By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

David Brooks’ semi-mea culpa on the war in Iraq

It’s easy to make fun of David Brooks’ semi-mea culpa on the war in Iraq. But let’s not forget that liberals like John Kerry and Hillary Clinton voted for the war, and if you think they did it solely for political posturing, then you’re more cynical than I am.

Personally, I was against the invasion, but I thought it was a close call. And if you go back to Bill Clinton’s presidency, you may recall that horror stories about sick and starving Iraqi children — a consequence of U.S. sanctions — led some liberals to call for a humanitarian intervention.

Finally, in 1998 Bill Clinton signed the Iraq Liberation Act, which committed the United States to regime change.

Brooks was always the most thoughtful among the war’s supporters. What he has to say today is worth reading.

Discover more from Media Nation

Subscribe to get the latest posts to your email.


The fate of The Boston Phoenix’s online archives


The 11th element of journalism


  1. Some convincing rebuttals:

    “But, Brooks counters again, it’s just not true that the Bush people cooked some of the Iraq intelligence because the “exhaustive” Robb-Silberman report found that it was all just a series of errors. This, again, is false. The Robb-Silberman report was not “exhaustive” – the commission was specifically instructed not to investigate how Iraq intelligence was manipulated by policymakers.”

    “The public justifications for the invasion were nothing but pretexts, and falsified pretexts at that. We were, in a fundamental sense, lied into war.”

  2. Andy Koppel

    I wish I could agree with you, but I think the NYT commenters have it right. This was a seriously lame, embarrassing column. And, yes, I believe that Hillary and Kerry, among others, voted for the resolution because they not unreasonably felt they had no political choice.

    Can we please remember that this led to WAR, to thousands of deaths, none of which included Brooks’s family, nor I suspect, any of those writing here, including myself? It was the most devastatingly disastrous decision in recent times, and was easily foretold at the time by anyone not angling for political advantage.

    This column is a grotesque mistake by someone trying to appear like the Paul Gigot of PBS, as opposed to the Paul Gigot of the Wall Street Journal’s editorial page. It is truly disgusting.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén