Nov. 17 (Bloomberg) -- After the failure of the 1973 Geneva
Peace Conference, the Israeli diplomat Abba Eban sighed that
“The Arabs never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.” In
recent years, the same could be said of Americans.
Two months ago, the U.S. marked the 10th anniversary of the
Sept. 11 attacks. Sadly, we commemorated a tragedy without
celebrating much triumph. The post-9/11 moment was an unheralded
instance of national -- even global -- unity. The Bush
administration could have used it for almost anything. And, to
be fair, it did. The nation burned trillions of dollars in two
wars and a budget-busting round of tax cuts. The president told
us to go shopping, and the Federal Reserve held interest rates
at extraordinarily low levels. The result? Deficits and a credit
bubble. That was missed opportunity No. 1.