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There are horrors ...

Reader comment on item: Why the Left Loves Osama [and Saddam]

Submitted by Craig Goodrich (United States), Mar 21, 2003 at 20:27

... and horrors. While I am second to none in my contempt for the academic left, and I despise Saddam for his thuggery -- as I likewise despise e.g. the late unlamented Samoza, and Castro, and the Shah, and a depressingly enormous number of similar figures, both contemporary and historical -- I get somewhat nervous when I read a piece which has an undertone "X is a brutal scoundrel, therefore the US must remove him from power by any means necessary; I suggest troops and lots of bombs."

As a historian, you are of course aware that there have been a large number of attempts by emperors, sultans, and supreme leaders over the centuries to rid the world of evil. They have not been uniformly successful; but worse, they have invariably wound up spreading misery among the original citizens of the leader's own realm.

Perhaps that explains why I, and many others in the antiwar camp, have a couple of suggestions for the wonks inside the beltway:

1) How about a military policy that confines itself to defense of the actual territory of the United States against actual, real foreign threats?

2) How about a foreign policy that doesn't always involve dropping bombs on someplace and then starving anybody who might be left there?

So while I admire your pieces on modern Islam, I'm not sure we agree completely on an appropriate policy response...

Craig
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