Here are two examples of posts from the month I started blogging. September 23, 2002.
George Schultz has marched out his oft-repeated “shall we be the Hamlet of nations” tripe for the Republicans’ new war, but only after Dick Morris (the Republicans’ new best friend) said the same and predicted the tack that Republicans would take in this move toward action and away from thought.From September 27, 2002:
Why does no one give Hamlet any credit? Everyone points to him as a man who thinks too much, but conveniently forgets that the act he was contemplating was an act of murder. George W. seems to have forgotten that simple fact and, like the man of action, Fortinbras, is ready to go to war “even for an eggshell” – whether he’s sure of the eggshell’s existence or not.
The point is, people are going to die. This should be an act which gives us pause.
If Hamlet were the only reference, though, this may not bother me so much. He’s often misunderstood by the kind of frat boy boneheads that seem to fill Bush’s cabinet. It’s his supporters take on Othello that drives me nuts.
In a recent commentary on All Things Considered, Ken Adelman said that he “stand(s) with Othello” in supporting the Bush Administration’s move to attack Iraq. In this he says “push the details aside and use force” against Iraq. I’m not sure what details he’s talking about here, but I assume that he means details like Saddam’s actually having WMDs and whether or not we should violate the UN’s charter. Details like that.
He’s right on one aspect, though. Othello did do this in defense of Venice. However, like Bush, Othello did this all the time, and that was his downfall. People attacking Venice? Don’t count them. Kill them. Wife might be unfaithful? Don’t hesitate. Kill her.
I, for one, think we should think this through. We should, like Hamlet, try to wrap our minds around the act we intend to commit. Let’s go into Iraq and see what’s there. We must not act without knowledge. In this, I stand with Hamlet.
Say I'm a guy in an apartment in a bad neighborhood. I have the feeling that the guy down the hall wants to do me harm. He might have a gun in there or a pit bull or a baseball bat. I think he might even be related to the guy who mugged me last week. Might even have put him up to it. What do I do?I almost feel guilty because I'm one of those people who obviously make Kevin Drum feel bad because I was right about the war and he was wrong. But he shouldn't weep too much. He wouldn't have his current position as a Respected Pundit if he'd been right before the war. That's been proven time and time again.
If you answered, "Kill the guy," then you are on the side of Dubya and his buddies in this war. If you answered, "Get someone to check him out," then you are on the side of those who see the role of the UN and inspectors in this issue.
We have no idea what (weapons) Iraq has or how they intend to use them. Donald Rumsfeld tried to get around this when speaking before Congress by saying that "the last thing we want is a smoking gun. A gun smokes after it has been fired. The goal must be to stop Saddam Hussein before he fires a weapon of mass destruction against our people."
What he's saying here is that he doesn't know what Saddam's got. I don't expect him to find a smoking gun, but at least prove to me that the gun exists.
* Prove it, I remember telling a lieutenant colonel over burgers, and I'll take a private's slot in a spear-point infantry unit. Otherwise, I don't want to send this guy or that guy or her to die for nothing.