October 14, 2011
A few weeks after the 9/11 attacks, I attended a big holiday dinner with family and friends. Naturally much of the conversation revolved around the terrorist attacks and the rage and sorrow we all felt. There was also considerable discussion about President George W Bush’s handling of the catastrophe and his decision to send troops to Afghanistan in pursuit of the perpetrators and to eliminate the Taliban regime that was hosting them.
Everyone at the table approved of the president’s actions and believed that there was no alternative. Moreover, and this was somewhat surprising considering that none of us thought Bush had been legitimately elected, we all believed that he was being honest about the situation the United States faced and the options that were before him.
There was, however, one dissenter. My younger son, then in college, was absolutely opposed to going into Afghanistan. He said that there had to be a better way to respond than rushing into a war that, in his opinion, would likely expand and last “forever.” Besides, he added, “I don’t believe a word that comes out of Bush’s mouth.”
Naturally a brouhaha ensued with everyone (including me) telling the kid how utterly wrong and unpatriotic he was. There was a lot of yelling, but he would not back down. He just kept saying “you’ll see.”
Boy did we.
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