Tom Thoughts
Published in

Tom Thoughts

Suggested Reading

Wednesday Links:

Is the 9/11 era over? There is no plan for the end of this crisis, Plus Twitter highlights…

Photo by Roman Kraft on Unsplash

***Please note that a posted link or tweet does not necessarily equal an endorsement of the author or the ideas expressed in the link or tweet, sometimes I may completely disagree with it, but nonetheless think it’s worth sharing for educational purposes. Thank you for your understanding.***

1. The 9/11 Era is Over — Ben Rhodes, The Atlantic

This is an interesting read from former deputy national security adviser to Barack Obama, Ben Rhodes, who writes about how 9/11 shaped America’s national purpose for nearly two-decades and how that era is coming to a swift and sudden end thanks to this pandemic.

I recommend checking it out. Even if you disagree with his take on Donald Trump and the Republican party, the exploration of what new world order will emerge on the other side of this crisis is a worthy mental exercise.

Ben raises some good points about what America’s lack of leadership on the world stage right now might mean for the future of the country.


After a decade defined by the triviality of Bill Clinton’s impeachment and the absence of a sense of mission, America had a new national purpose on par with the Cold War — another generational effort to make the world safe for democracy.— — — — —
Trump likes to talk about ending America’s post-9/11 wars. But his latest defense budget is $112 billion higher than it was the year he took office. This additional spending appears guided by little beyond the president’s desire to declare that he’s investing more in the American military. The use of drones has increased. In Afghanistan and against ISIS, rules of engagement to limit civilian casualties have been relaxed. The number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan was increased. With the notable exception of a bizarre and hasty retreat from our counter-ISIS mission in Syria, the post-9/11 resourcing of America’s military and intelligence infrastructure is more robust than ever.
— — — — —
In COVID-19, Trump faces an adversary that doesn’t care what it’s called, recognizes no border, and plays not by the rules of America’s broken politics but rather by the rules of science and objective reality.
— — — — —
The first months of this crisis suggest that the world order that emerges on the other end is likely to be permanently altered. America’s response to 9/11 committed the familiar mistake of hastening a superpower’s decline through overreach; the Trump presidency, and our failure to respond effectively to COVID-19, show us the dangers of a world in which America makes no effort at leadership at all.

2. There is no plan for the end of the coronavirus crisis — New York Magazine

For a month, American journalists and public-health experts have praised the coronavirus response of South Korea and Singapore above all others. On Tuesday, Singapore will close its schools and most businesses to guard against an out-of-control outbreak; South Korea just extended its social-distancing policy.

David Wallace-Wells writes about the lack of any real cohesive vision or plan for the end of this crisis:

But the bigger question isn’t how long our shutdown will last; it’s what will follow it.

Beyond Twitter, the periodic suggestion from Trump’s executive pals that we should “reopen” the economy, and a few op-ed pages sketching out vague pathways, there is no sign of any real plan to do it at any level of government.

3. Twitter highlights…

As always, thanks for reading. Please stay safe, stay inside, follow the guidelines, and wear a mask if you can.

Sign up for my newsletter and get a FREE book, The Tiny Book of Writing Reminders.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store