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Shouldn't an event such as 9/11, which surprised all of us, make us re-think our foreign policy? It is *good* that national sentiment changed, is it not?

Yes on both counts. It made perfect sense to re-assess our foreign policy priorities after 9/11. Further, the shift in national sentiment towards one of greater caution and desire for positive action is a good thing in my opinion.

By your logic, it seems to me that *any* foreign policy shift after 9/11 would have been bad because you could argue that that shift only got support because of "national sentiment". </i.

No, that isn't what my logic suggests and I don't think it can be reasonably inferred that this was what I meant.

A shift in foreign policy towards more concern for terrorism was good and justified. It got support because the national sentiment had changed into one of serious concern over the threat of terrorism. The invasion of Afghanistan in an attempt to captur Bin Laden and punish the Taliban for harboring him was in this sense perfectly justified.

Now flash forward a year or so and you start hearing the administration mention Al Qaeda and global terrorism in the same breath as Iraq when there is virtually no established link between the two. Over and over again, Al Qaeda...terrorism...Iraq. The administration was forming a link in people's minds between terrorism and Iraq for the purpose of tapping the national sentiment built up around terrorism after 9/11 to gain support for their desire to invade Iraq.

That is political cowardice. There is no established link between Iraq and Al Qaeda. Using the emotion stirred up by 9/11 to gain support for an invasion of Iraq on the grounds that they were somehow tied to the group that attacked us is insulting to the memory of the people who died there and the efforts undertaken to punish those responsible.

We were attacked, and you're talking about "national sentiment" as if we were all crazed lunatics.

I am? Where did I even remotely suggest that? My problem is not with the response of the people of this nation, it is with the misuse of that response by the administration.

For the record, I don't see Americans as crazed lunatics because they're upset by the attacks on 9/11.


Political cowardice to shift foreign policy because of an attack on our country? I don't agree.

Neither do I, and fortunately that isn't even close to what I said.


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