Living in the D.C metro area it is difficult to avoid politics, policies and policy-makers. After 9/11 it became well nigh impossible to do so. The Afghan war after the Osama-Taliban link was almost inevitable and most people (including world opinion) favoured the U.S. Not so with the Iraq war. Right from the beginning, there was a deep dichotomy between those who were "for" and those "against". This time it was an unilateral decision and inspite of the U.N and weapons inspectors' opposition, America decided to "go it alone". As is usually the case when something of this magnitude and divisiveness takes place, deeper friendships were forged between people who shared the same views and all others became bitter enemies.
Most of my friends were (& continue to remain) opposed to the
Iraq war - both on the counts of "war and killing has never
resolved anything" and "there was no evidence except for Saddam's evil
persona" to justify such an action. When the Plame story broke
out a couple of years ago, we were horrified to find (almost)
proof-positive that the "leak" was only a red herring to detract
from the real facts - which were - that a handful of people in
the top administrative level were collectively responsible for the
war and the ensuing losses and tragedies both on the home-front
and in Iraq. EVEN IF this assumption is
incorrect, it is still appalling to know that a CIA operative was
"outed" by people from the "same side"!!!
It was several months after that that I discovered that the woman
I had been on nodding terms with for a few months was none other
than the wife of "Scooter" Libby. Once over the initial shock of
this, we continued to exchange pleasantries, usually related to
the latest books we'd read. During this time I read Libby's "The
Apprentice" and I was extremely impressed with his literary
style. Scooter is also one of the most unassuming people that
I've ever met - always very polite and courteous - always
addressing a person by his/her name - & overall just a
thoroughly likeable individual.
The whole of this week leading upto the indictment today has
been fraught with tension - it is so difficult to believe that
behind the facade of "Mr. Nice Guy" is a powerful person who was
foremost in not just directing the decision to go to war but also
someone who deliberately twisted facts to sway public opinion.
I've been able to focus on little else but the News today. I keep
wondering what he and his family are going to do now that he has
resigned. I wonder about his children - what must it be like for them
to know and grow up with the fact that their father was indicted! What
do they face in school - for children can be cruel - do the other kids
taunt them, call them names - are there children in the school who've
lost a parent or relative in the war and if so, what is their reaction
to Libby's children ?! Do schools have policies where the sins of the
fathers ARE visited upon the children ?!
As for my personal opinion - I have become schizophrenic today. Scooter
Libby is the only (in ??)famous person that I have ever been
(very) briefly acquainted with - and my heart goes out to him and his
family on a personal level because I cannot imagine what it must be
like today in their house. On the other hand, when I think of how this
whole war might've very possibly been masterminded by a few top
executives and how Libby is one of them, I feel sick to the
stomach! It'll be a long time before I can equate both sides of
his personality as attributes of the same person!!!!!