Waggish

Go! (Roll Call, Part II)

We belatedly bring you a continuation of Slate‘s Roll Call:

Peter Iovine is a marketer.

There’s a saying that juries do the right thing for the wrong reasons. I think that applies here. The evidence is bad, the diplomacy is bad, the leadership is bad, but none of them are as bad as Saddam. When all is said and done, are you really going to tell me that we shouldn’t remove this maniac from power?

Randy Brinkman owns a small chain of office supply stores

Is there even any serious debate about it anymore? Before 9/11, there were a lot of people, young kids mostly, who thought it had always been a safe, wonderful world with no enemies, so we could afford to be nice to everyone and act like we weren’t the single stabilizing force for good in the entire world. People got their minds changed quickly after the towers fell. Now we’re back in reality and these dictators are threatening the whole world. Go and take them out.

Marcy Hitt was a health care claims administrator before becoming a stay-at-home mother.

I’ve read the Pollack book. I’m with him. I do not believe that there is an imminent threat, and I don’t believe Iraq has any serious ties to Al Qaeda. But it’s unacceptable that he’s trying to obtain nuclear weapons, and it would be a disaster if he used them. I don’t like the whole pre-emptive war doctrine. I don’t want it to be a doctrine, because I think there are threats that can be handled with diplomacy. But this is not one of them. He invaded Kuwait in 1990 thinking that we wouldn’t do anything, and that if we did do something, he could fight us off. He’s a madman, and it’s better to stop him sooner than later, when he really will pose an imminent threat.

James Newton is a certified public accountant.

I don’t trust the President on this. Before you do anything this serious, you want to believe that you’re being led by a brave man of integrity. You want to believe he’s telling the truth. I don’t, and even though you don’t see it on the networks, you can see all the contradictions and phonied-up evidence if you just pay attention. USA Today is for the war, but my local daily paper isn’t. The writing’s better in USA Today, but I trust my local paper more.

Raymond Corn is a podiatrist.

We should have done the job in 1991, of course. It wouldn’t have made us any less popular than we are now. Instead we now have to start a war for what seems like no reason, because Hussein has been there all along. He’s always been a menace. He’s an evil man. It’s never wise to tolerate evil, and we’re already paying the price for it. There are some moral black and whites. No matter what sins we’ve committed, we are the force of good, and he is a force of evil. It is our moral duty–it has been our duty–to go and eliminate Hussein, just as it seems to be Europe’s duty to appease him.

Marcus Fiorello works in the computer industry.

The United States shouldn’t have gone into Afghanistan. They’ve completely screwed the Afghanis, Afghanistan is run by warlords everywhere except Kabul, which is pretty much a gangster town anyway next to our little puppet government. And now, just because they barely pulled that off, they think they can do it in Iraq. The word is hubris. If I made promises like our leaders have made, I’d be out of a job. I think a bad wakeup call is coming for the people in this country.

Peter Linder is the floor manager of a stockroom.

My neighbors are very depressed. They think this signals the beginning of the end of the world. I agree with them. There’s too many bad things going on in North Korea, in India and Pakistan, in Israel and Palestine, and now in Iraq. Nuclear weapons in the hands of these madmen. Something’s going to blow and it’ll be the end. I’m a Christian, but I don’t welcome the end times, and they’re pretty clearly here. I’m nominally against the war, but I don’t see how it matters.

Ralph Ames works in retail.

I hope it will make us safer. I don’t know whether it will. I guess on balance I’d say it will, since state-sponsored terrorism would have one less state, but it’ll probably increase Al Qaeda recruiting. People spend all this time talking about whether or not Iraq was involved in the World Trade Center bombings. Does it matter? If they weren’t involved, they wanted to be. Saddam Hussein and his associates are monsters just like Al Qaeda and they exploit fanatical religion to foster hate against this country and all western ideas. It only takes one of them to dump anthrax on a city or infect us all with smallpox. And they’re trying to get nukes. But I don’t know what you can do other than to try to wipe them all out. I don’t want to die.

Janice Bern is a lawyer.

It’s very easy to overintellectualize these things and explain away all sorts of mortal sins. It’s too easy to criticize yourself and your own country when you should be taking action. It’s easy to feel too much shallow sympathy for these people who are going to be bombed, who have never known freedom or dissent. The people of Iraq are mere embryos, from whom an open, progressive society could sprout, if their regime were only decapitated. They have had many years to overthrow a brutal tyrant, and they haven’t done so. This does not speak well of their own values. If we have to do it for them, that’s a burden I’m willing to shoulder. I hope our example–us sticking our necks out–will instill in them a sense of nobility about who they allow to rule them. Complicity in the face of barbarism is never acceptable, for them or for us.

Leave a Reply