What was it all for?

I have wanted to say something like this for a long while, but this letter to the NYTimes editor says it perfectly.

As a longtime peace activist who was opposed to the Iraq war from the beginning, I deeply resent Thomas L. Friedman’s reference to us as “antiwar activists who haven’t thought a whit about the larger struggle we’re in.”

We were bitterly opposed to the notion of pre-emptive war and to a devastating attack on a country that had nothing to do with 9/11. But one of our major arguments against this ill-planned, ill-executed tragic war was that it would distract energy and resources from a truly effective attack against terrorism and Muslim extremism.

This is exactly what has happened.

The Iraq war (and sadly, now the war in Lebanon) has only strengthened the terrorists, worsened hatred toward us and rendered us less rather than more capable of fighting terrorism.

Ann Edelman
Los Angeles, Aug. 16, 2006

I stopped my subscription to TimesSelect a while ago so I don’t know what Ann is replying to (maybe its time to renew?). It’s good news that the likes of George Will, Thomas Friedman, Andrew Sullivan etc etc etc et al are finally starting to ask the question “What was it all for?” but why do they feel such a strong need to malign the motives of those of us who asked the same question four years ago?

I hasten to add that I have no idea what comes next. I broadly agreed with Kerry’s prescription back in 2004 but it’s not 2004 any more, sadly. Staying will be a disaster, leaving will be a disaster. I hope there will finally be an honest debate and less of the debate-only-encourages-the-terrorists nonsense that Cheney and Bush (and, now, Lieberman) are STILL coming out with.

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Ragged Clown

Based in San Jose, California

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