Destroyed from the Inside

I want to say that I think both the way President Bush conducted himself and the way President Obama has conducted himself in the main on those types of decisions hasn’t been different because they were right and because we haven’t had another one of those attacks that cost thousands and thousands of lives.

That’s NJ Gov. Chris Christie, demonstrating a singular ignorance of the human costs of our aggressive, bipartisan foreign policy.

Of course, it’s technically true that we haven’t had another large scale terror attack on American soil since 9/11. But that doesn’t mean that our engagement with terrorism hasn’t “cost thousands and thousands of lives.” In fact, it’s cost hundreds of thousands — likely even more than a million among Iraqi civilians alone.

Even if we confine our interest to American lives lost, the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, which Christie considers so “right” and effective, have “cost thousands and thousands of lives”: 4,400+ in Iraq and 2,200+ in Afghanistan. On top of that, there’s an epidemic of military suicides: 18% more soldiers committed suicide than died in combat last year.

So no, we haven’t had another 9/11-style attack which stole thousands of lives from us under the Bush and Obama presidencies.

Instead, we’ve thrown away thousands of lives, and stolen hundreds of thousands from the civilian populations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and other places where we’ve expanded the endless War on Terror.

Christie has said that Abraham Lincoln is, in his opinion, our greatest President. If this last decade is Mr. Christie’s idea of a successful fight against terrorism, let him take a word of wisdom from his idol: “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter, and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”

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