In reading today's op ed piece in the NYT's "The War President," Krugman raises some completely valid points. These points should be clear to anyone who can fog a mirror and recognizes that the world is not black and white.
What I haven't seen in the popular media is the recognition that all these events are set to the backdrop of an exit from the Vietnam war without honor. Essentially, Marx's pendulum of history has swung from the civil chaos of the late 60's to a fear of the mere questioning of public policy.
It doesn't help that a lot of "armchair historians" and "military strategorists" cling to the notion that as long as we stick together all will be well. General Custer taught us that sticking together isn't enough.
On the far left, the isolationists don't help the healing by evoking policies of immediate withdrawal which fail to recognize that the modern world is permanently interconnected and bound by trade, telecommunications, and the internet.
So how does the pendulum move to the middle -- or at least stop swinging to violently to the left and right?
How do we move past this fear of honest, public debate without burning flags and bras or resorting to scaring people about burning flags and single sex bathrooms?
Somehow we need to have some kind of public therapy session to exorcise the demons of the past - abandonment, betrayal, greed -- and rationalize them with the goals of the future - democracy, equality, freedom self expression.
By incorporating a better view on historical perspective, hopefully we can come to terms with the past and feel more comfortable with ourselves in the present.
Hey, it's not an easy answer, but it's a start.