NY Times Editor Finally Justifies His Existence; TAC Debuts New Blog

Bill Keller provides a handy list of people who should have been eternally discredited by their behavior after 9/11:

During the months of public argument about how to deal with Saddam Hussein, I christened an imaginary association of pundits the I-Can’t-Believe-I’m-a-Hawk Club, made up of liberals for whom 9/11 had stirred a fresh willingness to employ American might. It was a large and estimable group of writers and affiliations, including, among others, Thomas Friedman of The Times; Fareed Zakaria, of Newsweek; George Packer and Jeffrey Goldberg of The New Yorker; Richard Cohen of The Washington Post; the blogger Andrew Sullivan; Paul Berman of Dissent; Christopher Hitchens of just about everywhere; and Kenneth Pollack, the former C.I.A. analyst whose book, “The Threatening Storm,” became the liberal manual on the Iraqi threat.

Alas, the “Eternally Discredited” and “Handsomely Rewarded” files keep getting mixed up in this best of all possible worlds.

While we’re all in retrospective mode, I’ll note that our friends at The American Conservative just debuted a new blog by Rod Dreher. Dreher, as you probably don’t remember, contributed to National Review from around 2001-2006. I do remember, as I followed National Review‘s blog closely during the run-up to the Iraq invasion (I even wrote a little tribute). I particularly remember one hot streak Dreher, then 36 years old, went on on March 17, 2003, the day President Bush gave Saddam Hussein an ultimatum and the day after Rachel Corrie got crushed by an Israeli bulldozer. Some highlights:

TEACH YOUR CHILDREN WELL [Rod Dreher]
The Little Green Footballs blog has a couple of photographs up showing the dead human shield Rachel Corrie showing Palestinian kids how to burn an American flag. Remind me again why we’re supposed to feel sorry for this America-hating, terrorist-loving idiot?
Posted at 11:32 AM

THE “BLIXIE CHICKS” [Rod Dreher]
“Up with Darryl Worley, down with the Blixie Chicks,” writes a Washington, DC, country fan, who’s thrilled by the news that country stations nationwide are dumping the Bush-bashing trio. The “Blixie Chicks” — I like that.
Posted at 11:41 AM

ONE CASUALTY OF WAR [Rod Dreher]
I’ve noticed, with regret, that it has become impossible to discuss the war with friends who oppose it. Mind you, I live in New York City, so I suppose it’s possible that people who are against the war are having similar problems offering their views in Red America. A liberal neighbor of mine stopped his car in the middle of the street the other day when he saw me on the sidewalk, and shouted out, “Your president is dragging us into a war nobody wants!” An old friend down South who is very liberal, and who denounced me in a scathing letter when I told her I voted for Bush (I then had to “confess” that I worked for NR), seems to have cut me off after a letter of months ago in which I said I supported war with Iraq. Haven’t heard a word from her since. This past February was the first birthday of mine in 22 years on which she hasn’t sent me a card.

Much more difficult for me to deal with are many of my anti-war conservative friends, with whom I have much more in common, and around whom I spend vastly more time. I’ve had no luck discussing things with them. I do believe there is a coherent conservative case to be made against war with Iraq, but in my experience, things from their side quickly degenerate into hot-tempered, paranoid expectorating about — you guessed it — the Jews. And once it goes that far, it’s game over. No rational discussion is possible.

And this is before the shooting has even started! I wonder if friendships are going to be a casualty of this war. Do you?
Posted at 01:23 PM

Well, that’s enough blockquoting, but be sure to check out these two gems: “MYXOMATOSIS” and HUMBLE BUT MAGNIFICENT. Ah, youth! Anyway, congrats to Rod and The American Conservative.

UPDATE: I’ve been accused of cherry-picking. OK. Please, do go read every single word Dreher wrote at National Review — for instance, this dusty relic from prehistory. Islamocalypse! Apparently, at some point after Dreher left National Review for far less prominent publications, he had some second thoughts. I’m not terribly impressed by what people say after the damage is done, but here you go.

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  • csmallo

    I read a couple of Dreher's blogs at TAC today. I got a definite Neo-Con vibe from him.

  • PBJ

    Dreher can quote Josef Peiper all he wants to sound Catholic and Thomistic but defending Osama Bin Laden's mafia-like execution proves Dreher is still a Chicken-hawk and not interested in Justice and Just War doctrine. A Just anger is supposed to reinforce the Intellect, not lead it around by the nose to fall for the Bush/Obama Doctrine and assassination without Trial – that's Existentialism, not Thomism.

    Dreher better get his moral theology straightened out and not drink the Nietzsche-coolaid being served these days by Krauthammer and his ilk otherwise:
    "For I tell you, that unless your justice abound more than that of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. " Matthew 5:20

  • Donchi

    Very sad. I thought The American Conservative was an answer to the Neocons. God, this guy is disgusting.

  • brainfan

    I've lost my respect for TAC.

  • Dan

    Cancelled TAC a long time ago along with Chronicles for their abject and contemptible demagoguery. Good to keep tabs on these creeps.

  • Why did the American Conservative a site that supposedly draws Libertarians and Paleocons (who openly hate each other) give a Neocon a voice there? No matter I guess, since the only one I used to read was Jack Hunter which I find other places to read his pieces.

  • Curious

    The quotes go to show how destructive foreign intervention is to the well being and harmony of society. I do agree with him that the blame for Iraq tends to go towards one group of people. When it is the pro-war Christians who in vast numbers help put warmongers into office and who openly discourage Middle East peace by sticking their nose in places where it doesn't belong like in Israel. The Book of Revelations isn't a foreign policy playbook.

    Dreher has a chance to redeem himself. It will be interesting to see his moral choices over there at TAC. Libertarians, Paleoconservatives, and Progressives better learn how to work together because they are all they have politically.

    • csmallo

      Doesn't look like he is getting much redemption. His latest blog post is a "oh poor Israel".

  • the shocking thing about Keller's meandering, whiny, evasive mea culpa was the fact that he actually used his children to justify his decision to advocate for an invasion of Iraq

    he actually said he became more hawkish after the birth of his second daughter

    Keller feels so guilty, so vulnerable on the subject that he used his two young daughters in a perverse attempt to garner sympathy, as if all of us can be manipulated by such crude appeals to the safety of our families

    and, what's worse, Keller put in it print and online where it will last a long time, so it may well haunt his daughters when they become teenagers and then adults

    naturally, he neglected to mention that as many as a quarter of the children of Iraq suffer PTSD as a consequence of the war and its aftermath, a natural omission, because, after all, his children and the children of elitists like him, are far more important than those of faceless Iraqis

    • Strider55

      Nothing new there. The teachers' unions have been using schoolchildren as human shields for decades in their eternal quest to loot the taxpayers. (But not their own, of course — after adjusting for income, public school teachers are four times more likely than anyone else to send their kids to private school.) Heck, I'd love to have $1 for every time some smarmy politician claimed his/her latest proposed assault on our liberties & savings accounts was "for the children" — often with crocodile tears streaming down their faces.

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  • I've lost my respect for TAC.