I know I’m late to the game, but there’s been a lot of navel gazing of the past week about what people wrote back on the eve of the Iraq War, and typically “what they got wrong.” Because, quite frankly, a lot of the blogosphere, and the media elites were painfully wrong about a lot of things back then. The sad thing is that many of them (including many of my good friends) continue to try and grasp at straws and bend facts to try and prove that they were right after all.
I enjoyed reading the Reason magazine’s editorial board’s thoughts on the matter (with many of them being able to honestly talk about “what they got right”). I’ll admit that I was pretty shocked to find out how many of my favorite writers/editors from there are probably younger than me. What finally convinced me that it was worth spilling some electrons on the topic though, was Jim Henley’s masterful piece on the topic.
It’s sad to see that for some reason those of us who were right all along are the ones still marginalized and ignored while those whose records are unsullied by ever getting a thing right about Iraq are the “serious foreign policy experts.” It’s all for the better though–the praises of the world and the honors of men were never really worth very much anyway.
As an aside, Jim’s piece in particular made me go dredge up (using the Way Back Machine) some of my protoblogging on the topic back at the time:
I have to admit that my writing at the time wasn’t really that great. I overused new sarcastic phrases (like “splendid little war”), I’ve never been particularly convincing, and my anger and frustration were a little more visible than I would’ve preferred. But at least I did what little I could at the time to stand up and be counted.
I know that a lot of the good and loyal readers of this blog will disagree with me vehemently on this topic, but I’m still glad I took this stance when I did. I just wish that being right didn’t mean that so many good an innocent people have been and will be unnecessarily hurt.