One must be judicious in choosing how closely to follow the Iraq war. Every day there are many new analyses, updates, pictures, developments – many of them depressing. Every few weeks there will be recaps and an in-depth look at the state of Iraq at various milestones. Today the NYT Book Review section has a few articles which is my way of staying up-to-date: carefully read the periodic analyses and try to stay above the day-to-day minutia.
‘The Right War?’ and ‘A Matter of Principle’: Everybody Is a Realist Now is the best of the bunch. It fairly reviews a couple books that present the neoconservative view. It is important for anti-war activists to understand that people who still support the war do so because they believe the vision of spreading democracy is noble and liberating a people from a tyrant is morally necessary. Note how WMD was not mentioned here.
The national discussion should center on the issues raised in this article: Is spreading democracy in countries that have never had it before a mere pipe dream? Is there a moral imperative for the U.S. to act that should override any other metric, or is there some threshold of loss-of-life or money that makes war a bad idea? In the neoconservative vision, are we in Iraq for THEIR good (humanitarian reasons) or for OUR good? Which is more just?
Unfortunately, we seemed mired in Cindy Sheehan’s silly antics and the extreme left remaining absolutist in George W. Bush’s evilness.