March 7th, 2003

little review

Poem for Friday and Political Ranting

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This morning I am asking myself the question: Would it be worth having a little war if it would guarantee that Bush would lose the next election? And thinking maybe, except there are enough idiots in this country that there's no guarantee he'd lose no matter what happens. And am disgusted with myself: should not be thinking about whether it would be worth trading foreign lives to protect American civil liberties, freedom of expression, environmental protection, reproductive rights, a fair judicial system, etc. Can't believe it's my president posing the biggest threat to world peace and democracy since...I won't say it. You know, Bush is making me recall the good old days of Reagan, the last time I seriously thought about the world ending in nuclear holocaust because of something my own president might do.

Yeah, I'm oversimplifying. I'm also scared. Krugman in The New York Times: 'Why does our president condone the swaggering and contemptuous approach to our friends and allies this administration is fostering, including among its most senior officials? Has 'oderint dum metuant' really become our motto?' So reads the resignation letter of John Brady Kiesling, a career diplomat who recently left the Foreign Service in protest against Bush administration policy. 'Oderint dum metuant' translates, roughly, as 'let them hate as long as they fear.' It was a favorite saying of the emperor Caligula, and may seem over the top as a description of current U.S. policy. But this week's crisis in U.S.-Mexican relations — a crisis that has been almost ignored north of the border — suggests that it is a perfect description of George Bush's attitude toward the world."

(Nicholas Kristof's column was good too. And Tom Brokaw's is interesting.)