Let's talk Judith....
First, a catalog of your screw ups.
Then, we tally up the costs.
Finally, we can look at what options you have for amends.
Let's start with a point of agreement. "There's nothing you can do about the past." I won't be doing anything about the past and that includes forgetting it. That is something I am not going to do in the present -- or the future. The catalog of your screw ups is not to rehash the past. It is to be sure we are all on the same page.
I'll be honest. I know that's a foreign concept, but get used to it. We aren't in the past anymore. I don't want to hear about your hurt feelings. No one cares about your inner child. Give "Little Miss Run Amok" a hug and let's get down to brass tacks.
We start with the obvious and early conclusion -- you were wrong:
Three months into their occupation of Iraq, US military forces have failed to find any evidence of the supposed stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons that Washington claimed as the principal justification for invading the country. It is no longer possible to conceal the fact that the Bush administration lied to the American people to promote an unprovoked war of aggression.That ain't history. It is still true today -- NO WMD.
Now comes the real damning part:
Citing multiple military sources, the Post’s Kurtz describes Miller’s “hijacking” of a US Army unit assigned to search for weapons of mass destruction, or WMD. According to Kurtz’s account, Miller played a key role in turning the unit—Mobile Exploitation Team (MET) Alpha—into what army officials characterized as a “rogue operation.”But you weren't just a cheerleader or a whiner. No, you were a bully:
According to Kurtz: “In April, Miller wrote a letter objecting to an Army commander’s order to withdraw the unit...from the field. She said this would be a ‘waste’ of time and suggested that she would write about it unfavorably in the Times. After Miller took up the matter with a two-star general, the pullback order was dropped.”
Apparently, US military commanders had concluded that the hunt for non-existent WMD had become a “waste” of the army’s time, but Miller, who was embedded with the unit, was operating on her own agenda and managed to overrule them.
“I intend to write about this decision in the NY Times to send a successful team back home just as progress on WMD is being made.” Military officers quoted by Kurtz reported that Miller regularly told army personnel that she would go directly to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld or Undersecretary Douglas Feith about decisions with which she disagreed. “Essentially, she threatened them,” said one officerSo you weren't just wrong. You weren't even just a mouthpiece. You were actively bullying career military in service of chicken hawks like Doug Feith who feathered the nest of his son's college fund with blood money. Now, some might argue you were just star-struck when you wrote such wonderfully helpful stories as
- "U.S. Aides Say Iraqi Truck Could be a Germ-War Lab,"
- "Radioactive Material Found at a Test Site Near Baghdad" and
- "U.S. Analysts Link Iraqi Labs to Germ Arms."
- "U.S. SAYS HUSSEIN INTENSIFIES QUEST FOR A-BOMB PARTS
We aren't going to buy the impairment defense. You don't get to shrug it off because you were drinking the Kool-Aid and lived too deep inside the bubble. You were in this pretty deep with your eyes wide open. That was before your former editor, Bill Keller, concluded "[Miller] seems to have misled" the paper about the extent of her involvement with Libby. That understatement is delicious.
This is hardly a comprehensive bill of particulars, but it's enough to show your supporting role in one of the worst tragedies in modern history. How else would you describe a war of aggression fought on false pretenses that destroys the past, present, and future of a nation?
We can ignore the the almost $2,000,000,000,000.00 this war cost us. We'll take that off the table. Besides, Cheney, Libby, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Perl, Feith, and their buddies all hoovered that up. I don't believe you really saw much of it. So to be fair and balanced, we won't talk about the monetary costs. Bygones.
Let's talk about the human costs Little Miss Run Amok. We could look for the dead, as the late, great real journalist Anthony Shadid, documented in "Restoring Names to War’s Unknown Casualties". But you know what, screw the dead. Throw them on the pile with the cash. After all, everybody dies and nothing you can do will bring them back. Bygones, baby. Why? I'm feeling generous.
What could be left now that we have taken all the money off the table, and all the dead bodies? (Whether you are counting the thousands of Americans, or the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, you know that's a good deal.)
There is still blood on the books not accounted for. You see, not everybody dies quickly. Let's talk about the survivors of this clusterf@ck you helped promote. Don't worry, I won't mention the widows or the wounded. After all, they are adults. They can take care of themselves, right? They can pull themselves up by their bootstraps (if they have any). So what's left, now? Glad you asked!
Let's talk about 4.5 million orphans in a country with 30 million people. Those are your children. You helped make them orphans.
I said you helped, so we won't hold you responsible for the entire 4.5 million orphans. I'm sure someone will adopt them. Well, not all of them, but some of them. So let's just look at the 500,000 homeless orphans living on the street.
This brings us to another point of agreement. Actions have consequences. Now you have to accept that your actions create consequences. These consequences create new realities. These new realities cannot be avoided. This means you can not dwell in the past. The past is a foreign country. They do things differently there. Consequently, your only option is you must live in the world you have created.
You want people to stop blaming you? You want people to stop beating you up? I think it is funny you think you deserve that. But since you asked, here's an offer: First, the consequences of your choices must be faced with as much enthusiasm and with as much intention as you applied when you made them. Second, you have to make amends before anyone seriously considers your request.
I think we all agree you screwed a lot of people, but even you couldn't be responsible for all 500,000 kids. Let's put you down for 1/10 of 1% of them. That's a pretty modest estimate of the impact for all your articles in the New York Times, all your TV appearances, and all your bullying of military officers -- up to and including Petraeus. Of course, bullying him was probably pretty easy. The boy has a weakness for womanly charms, don't he? Tell you what, he can take that weight. It doesn't lighten your load.
THE BOTTOM LINE:
So, here you go -- you want people to stop blaming you? You want people to stop beating up on you? You want to make your way back to the land of the living? There is only one way out of the world you created. You have to make amends. Pick 500 of the orphans you created and take care of them until they are back in a safe, stable, and sustainable environment.
You do that, and we can forgive all the bad history. We won't forget it. But you will be getting a fresh start. That's a lot more than most get.
That's the best deal you are ever going to get. If you can't accept this deal, the only thing I want to hear from you is the sound of you drinking yourself to death.
9:17 PM PT: There seems to be a bit of confusion in the comments about the title, so let me straighten this out. Little Miss Run Amok, is on TV complaining about "the media" criticizing her for being wrong. She said:
"The media still loves to beat up on who was responsible for the Iraq War, and who was to blame for the current controversy...and that is not helpful,"
So not only is she implicitly asking them to stop -- she is also admitting she was one of the people "who was responsible for the Iraq War." If you admit you were partly responsible for the problem, that you were wrong, and you want people to stop blaming you ... then you got work to do. You gotta make amends. There is no other way out.