“Not Everyone Was Wrong”

"The sanctions exist … for the purpose of keeping in check Saddam Hussein's ambitions toward developing weapons of mass destruction. … And frankly they have worked. He has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbors." – Secretary of State Colin [Read More...]

Fool’s (Sher)Gold

No doubt you also have some earnest-but-naive friend/acquaintance who fills your inbox with multi-forwarded e-mails concerning various urban legends — dire warnings about toilet-dwelling spiders or kidney thieves, or morality plays warning against unnatural acts involving peanut butter and household pets. Usually I just delete these, but if I'm in one of my rare patient [Read More...]

Active vs. passive

I'm just about caught up with The New Yorker, finally reading many of the articles I told myself I would get around to later. One such article was Malcolm Gladwell's "Big Bad" in the Jan. 12 issue of the magazine. It appeared to be another critique of the SUV boom. I already dislike SUVs, for [Read More...]


Spencer Ackerman of The New Republic has begun a new blog on that magazine's Web site. It's called Iraq'd — in a nod to Ashton Kutcher's MTV show "Punk'd." Ackerman, like TNR overall and most of the folks who write for it, was a staunch advocate of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. He's now rethinking [Read More...]

Half an Open Mind

James K. Glassman had the misfortune of co-authoring a book titled Dow 36,000: The New Strategy for Profiting From the Coming Rise in the Stock Market. The book was published in 2000. Fortunately, Glassman is a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, home of "The Bell Curve," where one can apparently be spectacularly wrong without [Read More...]

Conjecture, not evidence

Via Atrios, I find this editorial from the (Minneapolis-St. Paul) Star-Tribune. Since the Strib has put in place the World's Most Annoying Online Registration scheme, I'll quote at length: Now Bush is proposing an investigation of U.S. intelligence that would go on until 2005. Hans Blix, the former chief U.N. weapons inspector in Iraq, had [Read More...]

More revisionist history

Here is Jim Hoagland in Sunday's Washington Post, arguing that the intelligence agencies are to blame for the false claims about Iraq's post-Gulf War I weapons capabilities: Bush and Blair accepted and actually believed the flawed intelligence that their spy bosses and senior aides provided, and then inflated it in their public speeches. Credulity, not [Read More...]

“Never — not once — did it say …”

If you're Kenneth Pollack or David Kay, it makes sense for you to point out now that you were not alone in vastly overestimating Iraq's alleged stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction and Saddam Hussein's alleged capacity for making more. But once again they seem to be, well, overstating their case. It is true that [Read More...]