Sunday Sermon: Iraq And The Very Serious People

Worst band name EVAR by the way (boldface mine):

The first lesson is the importance and rarity of sound, realistic judgment on foreign policy — above all in the use of military force. Washington Post columnist Max Boot is right that a big majority of the political class and population at large supported the Iraq War, but the implication is the opposite of what he claims. Far from being a difficult decision that was understandable at the time, this support betrays only that the American political class is suffused with morons and cowards. It also proves how easy it is to buffalo the population into supporting a war using lies and propaganda (especially when those lies go unchallenged by the leaders of the opposition). After all, the constant implication (known inside the administration to be false at the time) that Saddam Hussein was in league with al Qaeda was particularly effective, leading 69 percent of the population to believe he was involved in 9/11.

Still, the war was, without question, one of the easiest policy calls in American history. I was 17 years old in March 2003, and I was dead against the invasion for two reasons: 1. Notable fraud George W. Bush was pushing it; and 2. Even if the claims about nuclear weapons turned out to be true, the logic of mutually assured destruction should apply to Iraq as it did to the Soviet Union.

This reflects no special competence on my part, just the fact that any halfway skeptical teenager outside the suffocating careerism and groupthink of the Washington, D.C., foreign policy establishment could see the case for war made no sense at all.

When I looked at the evidence that was presented, it was clear to me that it was shaky to be overly generous. The idea that anthrax–Bacillus subtilis–could be ‘weaponized’ in what were essentially ice cream trucks without weapons inspectors detecting this was patently absurd to anyone who had ever worked with Bacillus (which includes the Mad Biologist): the spores are extremely hardy and get everywhere, especially if they’ve been ‘weaponized’ (the whole point of which is to make them easy to spread around).

Much of an entire cohort of pundits and experts should never be allowed to opine again, but when so many Very Serious People are complicit, I suppose that goes by the wayside…

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