Last night I felt a special connection to the John Stewart show, because James A. Baker III, who only days ago graced Stewart's stage, was now promoting his new book at my town's public library. Needless to say, I was 40 years younger than the average age of the attendees, this being Greenwich and all, but nevertheless it was an enjoyable event. This was especially true because Mr. Baker was so open to talking about just about anything that the audience was curious about that had to do with politics or foreign policy. I was also surprised at the tone of the audience's questions, which were often critical of the Bush administration---I thought I had this town pegged as a bastion of Republican loyalism.
I wanted to ask him if he thought the secret prisons and our management of Guantanamo Bay camp have helped in fighting terrorism. But he talked about many other topics, including Iraq, because he is on a special independent committee to make recommendations on what to do next in Iraq.
His agreement with one woman's comment miffed me just a tad. This woman said that in the 1970s in DC, everyone agreed that it was just a matter of time before the US would have to "go" to the Middle East. Because the question was whether we would fight "them" on our soil or theirs. But saying "they" just doesn't show any comprehension of the real situation in the region; surely we needed to go to Afghanistan to fight harborers or terrorism because they really were targeting the United States. But Iraq did not harbor terrorists until we started our war there.