[OPE-L] John Edwards and the war

From: Jurriaan Bendien (adsl675281@TISCALI.NL)
Date: Wed Feb 07 2007 - 21:09:36 EST

With Hilary Clinton there's always a sense of "finding the nuance in a
difficult situation", as I sketched. By contrast, comrade Edwards doesn't
mince words:

"President Bush's decision to adopt the McCain Doctrine and escalate the war
in Iraq is terribly wrong. There is no military solution to this civil war.
Instead of increasing the number of troops in Iraq, we should immediately
withdraw 40-50,000 troops. In order for the Iraqi people to take
responsibility for their country, we must show them that we are serious
about leaving, and the best way to do that is to actually start leaving.
Since the President refuses to change course, Congress must use its power of
the purse and block funding for an escalation of war. Over 80,000 people
from across the country have joined me in calling on Congress to stop
President Bush's misguided plan to escalate the war. Congress has the power
to stop this escalation - they should use it."

For the Americans, it seems like a conundrum of "damned if you do, and
damned if you don't". Meanwhile for Iraqi's, it is more like a conundrum of
"you lose, whatever happens".

America's adventure in Iraq turned out to be more like opening Pandora's
box. Sort of like, "operation Pandora". As the precocious daughter of a
friend recently reminded me whilst I was on holiday, according to the Greek
myth, the only thing left in the box in the end, was "hope". Hope is not yet
the will to do something, but, hope - or positive intention - is one of the
mainsprings of the will. Insofar as truly hopeless people do things, they
usually do them simply because they have to do them.

In observing the clash of wills (Dick Cheney: "they're trying to break our
will") what is striking is the uncertainty and circumlocutions about the
decision whether to pull out, or drive in more, a sort of perversity.

I've tended to think about personal relationships, that the circumstances of
entry into them, shape the circumstances of exiting out of them ("Point of
entry determines point of exit"). Analogously, a war started on false
pretenses would be likely to end with false pretenses.

At stake would seem to be nothing less than the "honour of America" in all
this. When is one actually ready to admit that "shit happens and a mistake
is a mistake"? At the time when it matters, or only long afterwards, when
history has washed over the painful events, and people's concerns are about
very different things? What does that say about the capacity to learn from
experience? The mind boggles trying to grasp it.


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