I am ashamed of my president, and I am ashamed of my country.
History speaks clearly: violence leads to violence, and war leads to more war. I’m disgusted with America’s foreign policy over the past eighteen months, and I’m disgusted with the way the crimes of September 11th were hijacked by the Bush administration and used as an excuse for promoting an aggressive, imperialistic agenda both at home and abroad. I’m saddened at the US’s decision to violate another country’s sovereignty, especially without UN support — damaging the slow and difficult progress towards a real world polity. I’m disgusted at the childish and jingoistic responses to our allies’ dissent — if I hear one more reference to “Freedom Fries”, I’m going to put on a beret, carry the French flag, and march up and down Park Avenue singing Le Marsellaise at the top of my lungs, as one scrappy Frenchman was doing on St. Patrick’s day outside the Lexington Avenue Armory.
I believe deeply in the freedoms that this country represents, and (though you can’t know until you are faced with the choice), I would be willing to sacrifice my life in the defense of those freedoms. But war isn’t about dying for your country: as Patton said, war is about “making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country”, and that is never justified, at any time, in any place, for any reason.
Whether there is ever such a thing as a “just war” is debatable, but it is at least certain to me that this is not a “just war.” We will achieve nothing in this war that could not have been achieved through a longer, messier, more frustrating, and more uncertain process of diplomacy.
I will support our troops in any way I can: by wishing them a safe and speedy return, and by letting them know that I, as a citizen, care deeply about their well-being. I will not, however, support my government in this lazy, misdirected, and destructive choice.