SOMETIMES it’s necessary to beat a dead horse. Many recriminations pieces have been written since the end of the war (here, for starters) and while they may seem like simple gloating, they’re not. It’s crucial to keep score on public commentators because if you bat .115 in the bigs, you get canned. Bob Herbert gets to write for forever.
Just for the record, here are some of the statements which the Weekly Standard found so laughably off-base:
But, as we have heard the military saying goes, “Hope is not a plan.” The plan was Bush’s and Cheney’s and Rumsfeld’s, and as a result of it, hundreds of thousands of American and British soldiers are now stuck in what could prove to be a much more harrowing situation than those planners promised. . . .
Scott Rosenberg, Salon, March 28, 2003
The war machine is loose, apparently unstoppable. An escalating air war, a rush of reinforcements, an enemy that surprises, demonstrators in the streets, a nation divided. But as before [in Vietnam], Washington’s war policy is made in fantasyland and is even now being exposed as such.
James Carroll, the Boston Globe, April 1, 2003
The pre-invasion hype had all been about festive Iraqis stocking up on flowers to give the kind of toothy colonial welcome the Queen gets from dancing Maoris on a royal tour. Now look what’s happened. Our boys are faced with a medieval siege of Baghdad, and the reprisals of Saddam’s death squads, with nothing to prepare the American public but the DVD of “Black Hawk Down.”
Tina Brown, the London Times, April 3, 2003
Boy, could those crazy lefties have been more wrong?
Well, yes. Because they were not very wrong at all.
At any rate, I do remember this game of archive-sifting being popular among the conservative columnists and bloggers, back in the days following the pulling down of the statue, when it was clear to everyone with eyes that triumph was at hand and the faces of those who opposed the war were caked thick with dried egg blah blah blah.
Well, what’s good for the goose, etc., etc. So here’s the game: go back and find the most egregious examples of post-statue-toppling we-were-right-and-you-were-wrong chest-thumping and general gloating, and send them in. I’ll post the most ludicrous and we’ll all share a hearty chuckle. Heck, maybe I’ll give out an Andrew Sullivan-style award. In fact, maybe I’ll even call it the “Sullivan Award”…for premature triumphalism…