Columnist James Carroll's War Memories Strikes A Chord At Marymount
By Aimee La Fountain
“It’s quite clear that the chaos in Iraq is going to play out no matter what. I believe the chaos would be less damaging if we leave,” said James Carroll, Op-Ed Columnist of The Boston Globe.
Carroll was the guest speaker at Marymount Manhattan College’s annual Rudin Distinguished Visiting Scholars Lecture on March 8. In his opening comments, Carroll noted Marymount’s place in the peace movement during Vietnam War. “Marymount’s [role in the movement] is precious,” he said.
Carroll is promoting his new book, “1945-2007: America And Its Wars”. He dedicated much of the lecture to discussing America’s participation in international affairs throughout history. Carroll said, “We need to unpack and dismantle the attitudes that caused this war [on terror].” Carroll added that this sentiment is the focus of his new book.
Senate Democrats are currently pushing legislation that demands the return of troops from Iraq by March 31, 2008, while the House is deliberating an Iraq spending bill with conditions for a withdrawal timetable. Republicans in the Senate will make effort to block such legislation and President Bush has said that he will veto it.
Carroll said that besides revoking troops, America needs to acknowledge its responsibilities and fallibilities concerning the war, along with other nations. He said, “Our intentions [in Iraq] are questioned with good reason.” Carroll added, “The denial that America will someday not exist is dangerous.”
Carroll also discussed how the media has handled the War on Terror. He said, “War was the word [used] to refer to what Al Queda did. The word was crime. We made a mistake in calling this war instead of a case of law.” Carroll noted that that the media is part of how news develops and he criticized the media’s coverage of the war. “The media isn’t giving us the information we need or helping us understand,” Carroll said.
Carroll also stressed the importance of nuclear responsibility. “Our addiction to nuclear weapons is even worse than this war itself,” he said. Carroll made reference to the Cold War and said, “My life is still defined by nuclear dread.”
Carroll addressed an audience of mostly college students. He asked people to list their majors of study and joked, “A range of subjects and areas. I of course know about all of them.”
Carroll was well received by the audience. Freshman Amy Meador said, “I liked his point [that] America [should know] its place and when the best time is to help other countries. And I agreed with him that we should have never gotten involved in Iraq in the first place".
Carroll’s Op-Ed column has been running weekly in The Boston Globe since 1992. His previous books include, “Crusade: Chronicles of an Unjust War,” and “House of War: The Pentagon And The Disastrous Rise Of American Power.”