Earlier today, Glenn Greenwald took “reasonable” Republican David Frum to task for his revisionist look back on Iraq, David Frum on the Rhetoric of Iraq. In particular, he demolishes Frum’s claim that he was never that impressed with Ahmed Chalabi. But somehow the unimpressed Frum wrote of Chalabi in 2004 in The National Review, “Compared to any other possible leader of Iraq—compared to just about every other political leader in the Arab world—the imperfect Ahmed Chalabi is nonetheless a James bleeping Madison.” But who knows? Madison believed in democracy and Frum is a Republican, so maybe Frum isn’t that impressed with Madison.
What I took away from the article, however, was Greenwald’s statement, “Americans are quite good at regretting their past wars but quite poor at applying the lessons to newly proposed ones.” To document this, he links to two recent articles. First, one in The Hill that discusses a Gallup poll that showed that people think we shouldn’t have gone to war in Iraq:
Second, an article from CBS News that discussed a CBS News/New York Times poll that shows that people think we should start a war with Iran:
Imagine it: March 2023! In Newsweek, a prominent Obama speechwriter would publish, “Jon Favreau on the Rhetoric of Iran.” In it, he would write something like, “It seems amazing to people today, but ten years ago, everyone thought Iran had a nuclear weapons program. How could we have known?” At the same time, Gallup would release a poll that showed that most people think it was a mistake to start a war with Iran. But CBS News would report that most Americans think we should go to war to stop that dangerous Ghanaian Navy!