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2003-03-20 | 10:43 a.m.

On NPR yesterday, I heard a report describing how many Chinese intellectuals, in the face of official Chinese condemnation of the U.S., have taken the personal risk of signing a petition in support of the attack on Iraq. Their reasoning is that Saddam is a murderous thug, and especially, because the necessity of protecting human rights trumps national sovereignty.

I said to myself, "Donít I also believe that?"

Yes, I do. Which is why I find myself struggling with a strange, despairing hopefulness. I know that this war is illegal from about five different directions. I know that George W. Bush, our unelected president, is nobodyís savior. I know that this could end very, very badly. Already I have heard the first rumor that our water is tainted. How bad it could get is really beyond my understanding.

But.

I still find myself hoping.

I fear I am not clever enough to walk myself safely across this ethical desert. But I'll try. What else is there to do?

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