Busy day today: lecturing my class on humility & writing column on how my disastrous support for Iraq War must never be questioned.— Jeet Heer (@HeerJeet) May 19, 2015
Learning From Mistakes: "If you could go back to 1889 and strangle Adolf Hitler in his crib...:
...would you do it? At one level, the answer is obvious. Of course, you should. If there had been no Hitler, presumably the Nazi Party would have lacked the charismatic leader it needed to rise to power. Presumably, there would have been no World War II, no Holocaust, no millions dead on the Eastern and Western fronts.
But, on the other hand, if there were no World War II, you wouldn’t have had the infusion of women into the work force. You wouldn’t have had the G.I. Bill and the rapid expansion of higher education. You wouldn’t have had the pacification of Europe, Pax-Americana, which led to decades of peace and prosperity, or the end of the British and other empires...
David Brooks Tries To Rewrite History Of The Iraq War: "Twelve years ago, as an editor of the Weekly Standard...:
...David Brooks was a staunch advocate for invading Iraq. He belittled and sneered at those who expressed doubt. On March 23, 2003, Brooks wrote:
The situation has clarified, and history will allow clear judgments about which leaders and which institutions were up to the challenge posed by Saddam and which were not.
Now, Brooks has a different view. ‘History is an infinitely complex web of causations,’ Brooks wrote on the Iraq war in his Tuesday New York Times column.
Brooks returned to the subject of Iraq to dismiss a question posed to various Republican presidential candidates: ‘Was the Iraq War a mistake?’ Brooks argues that everyone, including President Bush, was simply misled by faulty intelligence. He dismisses the idea that Bush bears any responsibility, writing, ‘There’s a fable going around now that the intelligence about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction was all cooked by political pressure, that there was a big political conspiracy to lie us into war.’ As evidence, Brooks cites the Robb-Silberman report of the Senate Intelligence Committee. But Brooks neglects to mention that the Robb-Silberman report examined only the intelligence and did not investigate whether the intelligence was manipulated by Bush, Cheney and other members of the administration. ‘Our executive order did not direct us to deal with the use of intelligence by policymakers,’ Judge Lawrence Silberman said upon released of the report. The Senate Intelligence Committee also did a follow-up report, which you can read about in The New York Times. The report itself, signed by Republicans and Democrats, concluded that ‘the Administration repeatedly presented intelligence as fact when in reality it was unsubstantiated, contradicted, or even non-existent.’... Brooks argues that ‘the question, would you go back and undo your errors is unanswerable.’ It’s not. But in order to do so, you have to admit that you’ve actually made errors.