Ezra Klein on Iraq: Let's Not Pretend

Let's Not Pretend That the Way We Withdrew from Afghanistan Was the Problem. This is the title of courageous, honest reflections from Ezra Klein in the New York Times. He confessed that to his "enduring shame," he had supported the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

He was a college freshman then. He felt that since so many leaders of both parties were voicing support for the invasion, it "must" have been the right thing to do. He thought that those leaders "must" have known something he didn't.

Ezra Klein sees the world very differently now.

He has found ways to contend with the intense shame that can keep us from even imagining that we could change. He has not surrendered to the pangs of shame that sometimes silence us when, deep down, we feel moved to say aloud the truths we are learning.

These days, Ezra Klein is worried that when it comes to the U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, "America has learned little. We are still holding not just to the illusion of our control, but to the illusion of our knowledge."

He says that "we do not understand other countries well enough to remake them according to our ideals. We don’t even understand our own country well enough to achieve our ideals."

He invites us to imagine our democracy learning to be powerful in new ways, at home and in the wider world. He is persuaded that "we are powerful enough to do far more good, and far less harm, than we do now."

Thank you, Ezra Klein, for blessing the world with your profound truths. Thank you for teaching us about courage, truth-telling, and the pathways to doing much less harm, much more good.


Recent scriptural explorations on the power of truth-telling may be found above in Earlier Reflections, particularly in "A Taboo Truth," "Why Truth Telling Is Hard," "Love, Trust, and Truth," and "Putting Away Falsehood."
Ezra Klein's New York Times essay was published on August 26, 2021.