Open Thread: “Ten Years Later”

Professor Krugman, being Inconveniently Truthful:

Anniversaries of important events generally lead to a spate of articles and news reports looking back at those events. It’s not exactly irrational: the date can serve as a kind of focal point, in which articles that could have been written at any time can be published in the expectation that other pieces on the same subject will be published at the same time, raising the story to prominence.

And there’s a very big anniversary coming up next week — the start of the Iraq war. So why does there seem to be so little coverage?

Well, it’s not hard to think of a reason: a lot of people behaved badly in the runup to that war, and many though not all people in the news media behaved especially badly.

It’s hard now to recall the atmosphere of the time, but there was both an overpowering force of conventional wisdom — all the Very Serious People were for war, don’t you know, and if you were against you were by definition flaky — and a strong current of fear. To come out against the war, let alone to suggest that the Bush administration was deliberately misleading the nation into war, looked all too likely to be a career-ending stance. And there were all too few profiles in courage….

Apart from a certain bitter satisfaction on the part of those among us who were, as the Trotskyites used to say, prematurely correct, what’s on the agenda for the end of the weekend?

92 replies
  1. 1
    debit says:

    Is there a Koda update?

  2. 2
    PaulW says:

    I’m trying to come up with a new title/name for my political blog. I’m torn between “The Always Sober Never Sane World Tour Blog” and “Steve”. But I think “Steve” is taken.

  3. 3
    dr. bloor says:

    What exactly is Dame Judith Miller up to these days, anyways?

  4. 4
    Scott S. says:

    How many good journalists lost their jobs for not knee-jerking to the Bush White House’s spin?

    It was like McCarthyism in miniature.

  5. 5
    rikyrah says:

    the MSM was hat in hand with helping spread the LIES that got us into Iraq. they were complicit with trying to marginalize those that WERE telling the truth about why we should NOT go into Iraq. In essence, they were guilty of professional malpractice.

    The thought that they would actually remind folks just how deceitful and ignorant they were…will never happen.

  6. 6
    Jebediah says:

    @PaulW:
    How about “The Other Steve”?

  7. 7
    techno says:

    EVERYBODY I know was against the invasion of Iraq. I lived on a street lined with signs protesting the very idea. While I no longer attend devout observances, the church I am nominally a member of came out with a long screed against the invasion.

    Sort of explains how intolerant I am of anyone who actually thought it was a good idea. Idiots—the whole lot of them!

  8. 8
    Eric U. says:

    I remember going to a neighborhood gathering the summer before. One of my neighbors thought it probably was a bad idea, but he was afraid of the WMD. I told him there were none, which seemed fairly obvious to me at the time. Couldn’t convince him because the evidence was being shouted down in the media. I think that was the thing that pushed a lot of people over even though there was no threat even if Saddam had WMD.

  9. 9
    raven says:

    Marinated chicken in the “sour orange” mojo and garlic to go marinade along with sauteed collards and sweet potato salad! Then watch the selection show.

  10. 10
    Maude says:

    @rikyrah:
    And the MSM were cheerleaders. Drama was about to unfold in Iraq.

  11. 11
    Regnad Kcin says:

    If you were against it, you were an enemy non-combatant.

    Seriously, do people not remember how poisonous the public dialogue was made by our War Administration.

  12. 12
    MattF says:

    And let’s not forget, by the way, that current neocon dogma holds that the invasion of Iraq was a success. Period. And with none of your damned ifs, ands, or buts, either.

  13. 13
    gene108 says:

    The crazy sad thing about sending troops in is before March 20, 2003, the “Bush Doctrine” was working!

    All the unilateral-go-it-alone bluster got Saddam to “blink” and allow the weapons inspectors back in, per the U.N. requirements for the first time in four years.

    If Bush & Co. quit there and declared victory about how their tough-talking-swing-a-big-stick policy worked so well, we’d not have invaded and so many lives would not have been lost.

    They would’ve come out against all the international criticism as doing things the right way, because Saddam let the inspectors back in and Bush & Co. were able to prove Saddam didn’t have any WMD’s per the U.N. reports.

    When you look at it from the perspective of preventing Saddam from getting WMD’s and how inspectors were on the ground, there’s no way to not conclude that Bush & Co., and all their enablers in the media, decided lying to American public was the right course of action.

  14. 14
    Kylroy says:

    It didn’t just seem like a “career-ending stance”, wherever adopted by anyone anywhere near mainstream journalism it was. Though the only one I can think of is Phil Donahue – not saying he was a perfect journalist, but he had the kind of decades-long career that would seem to survive one unpopular stance on a major issue. But no, he spoke out against the Iraq War and then vanished fro mthe media landscape.

  15. 15
    Misterpuff says:

    Premature Correctness – There’s a pill for that now.

    But nothing will cure the marginalia of flakiness.

  16. 16
    Yutsano says:

    @dr. bloor: I believe she’s at Newsmax now. Which seems right and appropriate.

    Gonna cook a pretty boring dinner and figure out how the hell I’m going to survive the next few months.

  17. 17
    Gindy51 says:

    @Maude: And they all wanted embedded access. So instead of reporting the truth, they reported what they were told to and the pay off was getting to put reporters inside units for the “real story”.

  18. 18
    Ben Franklin says:

    And a lot of people in the media failed.

    Hmmm. Since NYT was instrumental (Judith Miller) in the subterfuge, this is a marvelously understated indictment. I remember all those Journos clamoring for the privilege of being ’embedded’ (an interesting play on words) and those chosen were fully on board with the War.

    It’s interesting to listen to them recount how bad that was (Tweety?) in retrospect.

  19. 19
    eclecticbrotha says:

    Kinda fascinating to watch Michael Hayden on RT trying to make the case that Obama’s worse than Bush on national security issues.

  20. 20
    Hill Dweller says:

    @Maude:

    And the MSM were cheerleaders. Drama was about to unfold in Iraq.

    When video of “Shock and Awe” hit the airwaves, news anchors were openly masturbating on camera.

  21. 21
    22over7 says:

    Corned beef is in the oven, and will be for some time. I have to stop myself from futzing with it.

    A couple of days ago, I read Howard Fineman’s apologia for Iraq. It was pathetic. Somebody in Left Blogistan should undertake a study on the percentage of wrongness in our Village media. I wonder who’s wrong the most.

  22. 22
    👽 Martin says:

    I remember watching CNN and seeing Hans Blix talk about not finding any evidence of WMDs in any of the sites they inspected, and expressing a professional unlikelihood that they would find anything of significance given how much they had been able to inspect. Then commercial. Then they covered the administration talking about the upcoming deadline before the US would be forced to act, and using the weapons inspectors as justification. CNN never noted the inconsistency. It was obvious we were fucked, that it was all a ruse. I guess CNN didn’t want to be against us.

  23. 23
    Yutsano says:

    @22over7: Heh. I’m a futzer too, although I tend to be pretty good about leaving things alone when they go into the oven. But then again I don’t bake.

    @👽 Martin: I was still in college in 2003 (my university career is a long and storied one that I’ll talk about someday) and took part in on-campus protests against the war. Then we realised this was still going to happen and we were gonna be screwed. But I said back in 2003 this would be Vietnam but worse, and I was right.

  24. 24
    MikeJ says:

    Remember the argument that hey, all those troops are just sitting there in the desert, we can’t just leave them there while inspectors look.

  25. 25
    raven says:

    @Yutsano: Worse than Vietnam? Um, I don’ t think so. Three million Vietnamese versus what?

  26. 26
    Baud says:

    @Yutsano:

    I was always opposed to the war, but how was it worse than Vietnam? Vietnam was pretty bad. The most you can say about it is that the policy of fighting communism was at least well developed in the US, whereas Iraq was based on a “post-911 mentality”.

  27. 27
    👽 Martin says:

    @MikeJ: Wouldn’t want the bullets to get rusty. Wouldn’t be prudent.

  28. 28
    Suzanne says:

    I made the mistake of reading comments on a MSNBC article about the Steubenville rape convictions.

    The idea that my body is my own is still so foreign to so many.

  29. 29
    Svensker says:

    @raven:

    Sweet potato salad? Gots a recipe?

  30. 30

    I’m farging exhausted after snowboarding yesterday and giving my daughter her 1st ski lesson today. She did great. It’s my wife’s bday so we’re having dinner with friends in mammoth and making the drive home tomorrow.

    Also, the concerned conservatives’ concern that evil Kthug is writing textbooks amuses me.

  31. 31
    Yutsano says:

    @raven: @Baud: In the fact that the ramifications would be far reaching well beyond the scope of the conflict. Iraq changed the political calculus of the Middle East in ways we’re only just still seeing. Plus while there were fewer Americans killed, many many more came back wounded and scarred by what happened over there. That is going to have a deep impact upon our social fabric.

  32. 32
    hamletta says:

    Atrios was doing yeoman’s work back then, uncovering the stellar reporting in the WaPo (really!) by Walter Pincus that had been shunted to page A27. The big scare stories — aluminum tubes, mobile chemical labs — were all bullshit, and being debunked in real time, but nobody ever saw it.

    It was horrifying.

    I didn’t see the point in protesting: It was fucking cold that winter, and what was the point? It was going to happen no matter what.

    I did make it to one candlelight vigil at the Parthenon and got interviewed for a radio show about how the claims were overblown. Fat lot of good it did.

  33. 33
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    It’s hard now to recall the atmosphere of the time

    No, it isn’t. Lots of people just don’t want to admit what murderous assholes they were at the time.

    No need to pull punches, Dr. K.

  34. 34
    PaulW says:

    @Jebediah:

    No I think that one’s taken too. Some guy named Colbert has them all locked up by the looks of it…

  35. 35
    jeffreyw says:

    Caramelized kimchi, just sayin’.

  36. 36
    Yutsano says:

    @jeffreyw:

    Caramelized kimchi

    WHAAAA??

  37. 37
    Nemo_N says:

    If only liberals had tried to convince murdering assholes and their euphoric sheep using kinder words, all of this would have never happened.

  38. 38
    jeffreyw says:

    @Yutsano: Experimentin’. Kimchi fried rice? I made ten pounds of that stuff.

  39. 39
    scav says:

    @Suzanne: Oh dear, were the uniquely oppressed masculine rights being infringed ourageously by those vaginaed ones, imperiling football and civilization as we know it?

    Watching mainstream Americans act as though they had invented being the victims of terrorism was enlightening, to say the least. I hadn’t really grasped the scale of their ignorance and self-absorption until then.

  40. 40
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @jeffreyw: NO, NO, No. You eat kimchi raw until it goes bad and then make kimchi soup and piss off all the neighbors.

  41. 41
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    This man was our Attorney General:

    “You may not be interested in Islamism, but Islamism is interested in you,” warned former Attorney General Michael Mukasey at a Saturday CPAC panel of activists so fringy that they were not technically invited to the conference. […]
    “The vast majority of the world’s 1.4 billion Muslims adhere to a view of their religion that agrees on the need to impose Sharia, or Islamic law, on the world,” he said.

    He was at the Breitbart salon des exclus with Pamala Gellar and Cakewalk Gaffney.

    Outside, as I sat at a table to file this report, Mukasey held court with admirers. A reporter from Breitbart media asked Mukasey to repeat his endorsement of the conservative media empire into a camera, which he did with gusto, expounding extemporaneously about the value of the conservative news site. He told another fan that he reads Washington Post blogger Jennifer Rubin “all the time.”

    Sleep well, Mrs Graham.

  42. 42
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Regnad Kcin:

    Seriously, do people not remember how poisonous the public dialogue was made by our War Administration.

    With the full compliance of almost all the nationally prominent Democrats, let us not forget. Including Hillary Let’s Invade Iraq Clinton.

  43. 43
    hamletta says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: “…until it goes bad”? Isn’t kimchi already “bad” by definition?

    Do you mean to tell me it can become even more vile?

  44. 44
    Del says:

    Sadly enough the one thing I remember about the drum up to war with Iraq was thinking that good, maybe all the posturing against China will stop. I distinctly remember thinking that if these morons are so hell bent on war (as they were) maybe it was better for us that they target Iraq then go after a nation that could trigger WW3. Cheney/Bush made damn sure we were going to war with someone.

    I have little doubt if we hadn’t put boots on the ground against Sadam the Bush administration would have found a way to go from “downed American spy plane” to war with China. They were practically foaming at the mouth for it before 9/11.

  45. 45
    Roger Moore says:

    @gene108:

    If Bush & Co. quit there and declared victory about how their tough-talking-swing-a-big-stick policy worked so well, we’d not have invaded and so many lives would not have been lost.

    Sure, but that assumes that the goal was to bully Saddam into giving in. It wasn’t. The real goal was to justify an invasion. The neocons want an American empire, and everything they do is in service of that. I think that’s why they push so hard for unconditional support of an isolated, embattled Israel; it’s the perfect justification for trying to dominate every other country in the Middle East.

  46. 46
    patroclus says:

    @gene108: I agree – if things had gone differently, that brief period would now look like Colin Powell’s signal achievement as Secretary of State and a victory for Bush. They had blustered the UN into passing a tough resolution, got the inspectors back in and the entire world was on the U.S.’s side. If Powell and not Cheney had had the power in the administration, and a tough inspection regime had revealed the obvious fact that there were no WMD’s, then war would have been averted; Saddam would have lost credibility and the U.S. would have been regarded far differently than now. But instead, Powell caved and lied through his teeth at the UN in February, Cheney and Bush got the war they wanted based on bald-faced whoppers and we know the rest – thousands dead, millions displaced, 2 and 1/2 billion per week spent, Iran empowered and no great difference in world or Middle East stability. It was a horrible historic episode and it will take a long time for the U.S. to live it down.

    And the media was complicit in all of it and virtually no one’s reputation suffered. I’m afraid that lessons have not been learned and that we could well re-live this yet again. Having just watched the Showtime Cheney special where he basically bragged about all of it with no compunction whatsoever makes me even more fearful.

  47. 47
    Yutsano says:

    @jeffreyw: You could always ship me some. I’d love some good sour homemade kimchi!

  48. 48
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Regnad Kcin: I’m about 90% certain my opposition to the Iraq invasion cost me a promotion in the National Guard. I was deployed to guard PATRIOT missile batteries in Kuwait. We all knew it was going to happen. We could see it all around us. I stated (when asked) that I didn’t think it would be a good idea, and that we’d have around 3000 dead and it would take five years to get out. (God, we should have been so lucky as my my optimistic assessment.)
    A couple of months later, I got my NCOER, and I got a down check “does not consistently support his superiors in the chain of command.”
    I’ll never be able to prove that was because of what I said in Kuwait before we later got tasked to join the invasion, but I’m certain it held me back.

  49. 49
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @hamletta: Bad == too sour to eat or starts to grow green furry stuff on it.

  50. 50
    geg6 says:

    @debit:

    Yes, there was a glitch getting a flight for this weekend, but she’s booked for arrival Friday at 10:30pm the last I spoke with Jenna. Really excited.

  51. 51
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Roger Moore: All the great presidents were wartime presidents.

    Iraq — not so much a war as the world’s most expensive campaign commercial.

  52. 52
    Chris says:

    @gene108:

    The crazy sad thing about sending troops in is before March 20, 2003, the “Bush Doctrine” was working!

    I’m not sure. It certainly seemed that way, and Democrats in later years made a career out of the “we took our eyes off the ball” line and the “Afghanistan is the right war” thing (which is indeed justified by the fact that the people who hit us on 9/11 were, in fact, hiding out in Afghanistan…)

    Having said that, I’m not sure the invasion of Afghanistan, for all the multilateral good will there was behind it, actually ended up being handled any better than the Iraq one. There was Bin Laden’s successful decade-long escape from justice, sanctified by Bush’s “I’m not that concerned about him.” And the reconstruction of Afghanistan doesn’t seem to have been handled much better than the Iraq one. How close is the country to being stable right now? Is the government functional again, or are the warlords still the law of the land? Has there been meaningful economic redevelopment, or has money just been disappearing into thin air as private contractors take their cut, as so often happened in Iraq? Etc.

    The fact is that the Bush administration was so hideously corrupt and its foreign policy so completely beholden to the principle of “shovel money into private contractors’ pockets, nothing else matters” that I think we’d have fucked up Afghanistan in the end even if nothing had happened in Iraq.

  53. 53
    jeffreyw says:

    @Yutsano: It’ll take a while for it to sour, just made it a couple of days ago. I’ve been eating some every day, trying to chart the fermentation changes. So far it tastes pretty much the same as when just mixed.

  54. 54
    CaseyL says:

    The whole era was an example of Orwellian groupthink and it hasn’t stopped. The people who were so obscenely and disastrously wrong then are still controlling the dialog about it – are still in positions to control the dialog about it – and that’s what enrages me beyond reason.

    The same asswipes are now agitating for war against Iran. And the media airheads who bought the whole scam 10 years ago aren’t about to challenge them, because of their own culpability.

    Damn them all.

  55. 55
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    @Del: Sadly enough the one thing I remember about the drum up to war with Iraq was thinking that good, maybe all the posturing against China will stop.

    I remember that all very well, too – from the second Bush took office until 9/11, those bastards were systematically pissing off everyone they could and my thought at the time was that they were trying to restart the Cold War so they could gobble a bunch of money for defense pork, and also take advantage of the jingo rah-rah to yell dissenters into silence. I bet you’re right that if it hadn’t been for the WTC attack they’d have gone after bigger, commie-er fish.

  56. 56
    Chris says:

    @Gindy51:

    The Pentagon learned the lessons of Vietnam well.

    “Don’t fucking allow the press to report anything other than the approved line from headquarters.”

    The contrast between the ugly, brutal videos that were broadcast from Vietnam and the happy, sanitized shots of smart bomb strikes advertising for the world “look at what a humane army we have!” tells a story of its own right there.

  57. 57
    russell says:

    liars and cowards.

  58. 58
    Yutsano says:

    @jeffreyw: The souring process takes about a week if you refrigerate. If you want a good sour sooner leave it on the counter for a couple of days. It will pickle up nicely.

    Caveat: although the immediate leave out should have happened before you put it in the fridge.

  59. 59
    Shalimar says:

    I don’t consider myself as having been correct. Oh, I objected to the war, thought it would be expensive and not lead to any radical change in Iraq or the region, felt that Iraq posed no threat to the US, etc., etc. But I didn’t even begin to suspect that they had no post-blitzkrieg plan at all other than being cheered as liberators by Iraqis who were glad to do anything we asked them to do. Also, the graft and corruption the administration would let lose in our name didn’t occur to me at the beginning, though it became very obvious what they were doing by the end of 2003.

  60. 60
    Chris says:

    @Del:

    Yeah. I posted the same thing just a couple weeks ago. The Bush administration’s foreign policy prior to 9/11 was basically to restart the arms race with Russia and China, “bunker busting” nukes and a resurrected SDI program being the stars on our side of the equation. I’m honestly not sure which would’ve been worse for world peace, if played out.

  61. 61
    priscianus jr says:

    @raven: Worse than Vietnam? Um, I don’ t think so.

    I don’t think so either, but it was in fact LONGER than Vietnam. It went on for eight years and nine months — four months longer than Vietnam. Afghanistan, by the way, is the longest war in US history.

  62. 62
    AndoChronic says:

    @dance around in your bones

    From last night’s thread. I had an interesting conversation with Lori Barbero (drummer for Babes in Toyland) about fifteen years ago. She is the one who introduced Kurt and Courtney to each other, she was/is friends with them both. She mentioned that when Kurt’s body was found he was wearing a sweater that she had knitted for him for his birthday. She was very conflicted as to why he was wearing that sweater that apparently meant a lot to him. Let’s just say, Lori doesn’t hold Courtney 100% liable, but she is in the camp who believe he didn’t kill himself.

  63. 63
    raven says:

    @Svensker: Pretty simple. Cube a whole sweet tater. Boil until just done. Add celery, hard boiled egg, lite mayo, lil vinegar and chill.

  64. 64
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @CaseyL: The whole era was an example of Orwellian groupthink and it hasn’t stopped. The people who were so obscenely and disastrously wrong then are still controlling the dialog about it – are still in positions to control the dialog about it – and that’s what enrages me beyond reason.

    I guess it was more than a year ago know, Rachel Maddow was on the Maher show with Tom Friedman. IIRC the drawdown was still going on and I thought there might be some tension, if not fireworks. At the end of the discussion of Iraq, the subject of those who were wrong came up, and Maher kind of casually pointed to Friedman and said, ‘You were wrong’, and Friedman shrugged and made a sad face and said, ‘yeah’, as if it were an unfortunate but not terribly important mistake. I think that shrug kind of sums up the Village’s attitude toward Iraq. We have real problems to worry about, like the Deficit and giving people free stuff.

  65. 65
    raven says:

    @Yutsano: “many many more came back wounded”

    Not even close

    Vietnam Dead 58,209 Wounded 153,303 Total 211,454

    War on Terror Dead 6,518 Wounded 41,936 Total 48,430

  66. 66
    Mike in NC says:

    If the worst had happened in November, and President Rmoney was today sitting in the Oval Office, his neocon advisors would be busy drawing up a master plan to invade Iran to liberate the oppressed population steal their oil. The mainstream media would be too cowed — again — to raise an objection on the idiocy of the whole enterprise, and the public as a whole would be too wrapped up in watching “Survivor” and “American Idol” to give a damn.

  67. 67
    Chris says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    I think that shrug kind of sums up the Village’s attitude toward Iraq.

    I think it sums up the entire country’s attitude towards Iraq, which is one way at least in which it’s worse than Vietnam. Vietnam provoked a powerful reaction from the public, Iraq, I feel like most of us just slept through it.

  68. 68
    handsmile says:

    @Chris:

    For preliminary answers to the questions posed in your second paragraph, you might want to read this essay by Anatol Lieven, “Afghanistan: The Long Way to Peace,” in the current issue of the NYRB:

    http://www.nybooks.com/article.....way-peace/

    The short, emphatic answers are, in order: NOT. NO/YES. NO/YES. Lieven’s essay presents some details and some context of/for this abysmal, ceaseless clusterfuck.

    Among the books under review is the latest by Barnett Rubin, Afghanistan: From the Cold War through the War on Terror. Rubin is the single most authoritative American analyst on recent Afghan history and politics.

  69. 69
    Roger Moore says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    All the great presidents were wartime presidents.

    Except that:

    1) Bush already had a war, a decently successful one in Afghanistan that he probably could have brought to a more successful end if he hadn’t gone off track in Iraq.

    2) Not all the great presidents were wartime presidents. Neither were Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, or Teddy Roosevelt. Ronald Reagan wasn’t a wartime president unless you stretch the definition of wartime to the point that it’s a meaningless distinction.

  70. 70
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Chris: True, that. The almost three-fourths of the country that supported the war don’t want to admit they were wrong. A reluctance common to most people, but I think especially true here, and most especially about anything regarding the military.

    also

    Vietnam provoked a powerful reaction from the public

    For a long time, that reaction was against those who opposed it, and that resentment I don’t think ever really went away. Part of Reagan’s morning in America schtick was “Stop feeling bad about yourselves!’, from Vietnam to civil rights.

  71. 71
    Chris says:

    @handsmile:

    Well, that’s cheerful – but thanks for the recommendation.

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    I agree completely. That’s the whole of Reagan’s popularity right there. “Liberals have spent the last twenty years showing you everything that was ugly about this country (the racism, the oppression of women and gays, the real behavior of our military overseas, etc). Let’s just sweep it all under the rug and forget about it! Because America, fuck yeah!”

  72. 72
    TerryC says:

    @Suzanne: My nieces, both of whom live and grew up in a town neighboring Steubenville, are outraged at the leniency of the sentences. This is not over.

  73. 73
    sophronia says:

    What is really scary is that the public was ambivalent about the war at first, and was brought around with a deliberate program of faking evidence, airing it in the media, and marginalizing those who were acting against the war. The public was sold on the whole thing by a bunch of reporters with visions of Pulitzers for war coverage dancing in their heads. And not only did it work like a charm, but there’s no evidence that it wouldn’t happen again the next time the media decides that some big U.S. invasion is going to turn them all into 21st century Edward R. Murrows.

    I’ll bet the media’s willingness to air opposition to the drone program is mostly because there’s no way to be “embedded” in drone warfare. No story angle.

  74. 74
    raven says:

    @TerryC: What are they going to do have another trial?

  75. 75
    Nancy Supler says:

    Why not say some nice things about those reporters who did tell the truth…there was Walter Pincus on the Post and a couple on the NYTs…and others. They deserve a loud thank you from us for their bravery , guts and stubbornesss.

  76. 76
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Adele Stan goes to lunch while attending CPAC:

    On his way out of the restaurant, the man noticed me scribbling on my reporter’s pad, the 4” x 8” spiral-topped pads you see all the journos carry.
    “Are you a newspaper reporter?” he asked.
    “No,” I said, returning to my writing.
    “I use those kinds of pads, too,” he said, showing me his. “I’m not a reporter,” he continued, “but I like them because they fit in my pocket.”
    “Yes, they’re designed to fit in a man’s inside jacket pocket,” I said.
    “So, you want to be a man?” he asked.

  77. 77
    TerryC says:

    @raven: :(

  78. 78
    John Revolta says:

    Mark Twain had this routine figured out a long time ago:

    “There has never been a just [war], never an honorable one–on the part of the instigator of the war. I can see a million years ahead, and this rule will never change in so many as half a dozen instances. The loud little handful–as usual–will shout for the war. The pulpit will–warily and cautiously–object–at first; the great, big, dull bulk of the nation will rub its sleepy eyes and try to make out why there should be a war, and will say, earnestly and indignantly, ‘It is unjust and dishonorable, and there is no necessity for it.’ Then the handful will shout louder. A few fair men on the other side will argue and reason against the war with speech and pen, and at first will have a hearing and be applauded; but it will not last long; those others will outshout them, and presently the anti-war audiences will thin out and lose popularity. Before long you will see this curious thing: the speakers stoned from the platform, and free speech strangled by hordes of furious men who in their secret hearts are still at one with those stoned speakers–as earlier–but do not dare say so. And now the whole nation–pulpit and all–will take up the war-cry, and shout itself hoarse, and mob any honest man who ventures to open his mouth; and presently such mouths will cease to open. Next the statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception.”

    Wrote his own shorter, too:

    “Hain’t we got all the fools in town on our side? And ain’t that a big enough majority in any town?”

  79. 79
    Kathleen says:

    @scav: Our new national symbol should be a Bald Eagle wearing Depends.

  80. 80
    Svensker says:

    @raven:

    So, kinda like Irish potato salad only with yaller ones? Never thought of that — will try! Thanks!

  81. 81
    Scamp Dog says:

    @Soonergrunt: You underestimated, but not too badly. You did much better, with no (little?) formal training and no budget, than the full time professional “experts” who got it entirely backwards. And of course, your career suffered while theirs rolled along uninterrupted. It tells you a lot about the way this country works.

  82. 82
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    Iraq — not so much a war as the world’s most expensive campaign commercial.

    I’ll admit, here in a dead thread: My first response to Michelle Obama’s Oscar video was “Oh fvck — the ramp-up is starting.” Which is tremendously unfair; it could’ve been a different movie, and the Obama Administration isn’t the Cheney Regency, and beside I actually like Argo (although it did have a “what can you do, these otherwise lovely people get all hysterical when they shove a Koran down their pants” vibe). But as someone who grew up with the Vietnam War protests and lived through “Iraq II: the Dubya Variations”, I’ll never get over being hypersensitive about martial jingoism from my Very Serious Economic Betters.

  83. 83
    lojasmo says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    With the full compliance of almost all the nationally prominent Democrats, let us not forget. Including Hillary Let’s Invade Iraq Clinton.

    Not to spoil your party with factual information, but less than half of congressional democrats voted for the AUMF.

    Weasel words like “nationally prominent” are your stock in trade, I understand that.

    By the way, just so you know, I didn’t vote for Clinton. Nor did I vote for Kerry, in the 2008 primary.

  84. 84
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Anne Laurie: Unless Michelle’s running, I don’t see it…

  85. 85
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Davis X. Machina: Like I said: I’m hypersensitive.

    Although the VRW conspiratorists probably saw it as the Obamas’ payback to Hitlery for shouldering the BengahzAAAAIIEEE blame.

  86. 86
    Cacti says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    With the full compliance of almost all the nationally prominent Democrats, let us not forget. Including Hillary Let’s Invade Iraq Clinton.

    Are you capable of factual statements? Prominent Democratic senators that opposed the Iraq war resolution included:

    Boxer, Durbin, Kennedy, Feingold, Byrd, Leahy, Levin, Corzine, Conrad, Sarbanes, Wellstone, and Wyden.

    Too damned many Democrats voted for it though. A straight party line vote of nay + Jeffords and Chafee would have defeated it.

  87. 87
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Cacti: Prominent Democratic senators that opposed the Iraq war resolution included:

    Al Gore, Jimmy Carter and George McGovern

    Al Gore’s name came up on the Tweety show last week, and himself was dismissive. I will never understand the grudge these people have against Gore, especially Tweety, who opposed the war, is back in love with Bubba and making excuses for Dubya.

  88. 88
    Cacti says:

    Prominent Dems who did vote for the IWR, to their everlasting shame include:

    Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, John Kerry, John Edwards, Dick Gephardt, Tom Daschle, Harry Reid, Diane Feinstein, Chuck Schumer, Chris Dodd, Steny Hoyer, Henry Waxman, and Anthony Weiner.

  89. 89
    liberal says:

    @Roger Moore:

    The neocons want an American empire, and everything they do is in service of that. I think that’s why they push so hard for unconditional support of an isolated, embattled Israel; it’s the perfect justification for trying to dominate every other country in the Middle East.

    That’s completely backwards. We’re trying to dominate the ME on behalf of Israel.

    What the hell do you think neoconservatism is all about?

  90. 90
    liberal says:

    @Nancy Supler:
    The weird thing was that the Post was much better than the Times in terms of reporting, and the Post was much worse than the Times in terms of editorials.

  91. 91
    liberal says:

    @Chris:

    Vietnam provoked a powerful reaction from the public, Iraq, I feel like most of us just slept through it.

    Hmm…don’t think it’s that simple.

    Aside from the fact that US casualties were higher in Vietnam, and the fact that we had conscription then, it actually took a long time for the public to have a largely negative reaction. My impression is that it wasn’t until 1968 or so.

    Our involvement, however, was much, much earlier. Before the French war effort collapsed in 1954, we were funding 75% of it.

    While opposition to Iraq didn’t carry the day, it unfolded immediately. Not so Vietnam.

  92. 92
    Sammy says:

    @Hill Dweller: And they are still doing it today when the right-wing/teabagger republicans parade across their tv/radio shows.

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