Bin Laden’s Real Goal: Bankrupt US

He didn't succeed, but he did some serious damage: Ezra Klein
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 3, 2011 1:15 PM CDT
A Pakistani man reads a newspaper with the front page displaying news of the death of Osama bin Laden in Lahore.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Osama bin Laden wasn't foolish enough to think he could defeat the US militarily. His real goal, one that America never quite grasped, was to bring down the US by bankrupting it, writes Ezra Klein in the Washington Post. Remember, he had helped bring that fate upon the Soviet Union by understanding—and undermining—the superpower mentality. "And though it didn’t quite work out this time, it worked a lot better than most of us, in this exultant moment, are willing to admit," writes Klein.

Add up the trillions spent on wars and homeland security. Factor in the "loose monetary policy" the Fed put in place after 9/11 to ward off a "fear-induced recession," a policy that may have led to the credit bubble a few years ago. And on and on. "For bin Laden, in other words, success was not to be measured in body counts. It was to be measured in deficits, in borrowing costs, in investments we weren’t able to make in our country’s continued economic strength. And by those measures, bin Laden landed a lot of blows." Click to catch up on the latest bin Laden news. (Read more Osama bin Laden stories.)

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