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Ignorance is Strength: Reaction to the Brookings Op-Ed

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Few editorials have generated as much heated debate as rapidly as the recent article from Brookings Institution scholars Mike O'Hanlon and Ken Pollock in the New York Times titled "A War We Just Might Win." The piece is the result of their extended visit to Iraq and discussions with military and political leaders there, which have led them to conclude that the Bush surge and some of the associated strategy changes are actually advancing our objectives in Iraq more than many expected or are aware of here in the US, especially in the media.

In coverage of the articles and reaction to it, many in the media and the blogosphere have referred to the authors as outspoken critics of the war, the administration, and its policies, a characterization which some have found even more offensive than the article itself. War opponents have advanced the claim that O'Hanlon and Pollock were never really anti-administration or anti-war, and that they are basically just Bush's stooges who the mainstream media is conspiratorially misrepresenting as doves who have turned into hawks to try to show that the fortunes of war have turned as dramatically as the two scholars have turned their coats. Some of them have even gone so far as to demand a pledge from Democratic Presidential candidates never to employ either of the former Clinton appointees in a future administration. One of the most outspoken of these critics is Glen Greenwald at Salon.com who has presented a case based on their writings to show that they have been pro-war all along.

The problem with Greenwald's analysis is that intelligent people are not as ideological and polarized as he himself is, and the situation in Iraq is complex and therefore people hold complex and sometimes changing positions on it. To make his argument that Pollock and O'Hanlon aren't even liberals and have been hawks all along, Greenwald selects quotes from their articles to demonstrate his point. There are two problems with his reasoning. The first is ideological myopia and the second is intellectual dishonesty.

Greenwald, coming from a strongly anti-war perspective, assumes that you're not genuinely critical of the war unless you're calling for war crimes trials and declaring that Bush is the new Hitler every few sentences. He misses the point that rational, moderate liberals can be critical of the war, unhappy with the administration's handling of it, and eager to propose alternative solutions, while still not wanting to lynch the people running the war or pull out so fast that the zigurrats start spinning. Although the two Brookings scholars fall into this more moderate camp, that doesn't mean that they have been supporters of the administration or the way the war has been fought – at least not by any rational definition. Admittedly, O'Hanlon started out supporting the initial invasion, but most Americans did and they even greeted it with some enthusiasm. Saddam was an evil bastard and the world and Iraq remain better off without him.  However, once the effort in Iraq moved from invasion to reconstruction, like many sensible people O'Hanlon became dissatisfied with the progress which was being made and turned against the administration and that was his stance for years up until very recently.

Greenwald's other problem is that in his eagerness to prove his point, he has been highly selective in the evidence he chooses to present. He essentially just presents evidence which supports his position and ignores evidence which doesn't support his position. It's a classic example of cherrypicking. I'm sure that if we went over Greenwald's past writing we'd find nothing but a consistent, repetitive anti-Bush, anti-war rant. But everyone isn't a laser-guided ideologue. Most rational people have complex and mixed opinions on difficult issues like the Iraq war and may even have changed their opinion as the situation in Iraq evolved.

That's clearly the case with O'Hanlon and Pollock. They started out hoping that the Iraq war would go well, became disillusioned and began to look for alternatives as it went horribly off track, and then very recently they seem to have concluded that there might be some positive progress. Greenwald conveniently picks his evidence only from the early phases of the war and the last few months and completely ignores the period from 2004 through the middle of 2006 when their writings were much more negative, presenting this selective evidence as if it was a constant pattern of cheerleading for the war. This is a classic example of intellectual dishonesty.

I can just as easily go through O'Hanlon's writings on the Brookings website and pick out a selection of quotes which make him look like nothing more than a rational liberal who is concerned about the problems with the war, critical of the Bush administration and eager to pull troops out. Here are some examples:

From "After the Midterms, Good Cop and Bad Cop on Iraq" in the Washington Times, November 9, 2006:

It cannot be seriously contested that the Iraq operation is Mr. Bush's war. Although many Democrats supported his decision to confront Saddam, it was nonetheless his decision. More importantly, it was his administration that decided how to wage war — with minimal effort to work with allies, with trivial preparation for the post-Saddam period in Iraq, with huge mistakes particularly in 2003 about going into the country with too few forces and no real plan for stabilizing the place and for disbanding the Iraqi army and firing Ba'athists and keeping the international community out.

From "The State of Iraq: An Update" in the New York Times, December 14, 2005:

A sober reading of the data argues against a rapid withdrawal, which would concede the fight to the terrorists. But this does not mean we can't shift policy. We could announce a plan for substantial troop reductions (but not complete withdrawal) over the next 12 to 24 months, as most Iraqis say they desire.

From "Iraq: U.S. Machismo is Not the Answer" in the Financial Times, October 25, 2005:

While the US should not withdraw from Iraq, it should announce the goal now of troop reductions next year to make the military mission more sustainable politically—inside Iraq as much as within America—and salvage a badly overstretched US military…And it should unequivocally foreswear cruel and inhuman treatment of detainees, as proposed by Senator John McCain—rather than insist, as Mr. Bush in effect now does, that torture should remain an option.

From "Speaking Truth to Rumsfeld" in the Washington Post, May 3, 2005:

Because the United States was unprepared for the job of reestablishing order after Saddam Hussein's fall, chaos ensued, Iraqi goodwill toward the United States was largely squandered, and the insurgency established a momentum it might not otherwise have been able to gain. This happened despite ample warnings beforehand from members of Congress, retired military officers, State Department experts and numerous independent scholars.

From "Iraq: Time to Announce a Timetable" in the Washington Post, February 2, 2005:

A central fact about Iraq today is that no strategy is risk-free. Even if we can stomach the casualties and the costs, there is no guarantee that indefinite continuation of the current mission will produce victory. Rather than reinforce failure, we need to find a new approach.

From "Iraq Without a Plan" in Policy Review, January 2005:

The post-invasion phase of the Iraq mission has been the least well-planned American military mission since Somalia in 1993, if not Lebanon in 1983, and its consequences for the nation have been far worse than any set of military mistakes since Vietnam. The U.S. armed forces simply were not prepared for the core task that the United States needed to perform when it destroyed Iraq's existing government—to provide security, always the first responsibility of any sovereign government or occupier.

The standard explanation for this lack of preparedness among most defense and foreign policy specialists, and the U.S. military as well, is that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and much of the rest of the Bush administration insisted on fighting the war with too few troops and too Pollyannaish a view of what would happen inside Iraq once Saddam was overthrown. This explanation is largely right.

From an interview on The Diane Rehm Show, September 28, 2004:

President Bush's assessment of the situation in Iraq is too optimistic. Things are not going well. The insurgency, in combination with an increasing rate of crime is making it hard for regular Iraqis to feel secure in their daily lives.

From these quotes and others I didn't include in the interest of space, three things are quite clear about O'Hanlon.

• He's no friend of the administration. He has opposed or criticized them on almost every major policy issue, not just on the Iraq war or the war on terror.

• He clearly blames the administration for the situation in Iraq and the incompetence of the post-invasion period, laying blame for the lack of any planning firmly at the feet of Rumsfeld in multiple articles.

• Far earlier than most experts in the field, he was strongly advocating a change of strategy to a troop reduction. His oft repeated plan, starting in 2004, has been to rapidly reduce the size of US forces in Iraq to a training and special ops force of 30-50,000 men, transfer command to NATO or the UN and thereby reduce the negative impact of a large US presence and reduce hostility to the US.

If you read his articles these three facts are indisputable, and it is clear he has had issues with the war and how it is being conducted for at least two and probably three years. This does not make him as rabidly anti-war as many who are less informed and less experienced. He's not accusing Bush of war crimes or calling for instant withdrawal. But what it does make O'Hanlon is exactly what he has been portrayed as, a prominent critic of administration policy both in Iraq and in the war on terror. His arguments may be rational rather than radical, but he's still not toeing the administration line. The evidence supports no other interpretation.

Lest it appear that I'm ignoring him, which would inevitably lead to someone saying that he's the neocon and O'Hanlon is just along for the ride, let's look at some of Pollack's articles from the Brookings Institution, where he's the Director of Research. If anything, he's harder on the administration and more critical of the status of the war than O'Hanlon is, but he's also coming from a moderate position and offering possible solutions along with his criticism. Here are quotes from a couple of articles:

From "Iraq Runneth Over: What Next?" in the Washington Post, August 20, 2006:

The debate is over: By any definition, Iraq is in a state of civil war. Indeed, the only thing standing between Iraq and a descent into total Bosnia-like devastation is 135,000 U.S. troops — and even they are merely slowing the fall. The internecine conflict could easily spiral into one that threatens not only Iraq but also its neighbors throughout the oil-rich Persian Gulf region with instability, turmoil and war.

From "Mourning After: How They Screwed It Up" in the New Republic, June 28, 2004:

The primary cause of our current problems in Iraq is the reckless, and often foolish, manner in which this administration has waged the war and the reconstruction.

Pollack is not as prolific as O'Hanlon, but these two examples are typical of his writing. He was a Clinton appointee to the National Security Council. He's a credentialed, left-leaning policy wonk from MIT with no particular affection for the current administration. He wants a total reinvention of our policy in Iraq and blames the administration completely for the current situation.

I could go on and on. O'Hanlon has written hundreds of articles since the war started on a variety of topics, mostly critical of the administration or proposing alternative strategies to conclude the war more quickly and with a more positive outcome. Pollack's record is just as clear. They've also both testified on Capitol Hill about strategy failures in Iraq. And they're not just liberal on the Iraq issue. O'Hanlon writes on everything from autism to taxes and his articles are generally critical of administration policy regardless of the topic.

It's perfectly fine for Greenwald and others to disagree with Pollack and O'Hanlon as far as their opinions on the war in the past and today. However, it is not acceptable to deliberately misrepresent their record and past work, or to characterize them incorrectly as 'war hawks' just because their approach to dealing with the situation in Iraq is halfway responsible and doesn't involve wearing a Che Guevara t-shirt and burning Bush in effigy. They are clearly still liberals with impressive academic and political credentials who have put a hell of a lot more thought into what's going on in Iraq and how to deal with it than most people on the left or the right. They may not be perfect, they may have made some bad calls in the past, but they are clearly holding the administration accountable for its failures and trying to find a way out of the situation. They are at least looking for positive solutions, which is more than Greenwald can claim.

The heart of the anger directed at them appears to be that their opposition to the administration's policies and the situation in Iraq is based on pragmatic considerations rather than ideological pacifism.  Greenwald and his cohort want them to hate all war.  Anything less makes them one with the enemy.  But the truth is that they are being called 'critics' of the war, not anti-war activists, and that description is accurate.  They want the direction taken in Iraq to change and don't like the way Bush has done things there.  That makes them critics, even if they agreed with the initial invasion and think that we may have to keep some forces in Iraq to establish peace there.

It is an outrage that Greenwald's fairycake of cherrypicked data masquerading as an expose is being picked up all over the left-wing jungle telegraph of the blogosphere, but it goes to show how uncritical and irrational extremists can be and how willing they are to turn on two of their own when they deviate from the path of ideological conformity. As in 1984, in contemporary politics ignorance remains strength, especially when coupled with the mindless zealotry of the left's culture of perpetual outrage.

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About Dave Nalle

  • mullah cimoc

    Mullah Cimoc say so sad for aemriki abortion kill all the baby but loving the animal too much. him treat animal like the child for the guilt of the killing abortin of the baby.

    so strange now in ameriki countruy. man go prison more time for torture/kill chicken than for torture/k9ll iraki.

    this proving the wicked of amriki man. and the woman also.

    google: mighty wurlitzer +cia for understand basic of brain control technical.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    Here’s the only real important thing to know:

    O’Hanlon and Pollack are critics of the Bush administration’s handling of the war in Iraq, but they (like most Americans) would still like us to win there, because they are patriots above all else.

    Greenwald, and his fellow travelers at Salon and the DailyCommunist, are Bush-haters who want the US to lose the war in Iraq, because they are partisans above all else.

    And that’s all you really need to know.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    ah RJ..you really know how ta change the nuance of the term “Red State”, don’t ya comrade?

    “Here’s the only real important thing to know:”

    heh…the Truth is one thing, the Pravda is whatever some think is “the only real important thing to know”

    Excelsior?

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    Fun with leftists:

    I have a confession: I have at times, as the war has unfolded, secretly wished for things to go wrong. Wished for the Iraqis to be more nationalistic, to resist longer. Wished for the Arab world to rise up in rage. Wished for all the things we feared would happen. I’m not alone: A number of serious, intelligent, morally sensitive people who oppose the war have told me they have had identical feelings.

    Some of this is merely the result of pettiness — ignoble resentment, partisan hackdom, the desire to be proved right and to prove the likes of Rumsfeld wrong, irritation with the sanitizing, myth-making American media. That part of it I feel guilty about, and disavow. But some of it is something trickier: It’s a kind of moral bet-hedging, based on a pessimism not easy to discount, in which one’s head and one’s heart are at odds.

    Many antiwar commentators have argued that once the war started, even those who oppose it must now wish for the quickest, least bloody victory followed by the maximum possible liberation of the Iraqi people. But there is one argument against this: What if you are convinced that an easy victory will ultimately result in a larger moral negative — four more years of Bush, for example, with attendant disastrous policies, or the betrayal of the Palestinians to eternal occupation, or more imperialist meddling in the Middle East or elsewhere?

    Wishing for things to go wrong is the logical corollary of the postulate that the better things go for Bush, the worse they will go for America and the rest of the world. It is based on the belief that every apparent good will turn into its opposite. If this is true, then it would be better for bad things to happen to Bush.

    A-yep.

  • Leslie Bohn

    Dave:
    You have completely, and purposely, misstated Greenwald’s argument. He doesn’t claim they’re “Bush stooges” or any such. He claims:

    1. They are pro-war and

    2. Their public comments about the war strategy have been self-serving and slippery, ranging from firm support to moderate criticism, always couched in equivocation so they can claim they were right all along.

    Dave, what outcome of the war will prove, for instance, this latest op-ed was wrong? If we march to glorious victory over there, O’h and P, of course, are vindicated — they told us things were going better!

    If we keep bogging down and losing lives and shifting strategies as we have for five years now, they can tsk tsk that they “asked the tough questions” about “how many more lives…”

    You know, it’s really intellectually dishonest of you to misrepresent Greenwald’s work this way (“war crimes trials… declaring that Bush is the new Hitler every few sentences” “wearing a Che Guevara t-shirt and burning Bush in effigy”). Sounds like talk radio blather to me. Unfortunately for you, many who have never heard of Glenn Greenwald and his terrific blog at salon.com, now will read him, and see for themselves.

    That’s Glenn Greenwald at salon.com, folks. See if you recognize this hate merchant who advocates “burning Bush in effigy.”

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    More fun:

    I feel nothing over the death of mercenaries. They aren’t in Iraq because of orders, or because they are there trying to help the people make Iraq a better place. They are there to wage war for profit. Screw them.

    Niiice…

  • alessandro

    I’ve been reading O’Hanlon from the day the Brookings began publishing their Iraq Index report. It’s one of the few places where people are free of the cantankerous hyperbolic bull shit swirling all around us.

    Daniel Pipes and Martin Kramer are going through the same thing.

    To suggest that they are pro-war is inaccurate. They are nothing of the sort and if true it is HE who is misguiding people.

    Can anyone write a positive piece without being attacked? It’s both ironic and sad that those who claim to be muzzled also use intellectual bullying as a tactic. There is criticism and then there’s criticism and then there’s criticism for its own senseless sake.

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    You have completely, and purposely, misstated Greenwald’s argument. He doesn’t claim they’re “Bush stooges” or any such. He claims:

    1. They are pro-war and

    Exactly. He claims they are pro war. He doesn’t differentiate between being in favor of war in general and wanting to win the war we’re stuck in. He considers support for any war to be wrong. He calls them ‘War Hawks’ and questions their liberalism. That goes way beyond what’s appropriate for their level of support for the war in Iraq.

    2. Their public comments about the war strategy have been self-serving and slippery, ranging from firm support to moderate criticism, always couched in equivocation so they can claim they were right all along.

    That is pure opinion. I’ve read their comments. They are mostly factual summaries of events and data and suggestions of ways to resolve the war more positively. Why are they evil because they want to make the best of the situation we have rather than giving up the way Greenwald would prefer? They are essentially being condemned because they are trying to find solutions rather than ideologically rejecting the whole situation because it comes from Bush.

    Dave, what outcome of the war will prove, for instance, this latest op-ed was wrong? If we march to glorious victory over there, O’h and P, of course, are vindicated — they told us things were going better!

    So? Why is that bad? Would you prefer that things got worse? Or like Greenwald, would you prefer that we just assume that everything is awful and ignore any data to the contrary?

    If we keep bogging down and losing lives and shifting strategies as we have for five years now, they can tsk tsk that they “asked the tough questions” about “how many more lives…”

    O’Hanlon has consistently and repeatedly promoted a specific change in policy. He hasn’t equivocated or modified his views depending on the circumstances. Once the initial invasion was over and Bush began building up troops, O’Hanlon repeatedly wrote articles suggesting a troop draw down and a modification of our strategy to one more oriented towards peace keeping and less dependant on US forces.

    You know, it’s really intellectually dishonest of you to misrepresent Greenwald’s work this way (“war crimes trials… declaring that Bush is the new Hitler every few sentences” “wearing a Che Guevara t-shirt and burning Bush in effigy”). Sounds like talk radio blather to me.

    Sounds like the same sort of rhetoric Greenwald and his fellow travellers have been using about Pollack and O’Hanlon, and it sounds that way on purpose.

    Unfortunately for you, many who have never heard of Glenn Greenwald and his terrific blog at salon.com, now will read him, and see for themselves.

    Well, at least they won’t go in blind. I actually considered linking to his book in the Amazon links, but refrained. I have no problem with Greenwald being exposed for the partisan butthead he is.

    Dave

  • Leslie Bohn

    That’s Glenn Greenwald at salon.com

    Dave:
    Just wanted another plug for people to read GG for themselves and not accept the caricature you present. As usual, you misrepresent the argument to fit your ideology.
    Its useless, since you’ve now dragged the goalposts over just about the whole field, ruining the grass for everyone, but a couple of things:

    1: “called them “War Hawks” and questioned ther liberalism.” As you know, but purposely misrepresent, Greenwald doesn’t make any arguments about “liberal vs. conservative.” That’s you.

    2. No one, me or Greenwald, said anything about “evil.” We said they’re not “war critics” as they’ve been portrayed in the press. The “evil” part is from you.

    As for sounds like the rhetoric Greenwald and his fellow travelers have been using… You’ve just responded by saying the stuff you said Greenwald’s been saying sounds just like the stuff Greenwald and his ilk have been saying. It’s unassailable logic, but the “burning Bush in effigy” quotes remain in your fervent imagination.

    People will read Glenn Greenwald at salon.com and recognize your deliberate misrepresentation.

    Note you’re the only one among me, Greenwald and you talking about poltical ideology and partsanship.

  • REMF

    “Greenwald, and his fellow travelers at Salon and the DailyCommunist, are Bush-haters who want the US to lose the war in Iraq, because they are partisans above all else.”

    Well, first of all, it’s not a war, according to Nalle, because we’ve “already conquered the country;” and secondly, do they “want us to lose the war,” or do they just want our men and women back home, out of the cluster-fuck over there?
    – MCH

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    1: “called them “War Hawks” and questioned ther liberalism.” As you know, but purposely misrepresent, Greenwald doesn’t make any arguments about “liberal vs. conservative.” That’s you.

    Absolute bullshit, Leslie. In the blurb for his article he places “liberal” in quotes and he does the same thing in his second paragraph when he writes:

    “liberal” Brookings Institution “scholars” Ken Pollack and Mike O’Hanlon.

    Putting in quotes the two words whose validity he wishes to dispute. Sure, he spends more time trying to put their scholarship in question with his cherrypicked evidence, but his questioning of their liberalism underlies the entire article.

    2. No one, me or Greenwald, said anything about “evil.” We said they’re not “war critics” as they’ve been portrayed in the press. The “evil” part is from you.

    Actually, in his final paragraph he says that they are not ‘war critics’ or ‘war opponents’, suggesting that they claimed to be both, when in fact he’s just lying as they never claimed to be anything but critical of the war. As for introducing evil, sorry if I’m willing to be more honest than you or Greenwald are. His hatred of anyone who doesn’t oppose the war is religious in intensity and if he doesn’t think these two authors are evil then he’s willing to go psycho on them for far too little reason.

    As for sounds like the rhetoric Greenwald and his fellow travelers have been using… You’ve just responded by saying the stuff you said Greenwald’s been saying sounds just like the stuff Greenwald and his ilk have been saying. It’s unassailable logic, but the “burning Bush in effigy” quotes remain in your fervent imagination.

    Towards the end of a long essay I do tend to throw in some colorful language to spice things up. However, the vitriolic and partisan nature of almost everything Greenwald writes is indisputible. His seething anger, intolerance and lack of any willingness to admit to or consider any viewpoint but his own underly every word he writes. He’s egotistical and self-righteous, and ultimamtely rather superficial. The one thing he IS good at is writing a lot of words to cover his abhorrant attitudes so that he sounds halfway reasonable.

    People will read Glenn Greenwald at salon.com and recognize your deliberate misrepresentation.

    Actually, a little looking around the blogosphere has made me aware that a lot of people are already reading Greenwald and he’s kind of a laughingstock.

    Note you’re the only one among me, Greenwald and you talking about poltical ideology and partsanship.

    So I’m the only one being honest. Look, the logic of this is fairly simple. If you approach issues by reason you form opinions which have some depth and nuance to them. To reach the kind of one-sided and exclusionary closed-mindedness of someone like Greenwald who is openly hostile to anyone who diverges from his opinion in any way, you have to be coming from a position of faith rather than reason, and in Greenwald’s case faith is obviously faith in his political ideology.

    Dave

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    On consideration I think I may have gone farther than necessary in my last response to Leslie. It can really be explained much more simply.

    Greenwald has what poker players would call a ‘tell’ which makes absolutely clear what his crusade is all about.

    The basic premise of his article is that you cannot call yourself a ‘war critic’ unless you oppose the war and have done so since it began.

    A rational person would accept the idea that one can be a war critic if one criticizes the war and how it is being fought, which certainly describes O’Hanlon and Pollack, which is why they describe themselves that way.

    To exclude that usage of the term ‘war critic’ is to take an absolutist position against the war which exceeds mere criticism and by doing so Greenwald is defining himself as more than just a simple ‘war critic’ and as someone ideologically opposed to the war.

    Dave

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    pot meet kettle…

    this has been a public service announcement

    Excelsior?

  • Les Slater

    The U.S. has no intention of losing the war in Iraq. It intends to WIN. They are not facing another Viet Nam either.

    Not only are they determined to win but are finding measures of success. The Democratic Party majority, just like when they were a minority, would NEVER put any obsticles in the way that would hinder that in the LEAST.

    It is not a question of whether one is a real ‘liberal’ or ‘critic’ or not.

    Choosing ‘sides’ in this debate is just an indication of being taken in by deception.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    The Democrats have heavily invested their political capital into a US defeat in Iraq. When Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) says

    “I believe … that this war is lost, and this surge is not accomplishing anything … “

    and he says this before the “surge” has even been given a chance to show any signs of progress, and while we’ve got over 150,000 American military personnel fighting in Iraq, that is simply a defeatist mentality, and a morale-sapper.

  • http://culturesalad.blogspot.com Ray Ellis

    If we’re not at war, as Dave has stated in the past, what is there to win??

    So much rhetoric. The mind reels.

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    Exactly, Ray. There are many objectives, but the idea of some ultimate and clearly defined ‘victory’ is an illusion.

    dave

  • http://parodieslost.typepad.com Mark Schannon

    My only complaint, dear sir, is that you act as if the left, alone, is guilty of “mindless zealotry” and a “culture of perpetual outrage.”

    Your analysis of the response to the editorial is excellent, but I’m sure you could find a similar hysterical outburst from neo-cons who’ve fallen off the wagon. You can write about that next.

    Because, remember,

    In Jameson Veritas

  • JP

    As a regular Greenwald reader, I have to say he’s one of the best writers on the left today. His quotes illsutrate that, while these particular authors’ opinions may have wavered, calling them longtime war critics for the purpose of framing their latest article as a dramatic change is disingenuous at best.

    I’ll keep reading Greenwald, thank you, as I think his analysis is spot-on.

  • http://LesPaulisanexcellentguitarplayerwithanadmirablegraspofgoodjazz. bliffle

    Dave spins and twists and dances and successfully distracts attention from Bushes abject failure in Iraq by making it seems as if the politics of 2 ink stained scriveners is an important issue.

    And people follow him.

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    As a regular Greenwald reader, I have to say he’s one of the best writers on the left today.

    That’s a sad commentary, if true.

    His quotes illsutrate that, while these particular authors’ opinions may have wavered,

    That’s exactly the problem. Characterizing them as ‘wavering’ is unfair. Their positions have evolved like those of any of us who aren’t rigidly dogmatic. And Greenwald’s cherrypicking of examples distorts their records to hide the fact that they went from positive on the war to increasingly critical over time.

    calling them longtime war critics for the purpose of framing their latest article as a dramatic change is disingenuous at best.

    They chose that appelation and obviously considered it appropriate. The evidence which I’ve layed out here demonstrates that clearly.

    Dave

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    Fun with Glenn Greenwald!

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    Now that’s an awesome article, RJ. I imagine they caught him because the comments were 7 pages long and made no sense.

    Dave