Memo to Scott Ritter: cool your jets, pal.
I know Ritter from doing this job. He's somebody I interviewed from time to time. I admired him, and liked him personally.
But something has pushed him into what has always been a serious mistake here in this country, and that is going to the enemy country and speaking out against your own country — our country.
Ask Jane Fonda. She still hasn't lived that down.
Don't forget Ezra Pound, the whacked-out poet who might have had a place in literary history if he hadn't gone on the radio during World War II speaking up for the fascists.
And then there's Tokyo Rose. The American government put her on trial.
I'm not suggesting Ritter has gone that far yet, but when he told a television reporter that we shouldn't "dare" use the 1988 gassing of the Kurds as a reason to launch an attack today...
"Don't you dare"?
Scott, Scott, Scott... chill.
History is inconvenient. Even dictators can't change it, though they try.
Saddam gassed his internal enemies. He would certainly gas, or bio or nuke his external enemies.
This, Mr. Ritter, is what you do when you decide on important, earth-shaking questions like making war. You look at history. You look into the future. And then you decide if you have to do this war thing.
We're still deciding. But this country probably does not need one of its own former soldiers shouting "no war" from the enemy's capital. It's simply bad form.
That's My Word.
What do you think? We'd like to hear from you, so send us your comments at firstname.lastname@example.org. Some of your emails will be featured on the air or on our site.
• Looking for some previous My Word columns? Click here!