It goes to show you how limited the debate over warmaking is when politicians whose records are mostly pro-war can be portrayed as war skeptics. That's what is happening with Barack Obama's new cabinet picks: Sen. John Kerry for secretary of State and former Sen. Chuck Hagel as Defense secretary.
If you were concerned that the Syria WMD stories didn't already feel enough like the Iraq WMD reports, Washington Post columnist David Ignatius had one just for you. It's not that Ignatius doesn't know that this story sounds, well, familiar–but it's important to recall more of the journalism from the Iraq invasion era.
Not every politician gets a warm and fuzzy retirement profile in the New York Times. But not every politician is Joe Lieberman. Jennifer Steinhauer's piece (11/27/12) is a tribute mostly to Lieberman's close bond with Republicans John McCain and Lindsey Graham. The "Three Amigos" traveled the world together, advocating for one hawkish foreign policy idea after another: Their hawkish world views often placed them at odds with their respective parties, but together they secured a place at the center of every major foreign policy debate. That's mostly true of Lieberman, but it's hard to figure how McCain and Graham much […]
Fox News CEO Roger Ailes recently renewed his contract, and he gave an interview to explain why. As one might expect, given the we-only-look-biased-because-the-other-guys-are-so-biased philosophy at Fox, he's motivated by what he sees as the outrageously partisan media everywhere else (MediaBistro, 11/16/12): Ailes was also sparked by what he experienced at a Washington journalists' dinner. "When I saw the president say, 'I know you all voted for me,' and a thousand people stood up and cheered and applauded and then when the applause died down, he said, 'Oh probably except you guys at the Fox table.' I thought, 'Am I […]
Some days it's not easy to make it through a Tom Friedman column. Take today (11/14/12), for instance. I got all the way to the second sentence: Virtually every American president since Dwight Eisenhower has had a Middle Eastern country that brought him grief. In case you're wondering, he really means every president: For George W. Bush, it was Iraq and Afghanistan. Yes, why did those countries give the man so much trouble? For anyone trying to make it all the way through the column, I recommend letting Matt Taibbi walk you through the loopy Friedmanesque metaphors: Iraq is a […]
The London Independent published a harrowing story on October 14, "Iraq Records Huge Rise in Birth Defects." The piece focuses on the legacy of the U.S war in Iraq, in particular the two massive U.S. military invasions of the city of Fallujah in 2004. The Independent reports: High rates of miscarriage, toxic levels of lead and mercury contamination and spiraling numbers of birth defects ranging from congenital heart defects to brain dysfunctions and malformed limbs have been recorded. Even more disturbingly, they appear to be occurring at an increasing rate in children born in Fallujah, about 40 miles west of Baghdad. […]
Crooks & Liars (9/26/12) notes Bill O'Reilly is proposing a naval blockade of Iraq: Says O'Reilly: We're going to block it, nothing in, nothing out. OK? That's what we're going to do. And if you challenge the blockade, we'll do what we have to do like the Cuban missile crisis, same thing–not gonna do it, not gonna let your nukes in Cuba. Kennedy did that. Not gonna let your nukes in Iran. BANG! That's what we're gonna do. So you've either got to stop now and not force us to do it, because if you force us to do it, […]
Writing in Newsweek, Peter Beinart has a pretty good idea: America's foreign-policy debate desperately needs some measure of accountability. I'm not suggesting that politicians and pundits who got Iraq wrong be banished from public life. (This standard would leave me looking for other work.) But neither should they be able to flee the scene of the disaster. Imagine if every time Joe Biden or Hillary Clinton or John Bolton or John McCain or William Kristol was interviewed about military intervention in Iran or Syria, the interviewer began by asking what they've learned about the subject from their experience supporting the […]
Here's the video of MSNBC host Chris Matthews speaking at a cable industry conference this week. We noted here the odd notion that, as Matthews argues, 24-hour cable news would have stopped the Iraq War lies–despite the fact that 24-hour cable news had been around for more than 20 years at the time of the invasion. But watching the video is rather jarring: Matthews' passionate critique of embedded, what-officials-say-is-OK-with-me journalism sounds like Amy Goodman. It's so fundamentally at odds with Matthews' actual work that you have to wonder whether he believes any of it. Of course, Matthews was speaking at […]
Right before the United States invaded Iraq, Newsweek magazine published a remarkable story. Reporter John Barry revealed that former Iraqi weapons chief Hussein Kamel had told UN inspectors in 1995 that the country had destroyed its stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons. As FAIR pointed out at the time, this was a remarkable discovery, especially considering that Kamel's words had be used so often by U.S. officials to serve the opposite point–that Iraq still posed a dire threat. As FAIR pointed out: According to Newsweek, Kamel told the same story to CIA analysts in August 1995. If that is true, […]
On Wednesday (5/2/12), MSNBC host Chris Matthews played a long clip from the Daily Show, where Jon Stewart mocked Republicans who are complaining about Barack Obama's celebration of the killing of Osama bin Laden. Stewart naturally recalls George W. Bush's "Mission Accomplished" photo op stunt from 2003. Stewart points out that if Republicans are angry about Obama "spiking the football," Bush was spiking the ball before the game started. So the clip played, and then we cut to Matthews, chuckling away. Of course Stewart's point is right on–anyone who listens to this whining from the right is bound to recall […]
Bill Keller's New York Times column (3/19/12) begins with what might be a bit of self-deprecation: "When you've been wrong about something as important as war, as I have…." You might take that as a cue to stop reading right there. But Keller's point is that people should think long and hard about signing on to the latest calls for war. He writes: Sometimes our leaders start with the answers and work backward, fixing the facts to the policy, as the head of Britain's MI6 said of the Potemkin intelligence used to sell the invasion of Iraq. As the link […]