Here's An Idea: Let's Give Pundits The Rest Of The Iraq War Off

I listen to and enjoy both sides of the ideological media spectrum, from George Will and Stanley Fish to someone as nutty (and super cool) as Arianna Huffington.

But it's with continuing admiration that I read Frank Rich's columns in the
New York Times, with this week's piece as no exception. "Patriots Who Love the Troops to Death" (available only to TimesSelect subscribers) is a sweeping statement about how the once-fervent supporters of the Iraq war are starting to turn -- even ones who confidently predicted we'd be showered with eternal gratitude as liberators.

"That’s disingenuous," Rich wrote about the prognosticators, particularly Michael O'Hanlon and Kenneth Pollack, both of the Brookings Institution. "For all their late-in-the-game criticisms of the administration’s incompetence, Mr. Pollack proselytized vociferously for the war before it started, including in an appearance with Oprah, and both men have helped prolong the quagmire with mistakenly optimistic sightings of progress since the days of 'Mission Accomplished.'

"You can find a compendium of their past wisdom in Glenn Greenwald’s Salon column. That think-tank pundits with this track record would try to pass themselves off as harsh war critics in 2007 shows how desperate they are to preserve their status as Beltway “experts” now that the political winds have shifted. Such blatant careerism would be less offensive if they didn’t do so on the backs of the additional American troops they ask to be sacrificed to the doomed mission of providing security for an Iraqi government that is both on vacation and on the verge of collapse."

Actually, Bill Maher has been
out in front on this issue for nearly a year now... that our country's crack-pot predictors are, well, dicks.

Rich also talks about the role of the media and others, including our beloved "experts" and political leaders, who have deep-seeded culpability in the way this war is playing out in the public consciousness.

I'm so mad that I go out into the world each day with venom spewing out my ears. I do what I can to manage it. The future, it would seem, is ours to create -- so let's make our own way and look for sensible solutions instead of putting our direction and judgment in the hands of people who don't deserve it.

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