Paul Krugman's 9/11 Blog Post is Baffling

paul-krugman-190.jpg
Nine years, 23 hours, and 55 minutes after American Airlines Flight 11 flew into the North Tower of the World Trade Center, economist Paul Krugman published a peculiar post to his New York Times blog. He titled it, "The Years of Shame," and it briskly bemoans the fact that 9/11 has become a wedge issue. He says, "The memory of 9/11 has been irrevocably poisoned; it has become an occasion for shame. And in its heart, the nation knows it." There is a complex and highly difficult series of points he wants to make, but Krugman makes almost no effort to elaborate; the post is merely 181 words, including the final sentence: "I'm not going to allow comments on this post, for obvious reasons."

Krugman is a Nobel Prize winner who is celebrated for his acute foresight. That's what makes this article so odd; it reads like an angst-riddled teenager's Facebook status update, not a New York Times Op-Ed columnist reflecting on the most devastating terrorist attacks ever perpetrated on American soil.

"Is it just me," he starts off like someone about to make note of a light grievance, "or are the 9/11 commemorations oddly subdued? Actually, I don't think it's me, and it's not really that odd."

Keep in mind he posts this 6 minutes after this year's commemorations began in lower Manhattan. It was subdued, as the reading of thousands of victims' names tends to be.

Krugman continues to name the "fake heroes" of ten years ago in what I guess can be called the "meat" of his post:

What happened after 9/11 -- and I think even people on the right know this, whether they admit it or not -- was deeply shameful. Te atrocity should have been a unifying event, but instead it became a wedge issue. Fake heroes like Bernie Kerik, Rudy Giuliani, and, yes, George W. Bush raced to cash in on the horror. And then the attack was used to justify an unrelated war the neocons wanted to fight, for all the wrong reasons.

A lot of other people behaved badly. How many of our professional pundits -- people who should have understood very well what was happening -- took the easy way out, turning a blind eye to the corruption and lending their support to the hijacking of the atrocity?

That's it. Those two paragraphs, as well as the four other sentences featured in this post, make up the entirety of Krugman's piece. It can't even be called an argument, as he doesn't take the time or care to construct one.

The opinions he quickly formulates may very well be valid ones, but everyone will be too baffled by his inappropriate brevity and callous timing to carefully weigh them. He knows this, as signaled by his refusal to allow comments.

I need to get something off my chest today, but you can't. I turned the comments off.

The newspaper that pays him is filled with touching tributes and keen retrospectives in today's Sunday issue. He merely needs to pick a copy up to see that for all the carefully constructed prose and scrupulous reporting, it still doesn't appropriately convey what happened ten years ago, nor can it fully explain the ramifications of those attacks.

What makes him think he can do so in 181 words?

The Years of Shame [NYT]

[@nickgreene][ngreene@villagevoice.com]


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154 comments
foryourconsideration
foryourconsideration

Or maybe Krugman had a close encounter with the 9/11 Truther creeps and wants to keep it short, sweet and drama free.

Jim Creamer
Jim Creamer

 Nick,

If you read Krugman on a regular basis you would notice that Krugman doesn't mince words.  To you that is baffling.  I see it as economic.  Krugman identifies two issues:  (1) the Administration's blatant corrupt benefiting from the tragedy of 9/11;  (2)  The missed opportunity for American leadership to unite people against the root causes of terrorism - poverty, ignorance and inequality. 

Krugman was too kind to George W Bush in that he didn't compare 9/11/2011 to the German Reichstag fire of 02/27/1933.  Having personally survived the WTC attack on 9/11 I personally commend Paul Krugman for his 181 insightful words with no comments allowed for obvious reasons.

Sincerely,

Jim Creamer

p.s.  The Miami Herald-led Media Consortium postponed and published after 9/11/2001 that Al Gore would have won the presidency had the US Supreme Court not interfered in the Florida vote counting process (at the beginning of 8 years of shame):

http://www.fair.org/index.php?...

p.p.s.  George W Bush's final approval rating was a befitting 22% (at the end of 8 years of shame):

http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-50...

Halloween_Jack
Halloween_Jack

The opinions he quickly formulates may very well be valid ones, but everyone will be too baffled by his inappropriate brevity and callous timing to carefully weigh them.

Edward Everett, a renowned orator, spoke at Gettysburg for over two hours. Abraham Lincoln spoke for barely two minutes. Which one is remembered?

Al Swearengen
Al Swearengen

After reading through some of the comments here, I have to take recite the poem I took solace in on 9/12.  W.H. Auden's poem written after Germany took over Poland, "September 1, 1939":

********************************I sit in one of the divesOn Fifty-second StreetUncertain and afraidAs the clever hopes expireOf a low dishonest decade: Waves of anger and fear Circulate over the brightAnd darkened lands of the earth, Obsessing our private lives;The unmentionable odour of death Offends the September night.

Accurate scholarship canUnearth the whole offenceFrom Luther until nowThat has driven a culture mad,Find what occurred at Linz,What huge imago madeA psychopathic god:I and the public knowWhat all schoolchildren learn,Those to whom evil is doneDo evil in return.

Exiled Thucydides knewAll that a speech can sayAbout Democracy,And what dictators do,The elderly rubbish they talkTo an apathetic grave;Analysed all in his book,The enlightenment driven away,The habit-forming pain,Mismanagement and grief:We must suffer them all again.

Into this neutral airWhere blind skyscrapers use Their full height to proclaim The strength of Collective Man, Each language pours its vain Competitive excuse:But who can live for longIn an euphoric dream;Out of the mirror they stare, Imperialism's faceAnd the international wrong.

Faces along the barCling to their average day:The lights must never go out,The music must always play,All the conventions conspireTo make this fort assumeThe furniture of home;Lest we should see where we are, Lost in a haunted wood,Children afraid of the nightWho have never been happy or good.

The windiest militant trash Important Persons shoutIs not so crude as our wish: What mad Nijinsky wrote About DiaghilevIs true of the normal heart; For the error bred in the bone Of each woman and each man Craves what it cannot have, Not universal loveBut to be loved alone.

From the conservative darkInto the ethical lifeThe dense commuters come,Repeating their morning vow;'I will be true to the wife,I'll concentrate more on my work,'And helpless governors wakeTo resume their compulsory game: Who can release them now,Who can reach the dead,Who can speak for the dumb?

All I have is a voiceTo undo the folded lie,The romantic lie in the brainOf the sensual man-in-the-street And the lie of AuthorityWhose buildings grope the sky: There is no such thing as the State And no one exists alone;Hunger allows no choiceTo the citizen or the police;We must love one another or die.

Defenseless under the nightOur world in stupor lies;Yet, dotted everywhere,Ironic points of lightFlash out wherever the JustExchange their messages:May I, composed like themOf Eros and of dust,Beleaguered by the sameNegation and despair,Show an affirming flame.

You can all return back to your willful ignorance of what Krugman meant.  Bush and Co. used all of yours, and mine, grief to start 2 wars and basically do whatever the fuck he wanted for 2 years.

Americanmentor
Americanmentor

Krugman is right on. Anyone with half a brain who can read and think knows the mess Bush,Rumsfeld, Rice and Cheney made and then tried to spin it. Anyone remember how theytried to block and dodge the 9/1 Commission? Remember Guiliani's fundraiser whendonors were asked to make out a check for $9.11? Remember Rice's pathetictestimony in front of the Commission? Ask Ricihard Clarke.Stratematic

figurative
figurative

For years I always thought that Krugman was a learned economics intellect that led him to believe a certain liberal, progressive point of view.  Now I see him as a small minded juvenile crepehanger who constructs a certain economic view in order to support his biases and bitter view of the world.  Nothing he writes from now on can be viewed seriously.

Sex Repub
Sex Repub

Hey Mr. Paul Krugman, You are one of those truly sad people that have forgotten the extreme unity that our nation shared  .  9-11 was and always will be a unifying event of american history , it sad that in hindsight and just a decade that you have lost your perspective because of your political ideology.

SleepingInNYC
SleepingInNYC

The fact that Donald Rumsfeld got his Neo-Con underwear all brown and bunched up and cancelled his subscription to the New York Times fully validates that this Krugman article was DEAD RIGHT.

But then, do you really thing Rumsfeld actually HAD a subscription in the first place?   You see, he lied about that TOO!!!

Hope4future
Hope4future

Krugmans comment was ugly and spiteful... A senseless and ill-timed rant from someone filled with hate for those who don't share his worldview. Hate is hate, whether its coming from a right-wing nut, or an accomplished scholar.

B
B

I thought even that angry little jews knew there was a time and a place for everything. Guess not.

Gepap
Gepap

Wow, Hey Village Voice, did you bring the freeper types on purpose or what?

What a bunch of Maroons!

McDonaghBlack
McDonaghBlack

I think there is a point -perhaps a valid one- that Krugman is trying to make.  But he seems too lazy to make it.  So he just shoots off a few random lines and then blocks anyone from challenging him.

I suppose once one has a Nobel Prize one no longer cares about being judged.  Not his greatest post, not by a long shot.

mel
mel

So here's what the Village Voice has become:  red meat for chickenhawks.

Hey, I'm glad you still have a print edition.  Now I can wipe my ass with it.

ann23
ann23

This was a truly idiotic and unethical post. You don't tell parents, who lost their children, on the day of the tragedy that they should feel .... for someone else .... somewhere else. You don't tell children  whose fathers sacrificed their lives to save others ... that their parents were nothing.Someone mentioned in a comment in NYT, he left the "Left" on 9/11/01 when the bodies were burning and Amy Goodman and other sickos were bubbling about symbols of capitalism and concerns about the Muslims.There is an ugly "left" tradition. People in the Gulag were ordered to feel ... for someone ... somewhere. "Democracy Now" orders people falling from towers to feel .. for someone ... somewhere else.Unethical, hypocritical people, deprived the ability to ... feel.

Christopher London, Esq.
Christopher London, Esq.

In this era of PR the elite and powerful have the power, the means and the influence, including control of the levers of power to discredit and destroy anyone who dares challenge their mission and questionab­le truths they pass off on the Sheeple. 9/11 has become a cottage industry, giving some politico's a permanent flag pin to wax poetic about their patriotism while they rope society into their multi-bill­ion dollar tourist mouse traps. The victims families of 9/11 deserve far more than a memorial and politico's who use them as pawns to achieve their aims. They and the rest of American citizens deserve a government that is 100% candid with the American people about the events of that day and whether it could have and should have been avoided. And they need to answer why certain folks have profited enormously from 9/11 while so many Americans saw their economic fortunes and security recede. Poseurs are all of them who coax us into silence and who tell us that any critique of their maneuvers is unpatriotic and an insult to our troops, victims families and the memory of those who lost their lives that day. Patriots are not bubble headed followers and cheerleade­rs who cower to the powerful. Sometimes they have to stand up and shake things up. Have we lost our balls? Paul Krugman has bigger cajones than any of his critics. They attack his manhood, call him a little man and that should tell you need to know about Military Industrial Complex hacks like Michelle Malkin, who pass themselves off as legitimate commentators and intellectuals. 

Jsoeur
Jsoeur

Perhaps he feels he's said it all so many times these past 10 years? Don't be baffled... Read what he has written.

Bravo, Mr. Krugman.

GeoWhetstine
GeoWhetstine

It's odd that this writer ,by virtue of the fact that he begins the second paragraph with the information that Krugman is a Nobel Prize winner,seems to think that such verifies the fact that he is indeed a man of high intellect.The fact that the Nobel Committee chose to award President Obama The Peace Prize would seem to bring the Nobel Committee's judgement into question and by extension Mr.Green's assessment of Krugman's intelligence.Krugman has never particularly bright star and he major talent seems to be to steal others thoughts while skirting the margins of plagerism

GeoWhetstine
GeoWhetstine

It's odd that this writer ,by virtue of the fact that he begins the second paragraph with the information that Krugman is a Nobel Prize winner,seems to think that such verifies the fact that he is indeed a man of high intellect.The fact that the Nobel Committee chose to award President Obama The Peace Prize would seem to bring the Nobel Committee's judgement into question and by extension Mr.Green's assessment of Krugman's intelligence.Krugman has never particularly bright star and he major talent seems to be to steal others thoughts while skirting the margins of plagerism

Doctor
Doctor

Mr. Krugman, you are a FAKE reporter but a real sorry piece of $#!† for offending many "Right" thinking Americans on such a significant date. Too bad you weren't at WTC 10 year ago. Turning off the comments after such a despicable hit piece shows what a miserable coward you truly are. When opinions like yours even find an audience today, I am wondering about the future and the long-term viability of this once great Nation. Mr. Krugman, you exercised your right of free speech yesterday, today I exercise mine.

John
John

Absurd, 'odd,' self-inflicted, insensitive, nuclear amway, disengaged, rabid sensationalist bottom feeder, impaled by idiot words, waste of great talent, Vietnam is over, sins of the father argument implied rings hollow, uninformed decisions happen all the time, think 'regime change' on the first Gulf War objective, forget about no WMD, you wrote this for all the wrong reasons too, baring your chest, mea culpa, really! Be a 'mensch;' think April Glasby's weird message to Bush Sr. Man, get a grip. Truncate out of

Gococksri
Gococksri

Actually, the point---not points---Mr. Krugman seeks to make is neither complex nor highly difficult.  And, as far as I'm concerned, he didn't even need all of his 181 words.  He said all that needed to be said when he mentioned that the follow-up to 9/11 constituted "the hijacking of the atrocity."  The terrible tragedy of that day was, indeed, seized  by "fake heroes" like Bernie Kerik, Rudy Giuliani, George Bush, Dick Cheney, and Donald Rumsfeld (I'm sure the Times will lose sleep over Rummy cancelling his subscription).  And "the attack was [indeed] used to justify an unrelated war the neocons wanted to fight..." There were two groups of people who committed shameful acts per 9/11---the terrorists who perpetrated the act itself and the public officials who exploited it for personal, professional, and political gain.  Each member of those two groups has blood on his hands that can be scrubbed off by neither time nor history.

gwbnyc
gwbnyc

Krugie is just another of America's Nobel-winning chickens that have come home to roost.

adrianvance
adrianvance

Paul Krugman has been insane for years.  He recently said on "This Week" that a man employed to dig holes and then fill them up is good for the economy."  That is very Keynesian, but it is also totally insane and at the root of our economic problems.

The Two Minute Conservative at http://adrianvance.blogspot.co... has political analysis, science and humor.  Daily on Kindle.

notimetoulouse
notimetoulouse

Krugman's poorly written screed was most likely a result of POI (posting under the influence). It is a little fun to think of his horror after he sobered up enough to realize that his cowardice was revealed for all the world to see- by his own hand! 

 Of course Krugman loathes Rudy, W43  and Kerik.  They did not cower in the corner like Krugman undoubtedly did on that terrible day.  They led with strength, courage and good sense. Krugman hates them because they are what he is not. Men.  The NYT will let this go because its editors endorse every word of Krugman's screed and share his irrational hatred of the good.

Just Jeff
Just Jeff

As much as the LEFT likes to blame Republicans generally, and Bush specifically...there was the possibility that 9-11-2001 might never have occurred.  If the CEO and Commander in Chief, POTUS Clinton had been responsibly dealing with the known threats by sworn enemies of this country...rather than his cigar buddies...but now I'm starting to sound like the LEFT.  I really don't know what you're so upset about...it sounds like they simply "Never let a serious crisis go to waste..."

guest
guest

I felt the same way, while I don't disagree with his statements at all.  181 words doesn't quite do the title "Years of Shame" justice.  Expound a little, and if you are going to be as bold as to say that on the 10th anniversary, allow comments.  

PunchPrincess
PunchPrincess

***The opinions he quickly formulates may very well be valid ones, but everyone will be too baffled by his inappropriate brevity and callous timing to carefully weigh them.*** Not "everyone," just those like you who were too disengaged from the last decade. Krugman is right, as always. Enabling comments would be like giving the flat earth society a place at the National Geographic Society luncheon.

JHARC
JHARC

Yes, perhaps someone will write a book-length analysis of how 9/11 has been manipulated by politicians, especially on the right, to carry out shameful acts (invading Iraq, which had nothing to do with 9/11; spying on millions of citizens, on the spurious claim that our security required it; torturing prisoners, to our great shame and degradation; exploding the national debt, by borrowing more than $3 trillion to fight two wars; treating returning veterans, including badly injured vets, as if they are less than human, to our eternal shame; etc.).  Enough to feel shameful about already?  Krugman has it right, and he said it succinctly.  If you want to spell it out in all its horrifying detail, go right ahead and do it.

Gordon
Gordon

We understand what he's saying.  Perhaps you need to back away from the scene a little to get it.  he's right.  This has been a shameful place to live for the last ten years, and that's been fully one-quarter of my adult life.  It's been fully one-quarter of my son's entire life.  That the fake heros and exploiters have continued this and continue to deny those who disagree with them, their freedom to express their opinions--and suppress dissent which could lead to a right path--is despicable;  the real hijackers are right there in the newspapers every day.  I despise them and I despise those who stand with them and no amount of phony piety will overcome the evils they perpetrate;  and I have NO idea why this publication stands with them.

jorider
jorider

Paul Krugman is right, it was encouraging to see his comments, 911 was really terrible, the response from America was stupid. 

Bush Did An Inside Job
Bush Did An Inside Job

can't all you rambling mofos who feel like you know everything, now see why Krugman disabled the comments on his post?

He is one of the smartest minds of today and just because he has a pulpit DOES allow him the freedom to use it to voice his opinions. 9/11 = hijacking of the true america

Booger P Stewelz
Booger P Stewelz

Now, some decades removed, isn't it time to acknowlege that stolen elections really do matter? The Bush family did in fact steal the Y2K Florida election for their ne'er do well boy, Gee Dum Ya. It's as simple as that. There's no denying America would be a far different country today had Al Gore prevailed. Was a time the future was so bright you had to wear shades. There were still manufacturing jobs to be had. Most anyone that wanted a job could get a job. Of course those were the days before the ascent of out of control right wing factions hell bent on hijacking our nation. There's no longer any doubt about how all that turned out

Pumadude8888
Pumadude8888

While I don't agree that Giuliani was a fraud, I think he did an outstanding job as Mayor of NYC, however, I do agree with Krugman that Bush took advantage of the situation to invade Iraq, which is shameful in my eyes to both the victims of 9/11, our soldiers that have die or been wounded and their families.

msaperstein
msaperstein

I am extremely disappointed in Paul Klugman. Yesterday was a national day of mourning for the nearly 3000 lives that were lost on American soil 10 years ago, in what was the worst attack ever in the history of our country. To see and hear the reading of the names at ground zero by family members was heartbreaking and very moving. This was not the time to blast former public figures and accuse them of exploiting the tragedy. Right or wrong this was in incredibly poor taste and demeaning to those who lost parents, siblings, relatives and friends. They were mourning the loss of loved ones Paul, not making political statements. In making these remarks Paul, you have done what you have accused others of doing: Exploiting 9/11 to acheive notoriety. Shame on you.

Just Jeff
Just Jeff

The Sad and simple fact of the matter is this...Krugman is a self loathing, guilt ridden and mistaken.  Most rabid liberals...and closet liberals alike...suffer.  They are suffering a bi-polar self loathing and delusion of grandeur...swinging wildly between the two publicly and privately.  Liberals argue vehemently against Conservatives and Christians...in part because they know they (the liberal minority) are so painfully wrong...and angry about it.  Certainly, men of both sides have played politics with 9-11...but on 9-12-2001 nearly everyone knew what was right.Look in the mirror, get honest with yourself and with God...and then live like the only liberal I can follow...Jesus Christ.  How many times have I heard, "Jesus was a liberal".  RIGHT...but Jesus was a "liberal" believing, following, depending on God, not Man (or Governments of man).  If we, the sometimes hypocritical conservative / christian majority would do a better job of living OUR Faith...the Liberals, who try to make government their god, would have no standing.  The Politics and Economics of arguing that someone else...through government...should care for our fellow man would cease. 

ebgodard
ebgodard

This from the guy who suggests that what would help BAM's economy would be a fake alien attack. It would kick start our industrial defense complex.  Funny that he thinks real wars are an economic drain, but a fake alien attack would stimulate the economy.  This is the mentality that advises BAM.

ebgodard
ebgodard

Its not baffling. Krugman has proven over and over that he is actually a quite stupid, arrogant, sociopath. Classic that the NYT gives him a forum. He is a coward and the antithesis of a true journalist when he refuses to allow those who disagree to speak out against him. Classic marxist.

DrG
DrG

Mr. Krugman obviously lost his mind when he identified what he referred to as "fake heroes".  Perhaps a colonoscopy would help him to find it.

adellutri
adellutri

 Well, I guess to be fair, if you're unable to process the message then Krugman's 9/11 post could be experienced as "baffling". But if one just calms down and takes about two minutes to actually read it, the meaning is quite simple and clear. Honestly, I suspect the issue is not about Nick Greene inability to process the message, and more about his unwillingness to contemplate Krugman's point.

Guest
Guest

9|11 has sadly become a big business.  The media, politicians and others have been cashing in on the horrors for years.  With this being the 10th anniversary, it may be time to move beyond the sadness of the day.  Interesting quote from another blog:

"For 10 years, the nation has been mired in the somber commemoration of 9|11.  For 10 years, we have referred to the original attack site in New York City as "Ground Zero."  For 10 years, the media has covered the hurt, the pain, the sadness and the horrific images from that September morning that changed our world.  Is it time now to move forward?"FULL STORY:   http://okwassup.blogspot.com/2...

Jacob
Jacob

Krugman is the worst kind of Jew.  He would have pushed his mother into the gas chamber in front of him in order to buy himself one more day of his pathetic life. Fuck you in Hell Krugman. He is truly a grade A piece of shit. And fuck you too obama. And Geordidlt-get cancer and die slowly you stupid fucktard.

Ann23
Ann23

You don't know how irritating you comment with Auden is.Everything is wrong about it.The lack of understanding why people are so upset about Krugman's idiocy (yes, it's idiocy - an "unidiot" would have listened to people and apologized).The belief that one doesn't have to think - one can find a poem to cover the lack of thinking or ethics or both.False and sadly comical analogy. The last time I checked, Germany invaded Poland. The last time I checked we were attacked by Islamists on 9/11.  In other words, the correct analogy would be Germany 1939=Islamists 2001. Sadly, increasingly, the present day axis of evil consist of neo-Nazis-Islamists-"prostitutional" left.

Ann23
Ann23

"You can all return back to your willful ignorance of what Krugman meant. Bush and Co. used all of yours, and mine, grief to start 2 wars"No, it's you who is willfully ignorant if you are not capable to grasp a basic concept - ethics - a thing which doesn't allow one to dance on graves of people, even if we forget for a moment how tragically and how innocently they died.You make a certain right is right when they insist that a certain left is immoral with its "end justifies means." Krugman can say whatever he wants (oh well, at least a lot) on September 12, at 12:01 am. and later. He still shouldn't blame librarians and cafeteria workers for being murdered (as Amy Goodman does).Your assumption is ignorant as well. There are Republicans, or even some right wingers here, but there also some liberals and progressives here (possibly more progressive than you). We know all about Bush. The fact that Bush was bad, doesn't mean that Krugman is right. No, right wingers are not right. The left isn't monolithic. Thank God. 

Ann23
Ann23

Americanmentor,I am beginning to believe that you might be right. It was wrong of burning librarians and cafeteria workers, not to mention firefighters and policemen, to fall evilly on poor innocent Saudi Arabian princes. 

Yeppir
Yeppir

Plagerism = plagiarism. Spell-check and/or dictionary = your friends. Just sayin.

I get that you think Krugman is wrong. I think, separated from the horrible tragedy of what happened to innocent people on that day, Krugman's assessment that pols capitalized on the event cannot be disputed.

visitor
visitor

It is a little fun to think of his horror after he sobered up enough to realize that his cowardice was revealed for all the world to see- by his own hand!

Guess again: He put up a follow-up blog post a couple of days later that was unapologetic.

ruth gretzinger
ruth gretzinger

 you do know that even the NYT says Bush won the 2000 election, don't you? the link was still available last time I checked. google it. however I do agree with you that elections matter: the (legitimate but unfortunate) election of George W. Bush gave rise to Barack Obama, who turned out to be a dreadful president.

 

Guest
Guest

Why don't you explain to us non Academics, who obviously are too stupid to understand his underlying reason for this vial and offensive rant?

Mmmm
Mmmm

Stop pretending to be a conservative and posting the fake hate stuff.  Are you one of these MoveOn people?

C.j. Simones
C.j. Simones

Why do lefties continue believe that anyone will believe their attempts to paint conservatives as anti Semitic?  It seems everyone but they know that that dog won't hunt.  Talk about projection!

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