I recently encountered an old ‘friend’ I’d not seen in a while. “Mugg he murmured. What a fiasco those Yanks are in over there in Iraq.”
“Dead right I responded. The trouble is [mate] it’s the entire world that’s in the crap now!”
And he agreed with a solemn nod.
Then I couldn’t resist it. “Weren’t you one of those who thought that Saddam should be taught a lesson and that Bush needed to hunt out weapons of mass destruction?”
“Nah mate” he assured.
Oh yes he was. I seem to recall his line at the time of the invasion; “America should protect its interests wherever they may be challenged around the world.” And, “who would you rather have on your doorstep, Saddam or George Bush?”
The question here is stark. It’s not about Saddam verses Bush or whether I happen to have been proven right in my opposition to the invasion of Iraq, or that my old mate happened to be proven wrong. It’s simply gob-smacking how some (people) can be so easily given to riding a wave of sentiment that runs about as deep as a teaspoon.
I might have given my mate a little more respect if he had simply said, “at least they got rid of Saddam” & that would have suggested a ‘principled position’, even if rather flawed.
I happen to like Americans and much of what they do and achieve in the world. But the world is made up of sovereign states that have a right to express their own approach to things. New Zealand is one of the great standouts in this regard and it took a courageous Prime Minister and government to do that over Iraq.
Of course it’s now convenient for my mate to forget about the folly of his original utterances and stand beside our government’s independent view.
It may sound old-fashioned, but it takes guts and principle to stand by your positions on life and politics. We all get it wrong sometimes or even often, but jeez, admitting a mistake once in a while can be character building.
It puts me in mind of John Key. He’ll say whatever it takes to win over anyone who cares to listen, including that “the war in Iraq is now over.” Now he’s trying to say he was simply stating the obvious – pull the other one! It rather makes one wonder if he really means anything he says. What do you think?