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
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.