Friday, August 31, 2007
Nothing More Than Feelings
But here’s what struck me in the WaPo piece, the tale of how pro-war Reid became Johnny-come-lately, Johnny-give-up-your-guns:
Few Democrats have come as full circle on the war as Reid himself. On Oct. 10, 2002, as Senate minority whip, Reid became the most senior Democrat to endorse the war resolution. "They gave us the information, and I accepted what they told us," he explains.
It took a while to let go. "I did not wake up some morning and say, 'I oppose the war.' It built very slowly," Reid said.
One glimmer came when Frederick E. Pokorney Jr., a 31-year-old Marine from Tonopah, died on March 23, 2003; he was the first
Reid also recalled his first visit to
This March, the senator returned to Walter Reed, where he met a young
"That did it for me," Reid said of the Walter Reed visit. "I never looked back. I'm not really proud of the fact that it's taken me so long to realize how bad it's been, but I'm there."
One can imagine that Senator Reid has come into contact or received messages from many, many war veterans. My guess is, he’s gotten pro and anti-war feedback in proportions roughly equivalent to the attitudes prevalent in the military (overwhelmingly pro-mission and pro-victory).
Yet, all it takes is the first
This is the fatal flaw in anti-war “feelings” in Congress and the American people. Feelings are a terrible basis for decision-making. You shouldn’t base foreign policy or war decision-making on feelings, any more than you should make other judgments of ethics or morality on emotions. Emotions can inform as to costs and impacts in human terms, but they fail miserably in matters of right and wrong.
Leaders, in Congress and elsewhere, need to be thinking and reasoning, not responding on the basis of pure emotion.
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