I’m afraid I wouldn’t know how to characterize my “political views,” but Ishmael didn’t grow out of them. The book grew out of my own need to understand how we got to be where we are.
The current situation in the Middle East (if you’re referring to the situation in Iraq) is not unprecedented. Hitler had his own “Axis of Evil” in Austria, Czechoslovakia, and Poland, supposedly guilty of hideous persecution of Germans in their countries. When Hitler invaded Poland in 1939 (having already annexed Austria and Czechoslovakia), he had been signaling his intention for years.
Our President has been doing much the same thing for the past year, signaling his intention to invade Iraq on the grounds that Saddam Hussein has been engaged in covertly manufacturing weapons of mass destruction. Hitler didn’t have to prove that Germans were being molested in Poland; everyone understood that this was just a pretext.
President Bush would LIKE to prove that Saddam Hussein has been manufacturing weapons of mass destruction, but many (if not most) political observers believe that this is just a pretext and that he intends to invade Iraq with or without proof. Hitler’s invasion of Poland touched off World War II. I tremble to think what Bush’s invasion of Iraq is going to touch off.
updated: 08 Mar 2003