Wrong, Rich, & Celebrated

This article, “The Iraq Gamble: At the pundits’ table, the losing bet still takes the pot,” by Jebadiah Reed, in Radar, is a hoot — if you like your humor a darker shade of black.

Reed discusses the way-off-the-mark predictions and prognostications proffered by pro-war pundits –Tom Friedman, Peter Beinart, Fareed Zakaria, and Jeffrey Goldberg — and goes on to show that, far from hurting their respective careers, these paladins of the War Party have been more than amply rewarded for the utter wrongness of their views. Their works are celebrated, their lecture fees are up, and the complete cluelessness of their views on the war seems not to have made a dent in their celebrity.

On the other hand, those who, rightly, warned against going to war with Iraq — former Los Angeles Times columnist Robert Scheer, Antiwar.com columnist William S. Lind, Jonathan Schell, and Scott Ritter — are in the poorhouse, but have the satisfaction of knowing that they were right.

I can think of another antiwar columnist who is still in the poorhouse, and not exactly in demand when it comes to getting booked on the tv talking heads gabfest circuit, and yet, really, when was it ever different — and who expected anything different? Surely not me. I’m satisfied with the readers I have — more, I expect, than Peter Beinart — and the recognition from those who matter to me. Sure, it would be nice to command five-figure lecture fees, but I don’t lay awake at night obsessing about it. What matters is that those of us who saw what was coming had a forum to bear witness to the truth — and that there is still some chance that the country will listen. Beyond that, we have the right to ask for exactly nothing