Friday, January 29, 2010
Glenn Greenwald Not a Fan of the Iraq Invasion
I'm not entirely outsourcing Free Advice to Glenn Greenwald--he works for union scale--but this post contrasting the British investigations into the Iraq Invasion with our own (nonexistent) ones contains some remarkable paragraphs. For example:
British political news has been consumed for the last several weeks by a formal inquiry into the illegality and deceit behind Tony Blair's decision to join the U.S. in invading Iraq. Today, Blair himself is publicly testifying before the investigative commission and is being grilled about numerous false claims he made in the run-up to the war, not only about Iraqi weapons programs...and Saddam's ties to Al Qaeda, but also about secret commitments he made to join the U.S. at a time when he and Bush were still pretending that they were undecided and awaiting the outcome of the U.N. negotiations and the inspection process.And then this:
[A]ll of this stands in stark and shameful contrast to the U.S., which pointedly refuses to "look back" or concern itself with whether it waged an illegal (and horribly destructive) war....[O]ne can barely even imagine George Bush and Dick Cheney being hauled before an investigative body and forced, under oath, to testify publicly about what they did as a means of determining the legality or illegality of that war. Doing that would fundamentally conflict with two leading principles in American political life: (1) our highest political leaders must never be accountable for actions they take while in power; and (2) whether something they do is "illegal" -- especially the starting of wars -- is utterly irrelevant. Instead of formally investigating whether they broke the law, we treat them like elder statesmen who deserve a life of luxury and media reverence.
I'm periodically criticized for an "angry" tone in my writing, which I always find mystifying. I genuinely don't understand why anger should be avoided or even how it could be. What other reaction is possible when one looks around and sees the government leaders who committed these grave crimes completely unburdened by any accountability and treated as respectable dignitaries, or watches the Tom Friedmans, Jeffrey Goldbergs, Fred Hiatts and other unrepentent leading media propagandists who helped enable it still feted as Serious and honest experts, or beholds the current Cabinet and Senate filled with people who supported it, or observes the Michael O'Hanlons and Les Gelbs and other Foreign Policy Community luminaries who lent trans-partisan credence to it all continue to traipse around still pompously advocating for more wars that never touch their lives?
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