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The human rights scholar Michael Ignatieff says his backing of the war in Iraq now stands as the largest moral and political gamble of his adult life. Ignatieff was an early supporter of the Bush administration, viewing the invasion from a humanitarian perspective, and arguing that the people of Iraq deserved better than Saddam Hussein, and that if military force was the only to deliver that, so be it.
Amal Rassam is also questioning her support of the war. She returned to her Iraqi homeland a year ago determined to help re-build a civil society there. But after months of work there, she is despairing over what’s ahead, and worried that America’s hopes for democracy in Iraq were little more than an ill-formed notion.
Michael Ignatieff, Director of the Carr Center for Human Rights and author of numerous books including, “The Lesser Evil: Political Ethics in an Age of Terror”
Amal Rassam, retired Professor of Anthropology at the City University of New York, and a contractor in Baghdad with North Carolina-based RTI International for the last year.
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After a three day offensive in Gaza, Israeli forces are pulling back from one of their biggest military operations in the past 4 four years — this one sparked by the killing of 13 Israeli soldiers. The IDF says its aim is to destroy tunnels used for smuggling long-range strategic weapons in from Egypt, but two days ago, when Israeli tanks fired shells into a crowd of protesters, killing ten, including children, the international community swiftly condemned the scale of force.
Even the U.S. refused to stand with Israel in a censure from the UN Security Council. This weekend, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is due to present a revised plan for withdrawal from Gaza. He now has the vocal support of many Israelis who feel that the fight to protect settlers in Gaza is not worth loss of any more life on either side.
Gerald Steinberg, Director of the Program on Conflict Management and Negotiation at Bar Ilan University, in Ramat Gan, Israel
Ari Shavit, political columnist for Ha’Aretz
Rawia Shawa, elected representative from Gaza City in The Palestinian Legislative Council
Captain Jacob Dellal, Foreign Press Branch of the Israeil Defense Force Spokesman’s Office.