Sunday Reads

Fmr. Prime Minister Tony Blair Issues Semi-Apology For Iraq War
In an interview with CNN, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair conceded some mistakes were made in waging the war in Iraq, but did not express regret for removing then-Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein from power.

“I find it hard to apologize for removing Saddam. I think, even from today in 2015, it is better that he’s not there than that he is there,” Blair said.

Blair also admitted some responsibility for playing a role in the rise of ISIS, saying that “you can’t say that those of us who removed Saddam in 2003 bear no responsibility for the situation in 2015,” but he added it is “important also to realize, one, that the Arab Spring which began in 2011 would also have had its impact on Iraq today, and two, ISIS actually came to prominence from a base in Syria and not in Iraq.”

Is The Occupation Causing More Harm To Israel?
Assaf Gavron, a former member of the Israeli Defense Force, argues in a Washington Post column that the recent assertion by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the Palestinian mufti of Jerusalem was responsible for inciting the Holocaust reflects  an “increasingly intolerant, boiling, racist tone of the Israeli conversation” about the ongoing conflict. He also maintains that the occupation of Palestinian areas is destroying Israel.

“We seem to be in a fast and alarming downward swirl into a savage, unrepairable society. There is only one way to respond to what’s happening in Israel today: We must stop the occupation. Not for peace with the Palestinians or for their sake (though they have surely suffered at our hands for too long). Not for some vision of an idyllic Middle East — those arguments will never end, because neither side will ever budge, or ever be proved wrong by anything. No, we must stop the occupation for ourselves. So that we can look ourselves in the eyes. So that we can legitimately ask for, and receive, support from the world. So that we can return to being human,” he writes.

The Moral Question Of Killing Baby Hitler?
Recently, the New York Times magazine conducted an online poll asking whether they would go back in time to kill Adolf Hitler as a baby. Some42 percent said they would, but Matt Ford of The Atlantic takes a different view.

Not only does Ford maintain simply kidnapping Hitler might be a less dramatic alternative, he says that even if Hitler were stopped from rising to power, Nazism would not have been halted.

“Beyond the Holocaust, removing Hitler from history would be a gamble with the highest stakes imaginable. Any theoretical attempt to prevent World War II must also reckon with the possible course of history in its place. Without the war’s economic and military toll, would Britain and France have been better positioned to prevent decolonization, or to at least better able to resist nationalist movements in Africa and Asia with force?,” he asks.

Furthermore, Ford wonders whether the Soviet Union would have been stronger without World War II and would “Imperial Japan have retained its possessions and perhaps even have been more successful in its war with China which began before Hitler rose to power?”

 

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