Five years later, we told you so about Iraq

Orange County Register
by Steven Greenhut


The U.S. war in Iraq recently passed its five-year milestone, having now lasted longer than American involvement in World War II. The surge has brought some recent success, but it has not helped bring about the stated goal of political reconciliation. That might, in the words of Sen. John McCain, take 100 or even 1,000 years of U.S. occupation to achieve. Last week, America commemorated the grisly landmark of the 4,000th U.S. soldier killed there, while official estimates say that more than 29,000 Americans have been seriously wounded. Meanwhile, violence between Shiite militias and the Iraqi government in southern Iraq has been heating up. What a mess. The Bush administration and its supporters are still defending the war. They know that Iraq didn’t have weapons of mass destruction, that al-Qaida was never operating there until after the U.S. invasion, and that dreams of remaking the Middle East through American military might were overly optimistic and disturbingly utopian. Still, they soldier on, arguing to those of us who opposed the war all along that ‘everyone thought that Saddam had those weapons’ at the time. Actually, everyone did not think that. I was chatting a few months ago with former OC Weekly Publisher Will Swaim, and we laughed at how strange it was that the foreign-policy establishment couldn’t figure out what was obvious to a few lefty editors at an alternative weekly and some righty editorial writers on a suburban newspaper. The skeptics had one thing in common: We didn’t trust the government to give us the straight scoop. We understood that government officials tend to manipulate the facts to reach a preordained conclusion...

When a great power goes mad

Consortium News
by Robert Parry


With the fifth anniversary of the Iraq War and the grim milestone of 4,000 U.S. dead, the nation has been awash with news retrospectives on the war and speeches by politicians, mostly offering sanitized versions of what’s transpired. With a few exceptions, these media/political reflections have had the feel of self-rationalizations, more than self-criticisms. They’ve conveyed a sense that the U.S. system is doing just fine, thank you, although a few mistakes were made...

For the press, no Iraq introspection

Mother Jones
by Greg Mitchell


In the thousands of articles and television reports marking the fifth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, nearly every important aspect of the war was probed. Fingers were pointed at the usual suspects — Rumsfeld, Bremer, and Cheney; stubborn Republicans and weak-willed Democrats, among many others — but conspicuously absent from the media coverage was any soul-searching on behalf of the press, as if there had been no major media slips or tragic omissions over the past five years. With months to plan for the commemoration, the media were ready to take stock of everything — but themselves...

Informant: Thomas L. Knapp,000


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