Paul Pillar at the National Interest on "Never Forget the Iraq War":
And related to that was the larger pattern of how many Americans allowed themselves to be duped by the war makers. That's right: allowed themselves to be duped. There have been many complaints by people who supported the war about how they were misled, and indeed Americans were misled. But they were able to be misled because they got themselves swept up in a political mood that was stoked and exploited by the administration. Even a halfway careful examination of the prowar sales campaign could have seen through it, including such things as a phantasmagorical alliance between the Iraqi regime and al-Qaeda.
Finally there are the prime promoters of the war. The lesson to be drawn about them is how atrocious the war showed their judgment to be. They ought to be so discredited by now that no one listens to them any more. But here's the scary part: people do still listen to them. As Christopher Preble observes, “Most of the president’s Republican challengers are reluctant to cross the neoconservative cheerleaders for the war who, inexplicably, still have great sway over aspiring chief executives.” Many of those cheerleaders are still prominent members of the policy-influencing Washington elite and still writing and talking about the very sorts of things on which they showed such terrible judgment in the case of Iraq. Some of them are even cheering for yet another war, against another Middle Eastern country with a four-letter name starting with I, and with their cheering featuring familiar old themes about weapons of mass destruction, links with terrorism and the like. Those people ought to be reminded at every turn about the Iraq War and their role in promoting it, and asked repeatedly why anyone should believe a word of what they are saying now.
Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Update: Earlier version of this post included Bernard-Henri Levy in the march of shame. Wrong. He wasn't. Apologies to BHL.