Friday, August 10, 2007

pack attack

clipped from
These days, anything coming from Iraq—even an account of soldiers running over dogs—becomes a high-stakes skirmish in the propaganda war. Yes, the criticism of O’Hanlon and Pollack was based on their past judgments, not the factual claims in their Op-Ed. But that’s just the point. What if the two Brookings analysts had come back last month with tales of a potential catastrophe in the making, as Pollack did in 2005? Would the same critics have combed the archives for foolish statements and wrong assessments? It was the failure to pause for a minute and weigh the implications of their report before trashing it that revealed the toxic intellectual atmosphere clouding arguments over the war. Like the attacks on Beauchamp and The New Republic, that failure showed that objectivity is no longer an aspiration of people who make it their business to comment on the war every day.
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