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« It's All In The Vedas | Main | Fair and Balanced: California Fires Set By Al Qaida »

October 24, 2007


Just confirms the notion, that any tragedy that strikes home (in Doris's case it is the IRA attacks in England) will always have greater emotional impact than tragedies elsewhere. We do not lose too much sleep over Darfur, Rwanda etc. where the scale of loss is in the millions. The only reason we are second guessing President Bush's decision to go to Iraq is because of the loss of American life. If the mission was truly accomplished in 2003, would we be questioning that decision in the same way? If not, why not? The issue is still the same- whether it was okay to invade and occupy a sovereign nation that did not have the connection to 9-11 in the same way that say Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia or Pakistan did.

The issue is still the same- whether it was okay to invade and occupy a sovereign nation that did not have the connection to 9-11 in the same way that say Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia or Pakistan did.

AKB: You have come to a place where most of the authors recognized from day one, the moral vacuum in which the Iraq war was launched. For us, there was no "mission to be accomplished" in Iraq. So, no. No matter what the outcome of the Iraq war would have been, we still would have condemned the aggression and occupation.

Speaking only for myself, I have little problem with going after Al Qaida in Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan or wherever it has a viable operation going.

Hi Ruchira: Yes, but in the days leading up to the war, you would have been in a very tiny minority. In fact, any public figure who took a remotely skeptical view of that decision to go to war was soundly ridiculed. There weren't many politicians who even wanted to debate it. (In fact the Congress didn't debate it, and no one pressured their Congressmen to debate it). On the other hand, today, the pendulum has swung to the other end- where it is now fashionable to criticize the President's decision to go to war and his management of the war. What was the difference maker? It was the continued cost in American lives, that caused one to question whether the cause was worth it. The way we evaluate things is different when our own have to pay the price, doesn't it? If looked that way, Doris' comments make sense. She would assign a greater value to IRA actions than the occurrences of 9-11.

Anyway, now the drum beat is Iran. But at least that issue is being debated and questioned. Fareed Zakaria did a very nice job on the Lehrer news hour today.

Finally, please accept my apologies. It probably appeared rude when I commented out of the blue. I really like the way you've done your blog. I was told to visit here,and maybe I would learn something. And- that advice was exactly right. I hope you keep this going for a long long time. Thanks a bunch.


No, you were not rude at all and thanks for your kind words. We like it very much when our silent readers jump in out of the blue with their opinions. I am somewhat surprised that you "learnt" something here. Wow! We don't flatter ourselves as disseminators of new information or insights. We are just happy to have a forum where like minded people see their point of view reflected. But thanks anyway for the compliment.

Yes, we the opponents of the Iraq war were in the minority in the early days when opposition to this horrendous undertaking was interpreted as unpatriotic and sympathetic to terrorists. But not surprisingly, among my own friends, a majority was critical of the misadventure of Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld.

You are absolutely right that the pendulum has swung to the other side because things didn't quite go the way the public believed they would. The early days of "Shock & Awe" have turned into a "quagmire" and the price of the war in terms of American lives is no longer acceptable. Unfortunately, the opposition to the Iraq war is not based on the right moral reasons but because the outcome has hurt American pride. (I speculated on this nearly a year ago here.) You are also correct in assessing Lessing's reaction to 9/11. Tragedy is always more real when it hits near home and not in faraway Rwanda, Darfur or Burma.

But what I fear most is the inertia of the human mindset. The last six and a half years the Bush White House has set a public policy agenda of fear, suspicion, jingoism and aggression which will take a while to shake off. Even after the conspicuous failures of this administration, many among the politicians, law enforcement personnel and even the public are reluctant to remedy the lingering paranoia and curtailment of civil liberties. (See another post here.) With the right leadership it is possible to overcome that attitude. But I am afraid that the current crop of Democratic presidential candidates may not have the spine to undo the harm that Bush-Cheney have wreaked upon us.

I did happen to catch the Iran debate between Fareed Zakaria and Norman Podhoretz on Jim Lehrer's show. Zakaria made the same points in his article in last week's Newsweek. I am glad that he is showing more caution and restraint on Iran than he did for Iraq. The sweet Mr. Zakaria was right up there with other cheerleaders when Bush-Cheney were beating the war drums against the latter.

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