Bob Herbert in ‘NYT’ Labels ‘Slaughter’ in Iraq ‘Criminal’

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By: E&P Staff

One day after fellow New York Times columnist (and former Iraq war supporter) Thomas Friedman came out against the coming U.S. escalation there, Bob Herbert labeled the enterprise “criminal” and called on politicians to end it.

“There must be a leader somewhere who can shake the U.S. out of this tragic hypnotic state, who can see that it is beyond crazy to continue our involvement in this war indefinitely, to sacrifice another 1,000 young lives, and then another thousand after that,” Herbert wrote. He called for others to find the “courage” to speak out, although his own paper’s editorial page (and most others) has not yet clearly come out against the likely new “surge” in U.S. troops.

Herbert concluded:

“The war has been an exercise in futility and mind-boggling incompetence, and yet our involvement continues ? with no end in sight, no plans for withdrawal, no idea of where we might be headed ? as if the U.S. had fallen into some kind of bizarrely destructive trance from which it is unable to awaken….

“This war is not worth fighting. And if there were ever serious talk about enacting a draft or raising taxes to fight it, you?d see quickly enough that the vast majority of Americans would not find it worth fighting.

“There must be a leader somewhere who can shake the U.S. out of this tragic hypnotic state, who can see that it is beyond crazy to continue our involvement in this war indefinitely, to sacrifice another 1,000 young lives, and then another thousand after that.

“All of the tortured, twisted rationales for this war ? all of the fatuous intellectual pyrotechnics dreamed up to justify it ? have vaporized, and we?re left with just the mad, mindless, meaningless and apparently endless slaughter.

“Shakespeare, in ‘Henry VI,’ said: ‘Now thou art come unto a feast of death.’ We should end our participation in the feast of death in Iraq. It is criminal to continue feeding our troops into the slaughter.

“If there were politicians here at home with some of the courage of the troops in the field, we could begin saving lives rather than watching helplessly as the Bush White House continues to sacrifice them. Three thousand and counting is enough.”

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