Only Opposed to Dumb Wars?
Grants Manager, FCNL
I have two reactions to the results of the 2008 elections. One is personal, and one has to do with my work at FCNL.
On a personal level, I was delighted to see a man named Barack Obama from the South Side of Chicago elected President of the U.S. The political pundit Fareed Zakaria said it best: “I have a 9-year-old son named Omar. I firmly believe that he will be able to do absolutely anything he wants in this country when he grows up. But I admit that I will feel more confident about his future if a man named Barack Obama became president of the United States.” The U.S. has a history of institutionalized racial and ethnic bigotry, but also a history of people working to end bigotry. The election of Barack Hussein Obama by a convincing margin represents the latter impulse at glorious work.
But on a professional level, I am more circumspect. Obama famously said, on the eve of the Iraq war, “I am not opposed to all wars. I’m opposed to dumb wars.”
At FCNL, it is our position that all wars are dumb wars. President-elect Obama does not agree with our position, and believes that expanding U.S. military operations in Central Asia will bring greater security to the U.S. and the world. There is reason to hope that the new administration will be more open to alternatives to violent conflict as a way of influencing the world. But it will take some persuasion. At FCNL, we are in the persuasion business, and over the next four years we will continue to have our work cut out for us.