He went on to talk about the retributive impulse that had defined the post-9/11 American “psyche;” how we, too, have acted irrationally and done things that have not only failed to help us, but have so obviously hurt us. Our pride and our honor took a hit on 9/11. And what came out of it was a visceral reaction, one full of confused anger. Such impulses are necessary at first, even healthy. Anger can be a good thing, particularly when channeled constructively in support of a national cause. But we went far beyond healthy responses, and we’ve drawn out a long, six-year process of cathartic retribution, in some way aiming to erase the humiliation - the affront to our dignity – that the attacks of September 11th brought upon us. And, in doing so, we have descended into a spiral of irrationality, both self-destructive and self-defeating.Karma: the reaction to one humiliation -- 9/11 -- will bring about a further humiliation -- the withdrawal from Iraq.
I still have not heard the answer to my longtime question, though: why wasn't Afghanistan enough? Why couldn't we have gotten our retribution out of our system by actually hurting the people who hurt us, and by helping their other victims? I suspect there is no good answer, except for the racist complex of ideas that basically say one dead Muslim is as good as any other, and so long as we're killing the Taliban in Afghanistan, we might as well go after "Saddam" too, as if he was the only one who ever lived in Iraq.