He got the US to spend $4.4 trillion in a decade on counter-terrorism, using just a handful of men with boxcutters – and a whole lot of fear. For good measure, he goaded incompetents like Dick Cheney into violating core US standards of morality.
Even granting that Sully already said his mea culpas, comments like this still make me gag. People like who said that kind of thing back when it might have made a difference were not simply ignored. They (we) were hectored, castigated and drummed out of polite discourse. On CNN they were radioactive. MSNBC cancelled Phil Donahue, their highest-rated show, and fired their war correspondent Ashleigh Banfield for verbalizing that maybe Iraq was not the awesomest idea ever. It almost seemed like even war boosters understood at some level that Iraq was stupid and were consequently terrified to hear anyone say the words out loud.
More than rehash old grievances, I would politely suggest that those who were right then, in the face of overwhelming ridicule and abuse, might also be right today. People with actual expertise and a decent record might make a nice counterbalance to permanent Sunday guests like John McCain and Newt Gingrich who don’t know a fucking thing about anything.
Anyone seen Juan Cole on the teevee? Anyone?