fresh from the new york times. looking back @ ten years of vain waste with new revelations & cogitations.
what a mess!
They wanted to confirm that Iraq had W.M.D., and the intelligence analysts were inclined to move in that direction anyway. Since it would be even worse if they predicted they didn’t have W.M.D. and it turned out they did.this is the epistemic wager of our foreign policy pundits: hope for the worse scenario and bet on it, no matter the sacrifice (were there ever any worries for those involved in making the decisions? they're now happily retired, enjoying a second chance as "policy" consultants). war is of the essence! g.w. is not having war remorse while in retirement. on the contrary, he avers that he saved us from a tyrant (oh, how he treasured saddam's gold-plated gun).
but there is a danger here: that of presuming fiascos only happens to eggheads. the iraq war was a result of a vicious cycle of fear & power embedded in our DNA. there are three immediate lessons:
1- the irreducible: the enormous (& irrecuperable) waste of lives and public money, 2- the paradoxical: we actually helped the iranians --at no x-tra charge-- to achieve their long-held dream of getting rid of saddam hussein & tilted the balance of power in their favor, 3- the saddest: we prevented the iraqi people from having their own arab spring.