Thank the great cappuccino spirit for Glenn Greenwald.
Glenn Greenwald, who now hangs out at Salon, is the blogger I want to be when I grow up. If you don’t have him bookmarked, you’re missing out.
Just how indispensable his work can be is on full display today, in his response to a particularly deceptive Op-Ed in today’s New York Times. The Times opinion piece in question is couched in language calculated to put at least some doubt into the mind of the most passionate of Iraq War opponents.
Here, after all (according to the authors), are two longtime “war critics” from the “liberal” Brookings Institution telling us that — contrary to what our own lying eyes and ears keep telling us — things are actually starting to go well in Iraq. They make a compelling case — or so it seems:
VIEWED from Iraq, where we just spent eight days meeting with American and Iraqi military and civilian personnel, the political debate in Washington is surreal. The Bush administration has over four years lost essentially all credibility. Yet now the administration’s critics, in part as a result, seem unaware of the significant changes taking place.
Here is the most important thing Americans need to understand: We are finally getting somewhere in Iraq, at least in military terms. As two analysts who have harshly criticized the Bush administration’s miserable handling of Iraq, we were surprised by the gains we saw and the potential to produce not necessarily “victory” but a sustainable stability that both we and the Iraqis could live with.
Wow “two analysts who have previously harshly criticized” the administration’s handling of Iraq, who have now come to an epiphany: we war critics, it turns out, are getting it all wrong. In fact, contrary to our constant grumbling, it turns out that everything is actually starting to come up fu*king roses in good old Iraq.
Astonishing, right? Well, maybe not. Glenn Greenwald to the rescue:
What is the most vivid and compelling evidence of how broken our political system is? It is that the exact same people who urged us into the war in Iraq, were wrong in everything they said, and issued one false assurance after the next as the war failed, continue to be the same people held up as our Serious Iraq Experts. The exact “experts” to whom we listened in 2002 and 2003 are the same exact establishment “experts” now.
Hence, today we have yet another Op-Ed declaring that We Really Are Winning in Iraq This Time — this one in the NYT from “liberal” Brookings Institution “scholars” Ken Pollack and Mike O’Hanlon. They accuse war critics of being “unaware of the significant changes taking place,” proclaim that “we are finally getting somewhere in Iraq, at least in military terms,” and the piece is entitled “A War we Might Just Win.”
The Op-Ed is an exercise in rank deceit from the start. To lavish themselves with credibility — as though they are war skeptics whom you can trust — they identify themselves at the beginning “as two analysts who have harshly criticized the Bush administration’s miserable handling of Iraq.” In reality, they were not only among the biggest cheerleaders for the war, but repeatedly praised the Pentagon’s strategy in Iraq and continuously assured Americans things were going well. They are among the primary authors and principal deceivers responsible for this disaster.
Read the rest of it: it’s brutal. This is blogging at its best. Smart, knowledgeable people keeping the media “elites” honest. May the great cappuccino spirit bring us more of the same.
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