The Rage, the Pride and the Doubt
A powerful and thought-provoking essay from Oriana Fallaci on the eve of battle: The Rage, the Pride and the Doubt. (Thanks to all who emailed about this one.)
The third reason [for my dilemma] is the wrong way in which the promise has materialized. Let’s admit it: from September 11 until last summer, all the stress was put on bin Laden, on al Qaeda, on Afghanistan. Saddam and Iraq were practically ignored. Only when it became clear that bin Laden was in good health, that the solemn commitment to take him dead or alive had failed, were we reminded that Saddam existed too. That he was not a gentle soul, that he cut the tongues and ears of his adversaries, that he killed children in front of their parents, that he decapitated women then displayed their heads in the streets, that he kept his prisoners in cells as small as coffins, that he made his biological or chemical experiments on them too. That he had connections with al Qaeda and supported terrorism, that he rewarded the families of Palestinian kamikazes at the rate of $25,000 each. That he had never disarmed, never given up his arsenal of deadly weapons, thus the U.N. should send back the inspectors, and let’s be serious: if seventy years ago the ineffective League of Nations had sent its inspectors to Germany, do you think that Hitler would have shown them Peenemunde where Von Braun was manufacturing V2s? Do you think that Hitler would have disclosed the camps of Auschwitz, of Mauthausen, Buchenwald, Dachau? Yet the inspection comedy resumed. With such intensity that the role of prima donna passed from bin Laden to Saddam, and the arrest of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the engineer of September 11, was greeted almost with indifference. A comedy marked by the double games of the inspectors and the conflicting strategies of Mr. Bush who on the one hand asked the Security Council for permission to use force and on the other sent his troops to the front. In less than two months, a quarter of a million troops. With the British and Australians, 310,000. And all this without realizing that his enemies (but I should say the enemies of the West) are not only in Baghdad.
They are also in Europe.
UPDATE: and don’t miss Robert Bové’s review of The Rage and the Pride at the Texas Mercury.