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.
2 comments on “The Right War? Everybody is a Realist Now”
It was “silly” antics like Cindy Sheehan’s that lead to the unmasking of the folly of our being in Vietnam. These actions saved more lives-both American and
Vietnamese–than if there had not been mass protests against the Vietnam war.
Personally, I think we are in Iraq because George Bush wants to be there for some reason he does not want to be open about, and spreading democracy is just the latest justification.
If the neoconservatives believe this is a just and valid endeaver , why aren’t their children enlisting in the military and/or college ROTC to support the spread of democracy.
Terry – thanks for the comment. Always great to hear from you and I hope you are doing well. Let’s catch up soon!
I believe Cindy Sheehan’s approach is the wrong one. I think people should be able to protest and make their views heard. For one grieving mother, among 2,000, to hoard all the attention for her seems wrong. For one greiving mother to demand time with the President even though her viewpoint is just one of many viewpoints greiving mothers hold seem wrong. Moreover, I disagree with her strategic position that we should pull our troops out now. Leaving until the job is finished would have disastrous consequences on the fledgling Iraqi government.
Finally, as for the kids of neoconservative supporters of the war, why should the kids enroll in the army simply because their parents are supportive? Let the kids make their own choices and the justness.