Questions of War and Leadership

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”Warfare for Freedom – How Did it Come to This?”


Dear Dr. Gelb:

I understand why we went to war in Iraq — Saddam had a choice, which could have preserved his freedom, but he chose otherwise. I am a parent and I see this somewhat like Bush (parent) had to go in and be firm with Saddam (child). I don’t believe in using force to discipline children. I wonder why it came to this — that the only way to resolve something is by force. Is parenting going to end up having to be applied with force also?


A: Dr. Gelb says . . .

Dear Perturbed:

The behavior of infant or a growing child can hardly be compared with that of disturbed power hungry and ruthless cowards. In terms of the latter, the unfortunate reality is that sometimes it takes force to maintain peace and to persuade orderly conduct.

When it comes to children, I believe that corporal punishment is not needed if parents have the patience to love, encourage and to set limits on their behavior. Small, concise and consistent consequences for behavior is about all it takes to teach a child to respect parental guidance. Good luck with your understanding of this.

”Battle Rhetoric – Can We Trust it?”

Dear Dr. Gelb:

I watch our leadership in the Pentagon informing us about operations in Iraq. I’m sorry, but I don’t trust politicians or many people in government. Why should we believe what our leaders tell us about the war? I want to trust what they say, but I’m not sure I can?


A: Dr. Gelb says . . .

Dear Doubtful:

I don’t see the issue as having much to do with trust. What’s needed is a straightforward, practical understanding of what our leadership is trying to achieve. It appears that the masterminds behind this destruction of a war lord have been phenomenal, with their emphasis on minimizing casualties in the attempt to bring this dictator to his knees, and as has been the case with similar efforts in other countries, freeing the people from dictatorship, giving them back their country, and helping them build it so they can be as we are — safe and self governing. Thanks for your question.

”’Suzanne J. Gelb, Ph.D., J.D. authors this daily column, Dr. Gelb Says, which answers questions about daily living and behavior issues. Dr. Gelb is a licensed psychologist in private practice in Honolulu. She holds a Ph.D. in Psychology and a Ph.D. in Human Services. Dr. Gelb is also a published author of a book on Overcoming Addictions and a book on Relationships.”’

”’This column is intended for entertainment use only and is not intended for the purpose of psychological diagnosis, treatment or personalized advice. For more about the column’s purpose, see”’ “An Online Intro to Dr. Gelb Says”

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