my people more misery than I care to think about. This does not mean that I am not willing to read a piece written from a Catholic point of view and criticize (or otherwise comment on) it WITHIN THE FRAMEWORK IT APPEARS, and examining the ideas it presents. From what I read of what you have written in comments so far, you are unwilling or unable to do that.

    So, do me a favor and don’t call my ideas twisted, because from what little I see, you go ballistic at the sight of the word “Bible.” That makes it impossible for you to think straight – period.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Chris, I was going to note that you are also a Virgo – and a picky one, pickier than me. BTW, I do hope you know that astrology originated – symbols and all – in ancient Sumer. The symbols correspond to the lunar months of the ancient Sumerian calendar – which with a couple of modifications, is also the Rabbinic calendar that is used in Israel and the rest of the Jewish world. For example the symbol for Libra, the sign that follows Virgo, is a scale, and corresponds to the month of “judgment” in Judaism, Tishri.

  • Guilty as charged, Ruvy; I am famous for my pickiness!

    I didn’t know about the origins of astrology lying in ancient Sumer but am not surprised. So much has originated there in what we now call Iraq, including the Jewish people themselves, as we have touched upon before ;-))

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    All the West needs to do is pay them the respect of leaving them alone, and the terrorist threat would evaporate. But we can’t do that precisely because of our one-sided support of Israel, and our foolish pursuit of multiculturalism which does two things…

    Richard, do what you can to get your country the hell out of our affairs – get your soldiers out of our country and let us shift for ourselves. We’ll ditch the traitors YOUR state department has bought out and put in some real leaders who follow Jewish law. WE DON’T NEED YOU TO PROTECT OURSELVES OR TO SUCCEED!

    We’ll execute the Arab terrorists in our jails – there is no reason to feed a murderer – we’ll get rid of the terrorists ourselves. If you don’t like what we do, just shut the hell up and watch what proud Jews – not bent over kikes who know nothing more than to wheedle and beg for money – do to kick the shit out of the enemy. JUST STAY THE HELL OUT OF OUR AFFAIRS!

  • Unfortunately for that little scenario, Ruvy, yours is yet a minority viewpoint in your adopted homeland.

    In any case, I rather suspect an eventual closer grasp of political reality by people who share your views would be the only bitter fruit of such a naive policy.

  • Nancy

    Well, dammit, Joan, I want to hear what Ruvy has to say. Because you don’t like it does that mean the rest of us have to forego it? Since when did this become your private blog? If you don’t like what Ruvy has to say, skip over it & ignore it, like I do with JOM’s asinine & juvenile rantings, but DON’T create such conditions that people would rather not blog than have you jump down their throats!

  • Ruvy,

    Thanks for confirming my isolationist view that America would be well advised to “avoid entangling alliances” and stay out of every country’s (and international organization’s) affairs. All we do is piss people off and make them hate us, especially when we enslave them into dependency on our “foreign aid”, most of which gets sucked off by ruling elites and doesn’t get to those who need it anyway.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem


    Two points.

    1. “Uncle” Nasrallah’s “rocket therapy” changed a lot of minds here. Every concession that Olmert makes infuriates more and more reservists – the backbone of the IDF – and puts him and his fellow traitors closer to a “golpe.”

    2. Do check up your history. The “bolsheviks” were actually a minority in the communist party in Russia and seized control of the country through a coup themselves. The more the Israeli government attacks soldiers who express their views – as it is presently doing now – the more they invite an overthrow by a minority that is rapidly readicalizing to become a majority. Any more “rocket therapy” here and you will not recognize the political scene at all…

  • Joan Bias

    Well, of course I agree that Bush is corrupt and sold out long ago to oil interests and the terrorist-supporting Saudi Royal family. Not much brilliant analysis there.

    I’ve read a lot of your political posts, and they reveal that you’ve studied the political situation in the ME thoroughly, but your conclusions are usually violent and immoral. The context of every one of your arguments is religion, and you’re constantly quoting scripture. So “forgetting about your religion” is, of course, impossible.

    I believe that the religious extremists who control Israel and cast their god as some kind of omniscient real-estate broker, promising this land to this group or that, are putting us all in serious danger.

    As I was writing this, you wrote this:

    Richard, do what you can to get your country the hell out of our affairs – get your soldiers out of our country and let us shift for ourselves. We’ll ditch the traitors YOUR state department has bought out and put in some real leaders who follow Jewish law. WE DON’T NEED YOU TO PROTECT OURSELVES OR TO SUCCEED!

    We’ll execute the Arab terrorists in our jails – there is no reason to feed a murderer – we’ll get rid of the terrorists ourselves. If you don’t like what we do, just shut the hell up and watch what proud Jews – not bent over kikes who know nothing more than to wheedle and beg for money – do to kick the shit out of the enemy. JUST STAY THE HELL OUT OF OUR AFFAIRS!

    So I guess this violent, murderous theocratic bile is your idea of analysis, Ruvy? Forgive me if I don’t spend any more time on it. The number of exceptions religious people find for the “Shalt not kill” rule never cease to amaze me.

  • Joan Bias

    Not sure what you’re talking about, Nancy, I’m afraid.

  • Nancy

    Yeah, I think you do. Otherwise why is Ruvy refusing to air his Judaically-based opinions on this thread? He’s a Jew, he moved to Israel to be more Jewish (?), and if you’ve read his stuff, of COURSE he bases a lot of it on Judaica like the Q’abala, etc.

    Ruvy, you’re reading this, so go ahead. I want to hear your theory, and I don’t care if it involves Golem or Goyim or whatever.

  • Joan Bias

    Still not getting it, Nancy. What does Ruvy’s reticence have to do with me?

  • But where are the Bolsheviks now, Ruvy? Where are they now?

    I’m willing to wager 20 Euros that you’re wrong.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Thank you, Joan.

    You did engage what I wrote, even if it disgusted you. I appreciate that. And thank you for having read my political posts as well. I appreciate that as well.

  • Nancy

    The Israelis do what they feel they have to do in order to survive. Their surrounding arab/muslim neighbors already are intent on wholesale genocide, so Israel becoming ‘nice’ & peaceful isn’t going to make any friends among them, IMO. Actually, his rather ‘hard’ solutions to terrorists are what I think we would be wise to emulate with our nastier hard-core prison inmates instead of keeping them alive at public expense to live to ripe old ages, food, shelter, education, amusement, and medical care courtesy of the US taxpayer … but that’s another thread.

    I’m no friend of religion, myself, but I DO want to know what it is Ruvy thinks is why US unity has dissipated, and if it’s because of Golems or Goyim or golpes, so be it. If nothing else, it provides an interesting cultural note.

  • Joan Bias

    The violent part of your worldview does disgust me, Ruvy, as it goes against my morals.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem


    The Bolsheviks lost power in Russia. I didn’t say they were the good guys. They were the bad guys in the whole thing… It is no surprise that they are gone.

    But what specifically are you willing to bet €20 on? That is not clear. What is it about that you are right and that I am wrong? We’re talking about ₪111.50 here.

  • Nancy,

    There is one other reason I’m reluctant to post these ideas, one that has nothng to do with Joan Bias, or those who think like her. I don’t want to hijack Mark’s article; I feel I’ve done so already, and don’t feel particularly good about it. So go to my blog site and look up myt e-mail and give me a holler, and I’ll be glad to send it to you also.

  • Ruvy, it was you that introduced the comparison with the bolsheviks. I was pointing out that it didn’t do them any good, just as I predict the same if any Israeli faction tried a similar revolt as you describe.

    I’m wagering it won’t happen, just as I’d be willing to wager this end of days in 20 years thingy of yours won’t either!

  • Ruvy, don’t worry about hijacking my article. That’s what comments are for, LOL. And Ms. Bias, you are so sarcastic. I was just referring to a comment you made on another thread.

    On the other hand, Richard B, are you serious? If we had left Israel to the Arabs, Osama wouldn’t have bombed us? Osama is more pissed that we’re in Saudi Arabia than supporting Israel, but the failure of the international War on Terror had nothing to do with Israel. It had to do with Bush abandoning all our allies, leaving Afhganistan before the job was finished, attacking Iraq for a bunch of fabrications, telling the Europeans and everyone else we don’t need their help, and generally acting like Emperor George.

    Mother of pearl, I don’t know you at all, but it does make me wonder that no matter what happens in the world, it’s Israel’s fault. Them damn Jews–if not for them, I wouldn’t be bald.

    In Jameson Veritas

  • OK Chris,

    Now I got it. I wouldn’t wager €20 on a coup d’état happening either – but events, if pushed in that direction, will bring one about, wager or no wager.

    Only NIS 111.50 on the coming of the messiah in 20 years or so (the actual prediction in the Talmud is 5790 on the Rabbinic Calendar, or 2030 on the Christian calendar – no dates within the year are specified)? That’s like taking candy from a baby, Chris. Of course, if the euro actually sticks around till then, €20 may be several thousand shekels by then…

  • Mark asks:

    If we had left Israel to the Arabs, Osama wouldn’t have bombed us?

    First I take issue with your implication that if we weren’t supporting Israel they would have been at the mercy of the Arabs. The Jews in Israel are not the kind of “bent over kikes” Ruvy talks about, who would be incapable of defending themselves without Washington’s help.

    Those kind of Jews, who can ony be acurately characterized by another Jew without provoking a verbal hailstorm of “racist”, “anti-semite”, and “nazi”, charges, are members of the American Jewish/Zionist Lobby, and the “traitorious” puppets our “State Department” has installed in Tel Aviv. In any country, including the United States, if the out of touch elitist rulers could be swept away, those with true ethnic, religious, and racial loyalties would fill the vacuum and fight to the death to preserve their culture. In the case of the middle east it would be more correct to characterize the Arabs as being at the mercy of such true Israeli patriots.

    And yes, if we had not put ourselves in the position of being percieved as pro-Israel and anti-Arab, types like bin Laden would not have been so inclined to view us as the Great Satan.

  • I’m speechless. There’s not one accurate statement in your entire diatribe, Richard. Read some history…current events…anything.

    In Jameson Veritas

  • Why such polite deference to Ruvy (in your #32) and so much “speechlessness” when I say pretty much what he said in his #16?

  • Richard, one reason is that I know Ruvy, and although there are many areas in which we disagree, I count him as a good friend. So I understand where he’s coming from.

    We don’t know each other at all, so when I read…are members of the American Jewish/Zionist Lobby, and the “traitorious” puppets our “State Department” has installed in Tel Aviv I wonder where you’re coming from giving that the State Dept has been known to be pro-Arab and anti-Israel for decades.

    …your implication that if we weren’t supporting Israel they would have been at the mercy of the Arabs. If anything I said gave that suggestion, I apologize. If anything, I believe the US has been holding Israel in check, sometimes for good, most often for bad.

    And yes, if we had not put ourselves in the position of being percieved as pro-Israel and anti-Arab, types like bin Laden would not have been so inclined to view us as the Great Satan. This is simply wrong. bin Laden didn’t declare war against the U.S. until we put bases in Saudi Arabia to defend them against Iraq and then wouldn’t pull them out.

    Now why we’d defend Saudi Arabia except for their oil is a mystery.

    Anyway, it may be (and I’d be thrilled if it were so) that we just are in violent agreement.) But I didn’t get that from your comments, and you obviously didn’t get that from mine. So maybe we should start from square one, LOL.

    In Jameson Veritas

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem


    I’ve been chewing over how to answer Richard’s comments and your response to them and I’ll say this much.

    This is the month of Ellul, the month in which a Jew ought to be seeking forgiveness from others, particularly but not exclusively fellow Jews, and not inciting others to anger. Ellul is the month where the believing Jew seeks to make his soul more “virginal,” so to speak, to restore some of the innocnce lost in the previous year or years. This is done in preparation for the month of Tishri, the month when we have to face our Maker and ask forgiveness from Him for the sins we committed against Him. Tishri is the month of judgment, the month when we (and the rest of the world) are weighed in the scales and a judgment is rendered.

    At Blogcritics, you’ve been nothing but a friend and supporter. So, in that spirit, I will not write the full answer this deserves. It would hurt you too much.

    This I will say. Richard does comprehend much of what I write, though he has it a bit skewed. I wish it were as good here as he paints it. We could have gotten rid of scum like Olmert and Peres long ago – in fact, there would be a synagogue for Jews to pray on the Temple Mount now, and there would not have been the kind of disastrous war in 1973 that took place. We would have attacked first and the Arabs would never have gotten acrss the Suez or nearly over the Heights of Golan like they damned near did. There would have been NO expulsion of Jews from Yamit in 1982, NO expulsion of Jews from Gush Qatif in 2005, NO “Palestinian Authority,” NO Olso peace plan, NO road map and NO dispute over Judea and Samaria at all. She’khém would be the city of Joseph, as it was meant to be, NOT Nablus, and there would be a MINORITY Arab presence in Judea and Samaria, which would have been annexed to the State of Israel long ago, like it should have been in 1967 or 1968. Bethlehem and Hebron would be what they were meant to be, Jewish cities in the heartland of the country. Tel Aviv would not have the influence it does here, and American culture would certainly NOT have the corrosive influence it does.

    But, like the Confederate States of America, it ain’t so. This country is on the verge of being extinguished and the American state department is on the verge of correcting the “strategic error” of creating a Jewish entity in Eretz Yisrael. Or at least it thinks it is.

    The only thing is, there is a Power in the universe far greater than the American state department or the Council of Foreign Relations or the Vatican. So, if I tell you that if you are lucky, you will live to see ALL the things I wrote in that long paragraph describing what should have been, I’m not just “whistlin’ Dixie”.

  • Nancy

    Mark, out of curiousity, how is the US “pro-arab & anti-Israel” #37? We’ve supported Israel in every possible way for decades, in a way we certainly don’t any of the arab nations, to the point where in the eyes of the world, we’re practically synonymous (sorry, Ruvy, but it’s the truth) in our interests.

    Personally, I think we shouldn’t be handing out foreign aid to ANYONE; little or none of it ever gets to the people it was intended for, and in any case, those receiving it just end up hating & betraying us anyway. For some reason, the US administrations past & present (& undoubtedly future) can’t understand that you can’t buy love, or friendship. In any event, I don’t think Israel needs our help; they seem to be perfectly able to take care of themselves. In fact, they seem to be better able to handle themselves than we are able to handle ourselves. Of course if we insist on giving them money, they’re going to take it (you’d have to be crazy or stupid not to, and they’re not).

    Anyway, where do you feel the US is anti-Israel? I’d say it was the opposite, to the point where we endanger ourselves.

  • troll

    US aid is another method of guaranteeing profit for US corporate interests by providing forced markets

  • Mark, out of curiousity, how is the US “pro-arab & anti-Israel” #37?

    That’s not what he said. He pointed out that the State Department is pro-Arab. That doesn’t mean that the nation is or that our national policy has been. As Joe MacCarthy pointed out correctly, 50 years ago, the state department was then and is now riddled with extreme leftists and they as a group tend also to be pro-Arab. The main reason for this is that the State Department requires advanced degrees of most of their officers and that means strong ties to the leftist establishment in academia.


  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    In the spirit of what I just wrote to Mark, I owe quite a number of people apologies for hurting their feelings unnecessarily, or distorting their words. One fellow who comes to mind immediately is Christopher Rose, who puts in many (unpaid) hours as the Comments Editor here. He generally diagrees with my view of the world, and I generally disagree with his, something that will not change for quite a while, but on a number of instances, I have distorted what he said unfairly – and an apology is due him.

    So, Chris, I apologize and ask you to forgive me.

    Some other people who come to mind immediately are Mark Schannon, Dave Nalle, a lawyer who writes here under the title “Fifth Dentist,” a scientist named Duane, Gonzo Marx, an Israeli living in England who writes here under the name “the Heathlander,” Richard Rothstein, Brad Schader, a lady who writes under the moniker “Gazelle,” a fellow who occasionally shows up and writes under the title “Shark”, who is a scholar in studies of Christianity, Andrew Marsh, Silas Kain, Anthony Grande, Jim Fielder, Senator Al Barger, Richard Brodie, a fellow who occasionally writes here under the name, “sr,” a pastor from Hawaii who writes under the name “Bird of Paradise,” a fellow who goes by the moniker, “JOM”, and finally, a writer from England whose name I cannot find, but whose articles annoy me no end…

    To all of you, I apologize and ask you to forgive me the hurts and insults I caused you, knowingly or unknowingly. I may disagree with you, but it has never been my intent to insult you or to hurt you.

    And finally, to all of the fine writers and intelligent commenters whose names I may have forgotten or left out, I ask you to forgive me hurts and insults I caused you, knowingly or unknowingly. I may disagrew ith you, but it

    And if G-d is good enough to allow me to live another year, and gracious enough to allow me to yet grace this on-line magazine, you’ll be reading a similar apology next year – hopefully a lot shorter.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Also, please forgive me for not having used the preview option on that last comment, of which the penultimate paragraph ought to have read;

    “And finally, to all of the fine writers and intelligent commenters whose names I may have forgotten or left out, I ask you to forgive me hurts and insults I caused you, knowingly or unknowingly. I may disagree with you, and probably will continue to, but it had never been my intent to hurt you.”

  • troll

    and good luck to you Ruvy in your striving to become a better Jew

  • Nancy

    Dave #41: Wha-?! Total disconnect: what do educational requirements of the State dept. have to do with it? And you still haven’t answered my question as to why you say we’re pro-arab, when we don’t financially support any arab states, but we sure do support Israel, both financially and otherwise.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem


    Dave is on the money about the pro-Arab slant of the state dept. It is a career killer in that part of the gov’t to be pro-Israel. There is only one Jewish state and over twenty Arab ones – do the math in terms of postings. And remember that Dave tends to be pro-Arab himself in his attitudes and was raised as a young kid in the Arab world.

    As for foreign “aid”, I refer you to troll’s comment #40. Let’s amplify the point that he makes. In the 1990’s the government of Israel was “persuaded” to give up producing its own rifles and planes, and “persuaded” to buy its uniforms from the United States. The U.S. government provides the money to do the buying, but all the buying has to be in America. So, in plain English, the Israelis are a captive market and militarily dependent on the States.

    This is not true for countries like Egypt, which also get a hevy dose of US aid. The Egyptians were never capable of producing their own weapons, and probably never will be.

    Before the Yom Kippur War, they used to rely on the USSR for their weapons. In fact, we used to joke that the USSR supplied us with arms because every time Egypt went to war with us and lost, we picked up piles of Russian weapons…

  • Nancy

    But where does the “pro-Arab” part come in? None of our policies favor the arab states? Whenever there’s been a choice of backing Israel vs some arab state, we ALWAYS back Israel, right or wrong. How is this being ‘anti-Israel & pro-Arab’? That is what I don’t understand. We’re always slamming the arabs/muslims for everything they do, & supporting Israel; so the assertion we’re anti-Israel/pro-arab doesn’t make sense, by our own actions & policies.

    Logic would seem to demand that instead we DO back arab states instead of Israel – but we don’t.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem


    I apologize. Maybe I should be more specific in my definitions, and perhaps, “pro-Arab” is not the appropriate term to use.

    The appropriate term to use is “anti-sovereign-Jewish entity.”

    This is from my article: From The North The Evil Will Burst Forth Upon All The Inhabitants Of The Land from 6 September.

    George Marshall, Secretary of State in November 1947, told Harry Truman point blank that the creation of a Jewish state in the Middle East was a strategic mistake. He was so adamant on this that when Truman overruled his judgment, he quit his job. The United States’ State Department always maintained this view, and its program has been to weaken Israel over the years in order to ameliorate the error, using various stratagems to accomplish the task. In 1948-9, the stratagem was to be a “neutral non-combatant” refusing to sell arms to “either side” in the conflict, effectively boycotting Israel as other nations were selling arms to the Arabs. In 1967 and 1973 the stratagems were the threat “you’ll be on your own.” In 1967, this didn’t work. Israel went alone and attacked – and won spectacularly.

    In 1973, the Israeli government quailed before American threats and waited for the attack on Yom Kippur. The Israeli government relied on the promises of a Jewish Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, assuming that he would come through on the arms package agreed to resupply the country as it lost jets, missiles, and tanks. It turned out that Kissinger, even though he was Jewish, was following the State Department handbook of weaken and destroy Israel. It was James Schlesinger who told the president why the Israelis were losing in 1973, and Nixon confronted Kissinger and demanded that the arms resupply package be delivered.

    Independently, Alexander Haig, on his own authority, ordered TOW anti-tank missiles for the Israelis and had Israelis flown in to learn how to use them. It was these TOW missiles that stopped the Arab tanks in their track in the Sinai and in the Heights of Golan and which prevented this country being overrun by Syria in the north and Egypt in the south. John Loftus was a duty officer who helped train the Israeli officers and saw this himself. The price for Israel was almost 3,000 dead, a diplomatic defeat following a hard won military victory – and the effective loss of its sovereignty.

    This was followed by a peace treaty with Egypt that cost Israel the Sinai Peninsula and gave Arabs everywhere hope that they could defeat and eliminate Israel. This was followed by the “Madrid Conference” in 1991, which was the last time a sovereign prime minister of this country acted like one. Prime Minister Shamir accused the Syrian across the table of being a terrorist, and the Syrian accused him of being one in return (Shamir was involved in the assassination of Swedish diplomat Count Bernadotte in Egypt in 1949). That broke up the meeting.

    After the Likud was defeated in 1992 and Shamir retired came the “Oslo Accords” – a plan directed at all times by the White House, even though it feigned total surprise at its development – sealed with the infamous handshake between Prime Minister Rabin and Yassir Arafat. Part of the Oslo Accords has been a plan to delegitimize the settlement of Judea and Samaria in the eyes of other Israelis and a quieter plan to kill off the leadership of the towns and villages here. Along with the Oslo Accords came the notion that Israeli weaponry should be essentially the same as American weaponry and local development of most weapons was abandoned. Thus American “aid” became a tool to force Israel to be totally dependent on the United States for arms. Finally, on top of all this, came the Gush Qatif expulsion of Jewish citizens last year, establishing the precedent that the Israeli Army was to be nothing more than a band of Hebrew speaking Cossacks in the employ of the government.

    All this was promoted by George Bush the elder, Bill Clinton, and George Bush the younger and their respective Secretaries of State – all of them.

    As you say, this, in and of itself, does not make the state department “pro-Arab.” A more appropriate term would be “willing to serve the interests of the Saudi family.”

    Much of American policy, particluarly under the Bush babies, has been made in Saudi Arabia.

    Because Americans tend to view Israel as a “little brother,” publicly, your government is always on Israel’s side. Appearing to kill your little brother is not good policy. But behind closed doors, it is a different story, as the several paragraphs above show.

  • Thanks Ruvy, that means a lot to me. I am very happy to renew our friendship and hope that we will continue to find both con- and dis- cord long into the future.