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December 04 , 2008

Reflections on the War of the Willing


A plethora of politicians, military leaders and think-tank intellectuals have written books about their experience with the Bush Administration. But what about the rest of us? What were we thinking as America marched off to war against Iraq? Fred Rounds, the author of War of the Willing, is one of us. In January, 2003, Rounds carefully began to follow the news as the United States fumbled its way into a disastrous war. Taken from worldwide media sources his journal contains a record not only of the incredible day-by-day antics of our politicians, but also the agonizing struggles, frustrations, and sense of powerlessness that became for the author the root of an obsession. If we can learn anything from the last eight years of the Bush Administration, then let it be the fact that the government does not have any privileged channel of information unavailable to its constituents. Either the government had the wrong information or it misused what it did have. Democrats and Republicans alike got caught up in the war fervor. Along with millions of others who were thrust into a powerless "focus group" of protesters,Rounds illustrates how freedom of speech means nothing if no one in government listens. Thoughtful and well-informed Americans were simply denied a voice. America not only lost its voice; it lost a generation to a pointless war in Iraq.
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