U.S. Representative Walter B. Jones of North Carolina died today. And look what media write about him--it is important:
Jones was a political maverick unafraid to buck his own party. He was one of the first Republicans to reverse direction on the war in Iraq, even as his North Carolina district included the sprawling Marine installation Camp Lejeune. His ultimate opposition to the Iraq war came with the irony that he instigated a symbolic slap against the French when their country early on opposed U.S. military action. Jones was among the House members who led a campaign that resulted in the chamber's cafeteria offering "freedom fries" and "freedom toast" — instead of French fries and French toast. Jones said he introduced legislation that would have required President George W. Bush's administration to begin withdrawing troops in 2006 because the reason given for invading Iraq, weapons of mass destruction, had proved false. "If I had known then what I know now, I wouldn't have supported the resolution" to go to war, Jones said in 2005. Jones took heat for his reversal from GOP colleagues. He ultimately signed well over 11,000 letters to the families of dead troops, describing that as a penance of sorts. "For me, it's a sacred responsibility that I have to communicate my condolences to a family," Jones said in a 2017 interview with The Associated Press. "And it's very special to me because it goes back to my regretting that I voted to go into the Iraq war."
Not many people in current American politics have courage to reassess their positions like that. But, I think, this motif of "If I had known then what I know now" will continue to dominate American foreign and military policies for a long time, not least through POTUS surrendering every single item on his campaign foreign policy agenda to war-mongering psychopaths such as John Bolton or Mike Pompeo--a precise type of people who are utterly incapable of learning and adjusting their views. This is a prescription for a disaster and today there is one fewer voice of reason who could have had at least some impact on an increasingly insane and self-defeating US foreign policy.