Also published at Democratic Underground at www.democraticunderground.com.
I grew up in the Washington, D.C., area and live here now, and I no longer feel safe. In addition, I’m angry, because our government seems to be doing everything it can to make this place as widely and fiercely hated as possible. The debate over global politics, the environment, and the bombing of other countries is not just about others’ misery, owl species, or the world of our great-grandchildren anymore. It’s about the safety of this country today or next week, and about whether magnanimity or machismo is the best course to ensure that safety.
For certain war- and cold-war-promoters every country we’ve attacked for decades has been attacked to protect this country, but I never believed that justification or felt that threat. Now the Pentagon has been attacked, and the people left inside it seem intent on amplifying the policies that seem most likely to lead to more attacks. Now I feel the threat, but believe that the justification for attacking other countries is more misguided than ever.
Ask the six participants in three current wars or near-wars what motivates them and you’ll get little variety in the responses. Indian and Pakistani “leaders” will each say that the other started it, that their side is defending the better way of life, that God agees with them, and that they are