President George W. Bush has been roundly criticized for not admitting to any mistakes in the 2004 election and was called stubborn and bullheaded and I happen to agree with that assessment. Recently he has admitted to a few mistakes like his “wanted dead or alive” and “bring em on” stuff and Abu Gharib. Yet, I think he will not recognize the biggest mistake of his presidency, or at least admit to it, until he is on his deathbed. After all at this point in time about two-thirds of the American people believe the Iraq war has been a mistake and not been worth it and the problem just gets bigger by the day when you consider that there is no way out for America. Only the true-blue childish and naïve boy-scouts, the brainwashed, and those getting paid still believe this was is worth it and not a mistake.
However, moving away from Bush and our critique of him, how many of us admit to our mistakes? I am not talking about our sins, since that is a private matter between ourselves, Allah, and whomever we trespassed against; but I am talking about mistaken positions that we have taken. Or are we just as hardheaded as Bush and not admit to our mistakes. In that spirit, I am going to admit to a few of mine;
-Against my better judgment I marched with those protesting against the American war in Afghanistan. Even at the time I knew, that while I was opposed to the suffering of that the war would bring to the poor Afghan people, that America had not other choice but to extract revenge against the 9-11 bombers and take out the Taliban. Since that time I have been impressed by the leadership of President Hamid Karzai and his government and the Islamist parliament and angered at the half-assed American and NATO approach to Afghanistan which has allowed the situation to decay.
-For years I parroted the standard anti-Israel line that I heard from the people around me and supported suicide bombings against Israelis under the standard line you hear from Muslims “every Israeli man, woman and child is an occupier” and now I regret that and when I went to Israel I changed many of my positions regarding that conflict.
-I did not do enough to explain to people, and argue forcefully, the massive difference between American-Muslims who volunteered to fight in military conflicts in Bosnia, Chechnya and Kashmir, and 9-11 style terrorists and the difference is huge.
-Out of my love for immigrants to America I neglected some of the serious problems that an overstaturation of immigrants is causing in America.
-The night before he was shot a high school classmate of mine by the name of Larry Banks asked me to seriously talk to him and tell him about Islam. It was late at night and we were in the parking lot of the projects and I told Larry I would talk to him the next day. That night he was shot in the stomach in an argument in the park and died weeks later from complications to the wound and I have always regretted not spending a few minutes with him that night.
These are just a few mistakes, they are many, but the point is we can’t ask others to do what we will not do ourselves. Our elected leaders are a product of the people.