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Katrina Vanden Heuvel writes How Many Times Do the Neocons Get to Be Wrong Before We Stop Asking Them What to Do in Iraq?

Can someone explain to me why the media still solicit advice about the crisis in Iraq from Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.)? Or Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.)? How many times does the Beltway hawk caucus get to be wrong before we recognize that maybe, just maybe, its members don’t know what they’re talking about?

Certainly Politico could have found someone with more credibility than Douglas Feith, former undersecretary of defense for policy in the George W. Bush administration and one of the architects of the Iraq war, to comment on how the White House might react to the rapidly deteriorating political situation in Iraq today. Certainly New York Times columnist David Brooks knows what folly it is to equate President Obama’s 2011 troop removal with Bush’s 2003 invasion, as he did during a discussion with me last Friday on NPR?

Just a reminder of what that 2003 invasion led to: Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes authoritatively priced Bush’s war atmore than $3 trillion. About 320,000 U.S. veterans suffer from brain injury as a result of their service. Between 500,000 and 655,000 Iraqis died, as well as more than 4,000 U.S. military members.

Yet as Brooks’s words reveal, the prevailing mindset in today’s media is to treat the 2003 invasion as if its prosecution were an act of God — like Hurricane Katrina, an inevitability that could not have been avoided. Seen this way, policymakers can ignore the idiocy of the decision to invade in the first place and can instead direct all of their critical attention to how to deal with the aftermath. It’s almost as though the mainstream media have demoted themselves from a corps of physicians, eager and able to diagnose, prognosticate and prescribe, to one of EMTs, charged instead with triaging, cleaning and cauterizing a catastrophe without investigating its underlying cause.

Since so many liberal hawks reached the same conclusion as did Bush et al., this notion of the 2003 invasion’s inevitability can falsely seem to have some credence (which is, perhaps why,as Frank Rich points out in New York magazine, so many erstwhile hawks, especially so-called liberal ones, feel no need to acknowledge their erroneous judgments of a decade ago).


Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2004Labor and the veep:

Conventional wisdom is that labor is pushing for a Gephardt veep nomination, and the CW is generally right. There's no doubt that Gephardt is the choice of most of the building trades and, especially, Hoffa's Teamsters. While many of us may groan at the idea of Gephardt as Kerry's sidekick, his nomination would put a charge in the efforts of many unions and their members.

But aside from that, Edwards is getting grudging acceptance amongst the old union set. Even Hoffa, who flirted with Bush the past two years, has said he would accept Edwards. His economic message (two Americas) resonates well with union audiences and has helped raise Edwards' veep stock even higher.

It's funny, everything I hear is that Edwards is increasingly the top choice of many party insiders, but that Kerry doesn't like Edwards and would have to be dragged into chosing him. It's the root of just about every rumor I hear -- "everyone wants Edwards, but Kerry is not convinced and doesn't much like him. Hence, he's taking a look at ---."

What's funny is that I don't think I've ever read anything indicating that Kerry, indeed, doesn't get along with Edwards.



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On today's Kagro in the Morning show, Greg Dworkin rounds up news of the marine sanctuary, Heritage hatefest, and ISIS crisis. Did Snowden & Obamacare hurt the gun safety cause? Rick Perry's search for smarter-sounding dogwhistles. A Louisiana Republican runs on "I'm related to the Duck Dynasty guys." Gop Sen. nominee frets over NC's "traditional population." Twenty kids & adolescents hospitalized daily with gunshot wounds. SCOTUS just 5-4 on penalties for straw gun purchases.




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