Monday, December 11, 2006

World Gone Mad

Perusing an old Robert Kaplan piece, Spencer responds:

For myself, I wonder: I read this piece at the time. Why didn't it wake me up as to what was really going on?

In the pre-war period in this country there was something truly wrong with our country. Madness had taken hold and infected our public discourse. Those of us who came to the rather obvious conclusion that the notion that Saddam Hussein was any kind of threat to this country was absurd, and that we should invade Iraq because maybe some day in the future he could become a threat was even more absurd were treated with derision and scorn and utterly marginalized.

What was so frustrating at the time was not simply that a bunch of otherwise intelligent people seemed to have come to the horribly wrong conclusion that invading Iraq was a good idea. What was more frustrating is that there was a collective blindness to the dishonest and destructive way the war was sold, that it seemed not to bother these people that the multiple and shifting dishonest rationalizations for war suggested that there was something deeply wrong with the whole endeavor. It was frustrating that people who supported the war were happy to climb on board not just with the war but with the truly awful people who were the architects of both the war and the propaganda war which, among other things, involved tarring war opponents as brutal-dictator lovers. It was frustrating that they signed up for the whole goddamn enchilada.

Frequently it's been pointed out that they shouldn't have trusted these people to "do it right." But more than that it should have been obvious that they shouldn't have trusted these people to "do the right thing." They made clear during that time that they were, in fact, very bad people.