March 13, 2003

Trouble sleeping

Over on Easily Distracted, Timothy Burke is having trouble sleeping. He says:

What grips me is the sense that an extraordinary compound mistake is about to be made, the kind that shifts the forward motion of history onto a new track. It is like being a passenger in a car driven too quickly and erratically by someone who wonít listen to anyone else in the car. Even when you want to get to the same destination as the driver, you canít help but feel that thereís a way to go there which doesnít carry the same risk of flying through the guardrails and off a cliff.

I am not a pacifist. I am not anti-American. I could support a military conflict with Iraq designed to remove Saddam Hussein from power.

I am convinced that George Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle are exactly the wrong people at the right time to execute that mission. I am convinced that John Ashcroft is exactly the wrong man to be in charge of law, order and the security of American liberty at this time.

The rest of that post is worth reading, he's got a very calm, rational voice. And that's something I can't quite muster at the moment. The America that I love does not wage war preemptively. The America I love does not imprison suspects without due process. The America I love does not torture prisoners. The America I love does not suspend civil liberties in the name of fictional security.

Burke's mad taxi driver is an apt metaphor. I want to cover my eyes and stop watching, but in this taxi, it's the responsibility of the passengers to take over from the driver if he doesn't follow the rules of the road, so I feel I have to watch. Taking over the wheel is a little harder.

Posted by jeffy at March 13, 2003 03:31 PM