Krauthammer and Krugman on 9/11

Paul Krugman is an American economist, Princeton University professor and Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics recipient. Charles Krauthammer is a Pulitizer prize-winning syndicated columnist, political commentator, and physician. Two very bright men. One of them wrote a factually researched, well-substantiated, thought provoking column on the tenth year anniversary of the terrorist attacks perpetrated on September 11, 2001. The other threw a schoolyard bully’s punch and then left the playground before anyone else could respond.

The former was Charles Krauthammer.  The latter, Paul Krugman, tempts me to give his “column” no time at all. However, in Mr. Krugman’s judgmental name calling and accusations, he teaches us much about what’s wrong with the world and why we have found ourselves so far from who we want to be.

Mr. Krauthammer’s column in the National Review On-line recaps the U.S. response and successes in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. He also factually disproves allegations that the War on Terror is the basis for our current financial difficulties and places the blame where it belongs.  Finally, he gives us pride in our national determination and endurance in the face of adversity.

As for Mr. Krugman… he used his bully pulpit to bully. He accused former President George W. Bush and former New York Mayor Rudy Guilaini of “cash[ing] in on the horror” and unnamed others of “hijacking [of] the atrocity.” He actually goes so far as to call the memory of 9/11 “an occasion of shame.” Mr. Krugman’s opinion piece is a lesson in turning the victim into the perpetrator… in deflecting responsibility from where it rightfully belongs. He offers no facts, piously judges others, and tries to make us feel badly about ourselves as a nation. Let’s learn from his mistakes.

1. Conclusions should be based upon facts, not conjecture.

2. Judgment belongs to Our Creator and when exercised by humankind separates and alienates us from ourselves and one another.

3. Giving others confidence and hope, not criticism and despair, is the answer to both personal and collective growth.

Mr. Krauthammer’s column allows for posting comments. Mr. Krugman’s does not. Deliberately so. He noted that he was not permitting comments “for obvious reasons.” What is obvious to me may be different from what he intended. I post here the email I sent him following a read of his column:

“If you are going to make the kind of judgments and bold statements made in the NY Times Opinion piece ‘The Years of Shame,’ have the courage to allow those who see the world differently from you the courtesy of access to reply.  Free speech, I presume, is one of the founding principles upon which we can agree. What follows that principle in a free society is the battlefield of ideas.

The only thing that is ‘obvious’ about why you would have precluded responses to the piece is your need to strike while insulating yourself from the counter-punch. This was not a courageous act. Being able to take the heat, not just give it, is the sign of a confident individual committed to, above all, the truth.”


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