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Thursday, May 8, 2014

Khanna as a 14-Year-Old Colin Powell

CONGRESS | 17TH DISTRICT | As a junior at Castro Valley High School during the first Iraq War, I grew a protest beard and followed a few other knuckleheads into the quad during fifth period, chanting, "No blood for oil!". A 14-year-old Ro Khanna, however, was writing political commentary worthy for publication in the junior edition of Foreign Policy.


Khanna's campaign Website Thursday features a press clipping on the candidate as a young ninth-grader. The newspaper column based upon a school essay Khanna composed laid down the negatives of President George H.W. Bush's push to invade Iraq in 1991. Americans will not put up with an economic downturn as a result of the invasion, Khanna said, nor the requisite hardships. "Will politicians keep supporting the embargo if it means raising taxes?" he wrote. "Definitely not."

Khanna's correct analysis was Bush would ultimately invade Iraq. "This is a war that will be brought on because of a materialistic society that evaluates only the economic aspect," wrote Khanna. He was right, too. I got my driver's license around the run up to the invasion and immediately saw 99-cent-a-gallon gas shoot up to $1.49 in one fell swoop.

But, some of Khanna's detractors, today, often charge he has always been a young upstart merely looking for a seat in Congress--any seat. But this blast from the past also reveals a fascinating window into the mind of a young Khanna and what would follow. 

Rep. Mike Honda is not the first entrenched Democratic congressman Khanna has mounted a challenge against. In 2004, Khanna ran against San Mateo Rep. Tom Lantos, in part, because the long-time representative voted for the second Iraq War. Khanna was only 27 and greatly outmatched by Lantos, but now we see why he was so affected by his congressman's decision to send troops to an ill-fated conflict.

As a kid, Khanna wrote, "Every soldier's life has a priceless monetary value. We should demand full support both militarily and economically from all other nations. We must have no doubts before engaging in war." Twelve years later the second President Bush did not heed these words and the rest is history.

6 comments :

An incredible post, Steven. Thanks for sharing.

Very interesting and thought provoking

Oh yes, Khanna is a Obama. He does not take campaign contributions from PAC's. He was against the Iraq war (wasn't Obama too) and like Obama isn't he promising things that he will not keep. Look at Obama's record, NSA snooping, no effort to close Guantanamo, highest number of deportations. What happened to all of Obama's campaign promises. Are we seeing Khanna trying to follow in Obama footsteps. Didn't he agree with Honda on all the issues. Maybe we need to take a look at Dr. Singh. That is the contrast between Honda and the alternative.

This is about the 1992 Iraq War. So what's his plan? Sit and watch a member of the United Nation get wiped off the map?

I think what he's saying is that our decision to go to war should be guided by sound principles, not materialism, and that if we do decide to intervene, it should be done on a multilateral basis, not unilateral. The lives of our soldiers are precious, and we should never go into conflict lightly. Pretty smart thinking for a 9th grader.

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