Second Thoughts on Iraq

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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.