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The Liberal Narrative on Iraq Goes Official

Chances are, if you’re reading this blog, you don’t really think the Iraq war was such a hot idea. Guess what! The National Defense University, an adjunct of the Defense Department, agrees with you.

McClatchy’s Jonathan Landay and John Walcott — you know, two of the five Washington reporters who didn’t fall for the WMD/Saddam-and-Osama-have-a-regular-poker-night lies — report that Joe Collins wrote a study of the war that features as its first line (!) "Measured in blood and treasure, the war in Iraq has achieved the status of a major war and a major debacle." Who’s Joe Collins? Only a deputy assistant secretary of defense during Bush’s first term. You know, when we invaded Iraq?

The report also singles out the Bush administration’s national security apparatus and implicitly President Bush and both of his national security advisers, Condoleezza Rice and Stephen Hadley, saying that "senior national security officials exhibited in many instances an imperious attitude, exerting power and pressure where diplomacy and bargaining might have had a better effect."

Collins ends his report by quoting Winston Churchill, who said: "Let us learn our lessons. Never, never believe any war will be smooth and easy, or that anyone who embarks on the strange voyage can measure the tides and hurricanes he will encounter. … Always remember, however sure you are that you can easily win, that there would not be a war if the other man did not think that he also had a chance."

I don’t know about you, but I’d rather listen to the calming, dulcet swells of Michael O’Hanlon.

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