Thursday, September 20, 2007

Guess Where I'm Going Tonight?

Brendan and I escape the chilluns once a week and this semester (our sitters are in college) our Big Night Out is every Thursday. We sure lucked out tonight. Elan Journo will be speaking at Georgia Tech tonight! The speech is titled The Road to 9/11. Should be interesting!


Charlie said...

So how was it?

Rational Jenn said...

It was good, especially when he got into the part about describing the timeline of the jihadists--from the Iranian hostage crisis, to Beirut, to the 1st WTC bombing, to Kenya & Tanzania, to 9/11. Journo became very impassioned and captivated me completely, particularly when he paused significantly after he got to 9/11.

He makes a strong case that America's policy of favoring diplomatic solutions (the carrot) while keeping the military in the background as the stick (but never unleashing its full potential) has not deterred the jihadists but has in fact emboldened them.

Like small children testing parents' limits, waiting to see when the parent will finally put his foot down and say NO, the jihadists keep testing us--each attack has escalated in strength and audacity and every single time we fail to do what we are morally justified in doing--taking them out of the picture completely (specifically Iran). You know that children become more unruly when parents refuse to set limits, and worse--when they threaten to set limits but then do not follow up their words with action. Same thing here (btw, I just thought of the parent/child analogy myself!).

I think Journo did a good job overall, but wished he answered a few of the Q&A's more directly and succinctly. There were a couple people in the audience who needed some smack down--they weren't ill-behaved, just smug and self-righteous about "how many innocent Iranians lives is it worth?" and "blood for oil" kind of stuff.

It was fun to go to a lecture again. It's been a long time--since maybe we saw Bernstein up at U of Michigan. We really really wished you had been there! Maybe we'll get up to Boston one year for the Ford Hall Forum.