Tom Tomorrow has a great cartoon showing quotes by many leading cheerleaders of the War in Iraq from back in the first few months of 2003. Its really worth a look.
He also quotes a Cal Thomas column from the same period:
When the Berlin Wall fell and Eastern Europe escaped from the shackles of communism, I wrote that we must not forget the enablers, apologists and other “fellow travelers” who helped sustain communism’s grip on a sizable portion of humanity for much of the 20th century. I suggested that a “cultural war crimes tribunal” be convened, at which people from academia, the media, government and the clergy who were wrong in their assessment of communism would be forced to confront their mistakes. While not wishing to deprive anyone of his or her right to be wrong, it wouldn’t hurt for these people to be held accountable.
That advice was not taken – but today we are presented with another opportunity in the form of scores of false media prophets who predicted disaster should the U.S. military confront and seek to oust the murderous regime of Saddam Hussein. The purpose of a cultural war crimes tribunal would be to remind the public of journalism’s many mistakes, as well as the errors of certain politicians and retired generals, and allow it to properly judge their words the next time they feel the urge to prophesy…
All of the printed and voiced prophecies should be saved in an archive. When these false prophets again appear, they can be reminded of the error of their previous ways and at least be offered an opportunity to recant and repent.
I note that there’s a strong overlap between the folks who predicted the death of the economy in the wake of the Clinton’s tax rate hikes, a brilliant economy and booming surplus following GW’s tax rate cuts, and those who have been cheerleading the war. Its not a perfect overlap, but the correlation is probably well over 70%.
And I note that these people have been wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong about everything. But they suffer no consequences. None. GW? Dick Cheney? Paul Wolfowitz? Condi Rice? Bill Kristol? Bill O’Reilly? Rush Limbaugh? Achmed Chalabi? Glenn Reynolds? Michelle Malkin? None of these people paid any price at all. (Rumsfeld paid a price – but it took three years, and someone had to be the goat.)
In fact, most of these people are busy today treating naysayers as if they’re scum. They’re impugning the patriotism of people who disagree with them, who say: “Enough is enough. You’ve caused enough damage. Its time to stop this nonsense before it gets even worse.”
Imagine what they’d be like if they’d been correct. About anything.
People should be free to disagree about things in a democracy. And we all make mistakes. But how can there be any hope for discourse if debate is dominated by those who are always wrong, and who lord their failures over everyone else?