26 March 2008

You cannot be Serious!

The five-year anniversary of the Iraq war has given us a media tide of Serious Liberals tut-tutting how they never could have predicted how things could have gone son wrong. But rarely, as Glenn Greenwald explains, does anyone bother to acknowledge those antiwar voices who were right all along.

So when Charlie Rose arranges a five-year anniversary discussion of Iraq purportedly involving American foreign policy experts on "both sides," it completely excludes any Americans who unequivocally opposed the war in the first place -- i.e., it completely excludes those who were right and offers only those who were wrong. As always, unadorned war opposition is mutually exclusive with Foreign Policy Seriousness, and those who are unequivocal in their opposition to the underlying premises of the war (rather than its tactical execution) are almost never heard from in media discussions -- still.
Of course, Glenn. You see, every Serious Person knows that the filthy hippies only opposed the war because they Hate America. That they happen to have been right about how the world operates in this case was surely just an unfortunate stroke of luck.

A Tiny Revolution finds Jeffery Goldberg assuring us in October 2002 that things were going to go down smoothly.

There is not sufficient space...for me to refute some of the arguments made in Slate over the past week against intervention, arguments made, I have noticed, by people with limited experience in the Middle East (Their lack of experience causes them to reach the naive conclusion that an invasion of Iraq will cause America to be loathed in the Middle East, rather than respected)...

The administration is planning today to launch what many people would undoubtedly call a short-sighted and inexcusable act of aggression. In five years, however, I believe that the coming invasion of Iraq will be remembered as an act of profound morality.

Schwarz goes on to detail how Goldberg ended up at The Atlantic, the American bastion of gelatinous Seriousness. One imagines is was not so much out of his wisdom as his acceptable conclusions.