Lot of Iraq War retrospectives going on this week as we enter the tenth anniversary of the start of hostilities. I’ve just been laying low, for obvious reasons, and figure I will just repost what I wrote for the 5 year anniversary, because it will always be relevant:
I see that Andrew Sullivan was asked to list what he got wrong about Iraq for the five year anniversary of the invasion, and since I was as big a war booster as anyone, I thought I would list what I got wrong:
And I don’t say that to provide people with an easy way to beat up on me, but I do sort of have to face facts. I was wrong about everything.
I was wrong about the Doctrine of Pre-emptive warfare.
I was wrong about Iraq possessing WMD.
I was wrong about Scott Ritter and the inspections.
I was wrong about the UN involvement in weapons inspections.
I was wrong about the containment sanctions.
I was wrong about the broader impact of the war on the Middle East.
I was wrong about this making us more safe.
I was wrong about the number of troops needed to stabilize Iraq.
I was wrong when I stated this administration had a clear plan for the aftermath.
I was wrong about securing the ammunition dumps.
I was wrong about the ease of bringing democracy to the Middle East.
I was wrong about dissolving the Iraqi army.
I was wrong about the looting being unimportant.
I was wrong that Bush/Cheney were competent.
I was wrong that we would be greeted as liberators.
I was wrong to make fun of the anti-war protestors.
I was wrong not to trust the dirty smelly hippies.
I mean, I could go down the list and continue on, but you get the point. I was wrong about EVERY. GOD. DAMNED. THING. It is amazing I could tie my shoes in 2001-2004. If you took all the wrongness I generated, put it together and compacted it and processed it, there would be enough concentrated stupid to fuel three hundred years of Weekly Standard journals. I am not sure how I snapped out of it, but I think Abu Ghraib and the negative impact of the insurgency did sober me up a bit.
War should always be an absolute last resort, not just another option. I will never make the same mistakes again.
*** Update ***
Here is someone who got it right.
My gut instinct from now on regarding the use of force will be to say no. NO. You can tell me I’m just as doctrinaire as when I was a wingnut, just on the other side, but I don’t care. I’ll need to see CNN copy of of Chinese troops on the coast of California before I ever support another war.