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By comparison, Nolan left Congress in 1980 and returned this year. The lessons he took from Vietnam weren’t mitigated by three intervening decades of Washington policy debates and war machine lobbying. Instead, he said, those lessons were reinforced by a business career that included several years living in the Middle East, where he found that things are seldom as they first appear to American eyes.
Arriving back in Washington with the freedom and self-assurance that goes with being 69 years old, Nolan has no compunction about challenging an old ally if he thinks old mistakes are about to be repeated.
“I’ve been around to help end several wars now, most of which were mistakes,” he said. “I’ll do everything I can to stop another one before it happens.” He’s back on the peace train.
Lori Sturdevant is a Star Tribune editorial writer and columnist. She is at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Opinion section is produced by the Editorial Department to foster discussion about key issues. The Editorial Board represents the institutional voice of the Star Tribune and operates independently of the newsroom.