Friday, August 11, 2006



The answer, I suspect, is yes, we all were out of our minds. Osama bin Laden in his wildest dreams could not have imagined that the United States would have responded to the World Trade Center attack with such madness. Ricks, the Washington Post's Pentagon reporter, points out that the columnists and editorial writers at his paper and the New York Times supported the war at the beginning.

Most of these writers, sentinels against government failures, have changed their minds as sanity begins to return, but they have yet to admit their mistakes and take responsibility. Thomas Friedman of the Times, its all-purpose pontifical expert on the Middle East, has finally announced, yes, it is time to call a peace conference among Iraq parties and get out. Where was he three years ago? Why doesn't he admit flat-out that he was wrong and apologize? Why doesn't he say that he was swept along by the 9/11 frenzy and the blatant lies of the administration, and that he ought to have known better? Why doesn't he credit those of us who warned all along that Iraq was worse even than Vietnam? Why doesn't he concede he, too, failed the American people by not standing up to the frenzy sweeping the country? Why doesn't he criticize the media, which propounded the false cliché that America would never be the same again and the misleading shibboleth "war on global terror''?

Arrogance and ignorance were not limited to the administration. Friedman, David Brooks, Robert Kagan and James Hoagland failed in their duty to cry "hold, enough!" We should not permit them to change their minds until they admit full responsibility for the fiasco, which has given bin Laden his biggest victory yet.

As for Friedman, well, he was just reporting the facts:

FRIEDMAN: Not really. You know, the problem with analyzing the story, Howie, is that it doesn’t — everyone, first of all, this is the most polarized story I’ve certainly written about, so everyone wants, basically, to be proven right, OK?

So the left — people who hated the war, they want you to declare the war is over, finish, we give up. The right, just the opposite. But I’ve been trying to just simply track the situation on the ground. And the fact is that the outcome there is unclear, and I reflected that in my column. And I will continue to reflect.

(tip from geor3ge)