A few weeks ago, I wrote about a review of my book by Elizabeth Cobbs Hoffman. I thought that she had a lot of good points, intriguing notions worth thinking about.
But I was very annoyed that she just plain ignored the facts of my argument. She wrote, “It’s hard to see how the horse-trading that achieved partial compensation for dispossessed investors was terribly different from any other bruising business transaction.” Only I presented lots of evidence that there was no horse-trading! The American investors got everything they wanted, and more.
Now along comes Arnold Kling to write about the decline of American empire hegemony. He writes of a possible cycle in which the U.S. feels less prosperous because there is less globalization, making its government less willing and able to intervene in the world, leading to more disorder and less globalization ... repeat. It is an intriguing notion, worth thinking about.
Only he goes on to just plain ignore the facts. He writes, rather unbelievably, “On a related note, what should we make of the fact that in response to the murder of one of its citizens, the United States is less forceful than Jordan?”
What??? Between February 5 and February 8, Jordan launched 56 airstrikes. And as of January 19, the United States Air Force alone had launched 9600, not counting sorties by U.S. Navy aircraft. Moreover, our F-22s escorted all of the Jordanian F-16s on those retaliatory raids that have Kling all kvelling.
So what in the name of God is Arnold Kling talking about? I find his speculations interesting and I am fine with his opinion. But I am very annoyed that he is just plain ignoring the facts.