Day for the National Security State
The Coronavirus and the Real Threats to American
Safety and Freedom
By Andrew Bacevich
March 28, 2020
- Americans are facing ďA Spring Unlike Any
Before.Ē So warned a front-page headline in the
March 13th New York Times.
headline, however hyperbolic, was all too apt. The
coming of spring has always promised relief from the
discomforts of winter. Yet, far too often, it also
brings its own calamities and afflictions.
the poet T.S. Eliot, ďApril is the cruelest month.Ē
Yet while April has certainly delivered its share of
May havenít lagged
far behind. In fact, cruelty has seldom been a
respecter of seasons. The infamous
influenza epidemic of 1918,
frequently cited as a possible
analogue to our
current crisis, began in the spring of that year,
but lasted well into 1919.
said, something about the coronavirus pandemic does
seem to set this particular spring apart. At one
level, that something is the collective panic now
sweeping virtually the entire country. President
Trumpís grotesque ineptitude and tone-deafness have
only fed that panic. And in their eagerness to hold
Trump himself responsible for the pandemic, as if he
were the bat
that first transmitted the disease to a human being,
his critics magnify further a growing sense of
events spinning out of control.
Yet to heap
the blame for this crisis on Trump alone (though he
certainly deserves plenty of blame) is to miss its
deeper significance. Deferred for far too long,
Judgment Day may at long last have arrived for the
national security state.