Wednesday, May 12, 2004
I'm getting very depressed.
My boss came up to me the other day and said, "Noah, you've soured on Bush a little, haven't you?" I admitted I had. "This Iraq business looks pretty bad, doesn't it?" I agreed it did. "You know," he said, "I don't know why we're getting all bent out of shape about these prison torture pictures. We shouldn't be upset about that; we should be upset that they're still killing us there. 'Cause it seems to me if this doesn't work, the only solution left is the nuclear one."
Oh, I asked? What's the target?
"Does it matter?"
This is why I'm getting depressed.
I remember a conversation I had in Brooklyn on 9-12; my friend and I were debating just how many and which places needed to be nuked to make sure 9-11 never happened again.
Now, we're just a couple of guys in Brooklyn, and we've certainly cooled down since then - did so within a few days, in fact, to the point that we were no longer openly talking about lobbing nukes hither and yon. But we're a couple of (basically) liberal guys, whatever party we vote for. We believe in freedom, in justice, in decency. We're cosmopolitan people. Yeah, there are people in Brooklyn whose reaction was to rally around the Muslims of Atlantic Avenue to protect them from reprisals (reprisals which, needless to say, never came). But there are a lot more people whose reaction was closer to our own. I think we were fairly typical.
This country's patience with the Middle East is wearing very thin. The Iraq war was launched with a lot of hubris and poor planning, but with a lot of idealism as well. The impetus was the desire to "stop swatting flies", to solve the Middle East's problems, or at least put them on a path to solution. If that looks impossible, people are going to stop looking for a solution. That doesn't mean they'll stop fighting to defend our country's interests. It means they won't care how many innocents on the other side die in the process.