March 18, 2013

These dissenters were entirely right about the war, and nothing that has happened since then has weakened their case. The United States got several hundred thousand people killed to install a regime that may eventually prove to be as oppressive as Saddam Hussein’s, is closely allied to the Iranian government, and has proven as likely to give oil contracts to Chinese firms as to American firms. And oh yes, Iraq didn’t have “WMDs” after all—a ridiculous acronym that the administration and its supporters used to equate the possession of chemical or biological weapons with the possession of nuclear weapons.

The people who had the most familiarity with the Middle East and with the perils of war were dead set against the invasion. That includes not only the CIA analysts and the military professors, but also the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research, which rejected the administration’s claims that Iraq was about to acquire nuclear weapons. But they were not in a position to make their voices heard. The CIA analysts were reduced to creating [a] half-cocked scheme for getting a report on the far-flung future to the White House, which they hoped someone would read. The military dissenters, as we know, were silenced by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and his deputy Paul Wolfowitz. And the State Department was ignored by the White House….

My own experience after Powell’s speech bears out the tremendous power that an administration, bent on deception, can have over public opinion, especially when it comes to foreign policy. And when the dissenters in the CIA, military, and State Department are silenced, the public—not to mention, journalists—has little recourse in deciding whether to support what the administration wants to do. Those months before the Iraq war testify to the importance of letting the public have full access to information before making decisions about war and peace. And that lesson should be heeded before we rush into still another war in the Middle East.


— John B. Judis, "Eve of Destruction," The New Republic

  1. lazy-native reblogged this from politicalprof
  2. silas216 reblogged this from truth-has-a-liberal-bias
  3. prowl-great-cain reblogged this from politicalprof
  4. thegoodlifein2013 reblogged this from politicalprof
  5. yellow-bridges reblogged this from truth-has-a-liberal-bias
  6. burning-herz-man reblogged this from politicalprof
  7. can-i-get-a-hoothoot reblogged this from heartofsagittarius
  8. buntsfromaleftcoastgirl reblogged this from politicalprof
  9. thelonelyfisherman reblogged this from politicalprof
  10. randycwhite reblogged this from reagan-was-a-horrible-president
  11. subzi reblogged this from politicalprof
  12. kaijuscience reblogged this from jackpowerx
  13. heartofsagittarius reblogged this from truth-has-a-liberal-bias
  14. emptyhandsalways reblogged this from reagan-was-a-horrible-president
  15. jackpowerx reblogged this from reagan-was-a-horrible-president
  16. scrowgasm reblogged this from reagan-was-a-horrible-president