The greatest calamity to befall America in the 21st Century was not 9/11 but the collapse of the world economy in 2008, a collapse instigated by outright criminality, blatant fraud, on the part of Wall Street financial institutions. This calamity ruined the lives and brought misery to millions of people around the world. In terms of scale, the depredations of al-Qaeda pale by comparison.
The perpetrators of this calamity not only acted with impunity but received remarkable rewards for their infamy. They made money from their crimes, some of it at the expense of American taxpayers, the victims of their outrages. It was one of the greatest scams in human history, almost beyond imagination.
Obama’s unwillingness to bring the Wall Street criminals to justice, or even to enact measures to prevent similar crimes in the future, represents the second greatest failure in American Presidential history — the greatest being James Buchanan’s failure to deal in a meaningful way with the issues that led to the Civil War.
Both Obama and Buchanan can be described as decent, weak, cowardly men whose dearest wish was to kick the can of disaster on to the next resident of the White House. We’ll be lucky if another Lincoln arises to fill the moral vacuum Obama, like Buchanan before him, created.