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.