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Matt Taibbi writes: "It's been interesting, watching the seamless transition many conservatives seem to be making now, from brainless war-drum-beating to Randian isolationism. Six or seven or eight years ago, I seem to remember, anyone who even hinted that not using military force to resolve any foreign policy dispute, no matter how trivial or how imaginary the justification, was to be considered a traitor."

Ross Douthat, conservative columnist of The New York Times. (photo: file, unspecified)
Ross Douthat, conservative columnist of The New York Times. (photo: file, unspecified)

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+25 # rm 2011-06-20 17:56
Good work, Matt. What kind of a name is Ross Douthat? Sounds like he knows himself only by what his mother used to yell at him every day, "Ross, Do That right now or I will spank your bottom but good."

There ought to be some punishment for journalists who drank the Dick Cheney Kook Aid about Iraq. Really, it was not hard to tell that we were being lied to and that the case against Saddam was crafted by a PR team, just like the Incubator Baby story was 12 years earlier by the same people. Journalists (editorial columnists, too) are supposed to have a "sixth sense" for telling when they are being lied to. Douthat just seems to have sense at all -- and yet he writes for the NYTimes. Most journalists now have no sense at all. Taibbi has it just right for today's mainstream journalists -- "just another jingoistic twit doing the “Gooble, gooble, one of us!” chant on the march to war." That's really about all that the NY Times, WPost, and most other big newspapers or broadcast TV news organizations do. "Do That, -- their editors or advertisers say. I'm sure being a jingoistic twit pays very well and pseudo-journali sts like Douthat are really in it for the money and career. Maybe someday he will win a Pulitzer. "Done that."
+19 # larry payne 2011-06-21 08:53
There also should be some punishment for journalists who bought the Bush administration KoolAid about 9/11.
+3 # RICHARDKANEpa 2011-06-20 18:17
I am disgusted with the now impotent traditional peace movement. With no more insight than endlessly trying to set a funds cut off date, the worst way to leave the Afghan War. Actually the second worse, the worst is a day or two after currency collapse.

The US could easily negotiate temporary autonomy for Kabul and hope local tempers cool down with time.

Actually a more creative less temporary peace is possible,

-16 # Activista 2011-06-20 18:19
Interesting comment - Ron Paul, who has been consistent on the issue of war (and all issues, for that matter) for 30 years. I believe the neocons have come to realize that the mainstream is swimming toward Ron Paul. Save the republic! Join the revolution! Vote Ron Paul!
0 # futhark 2011-06-23 19:53
Interesting that you actually named "he-whose-name- must-not-be-men tioned" in a publicly available source! That itself is revolutionary!

R-O-N P-A-U-L!
+6 # soularddave 2011-06-21 00:28
go back and see who voted to invade Iraq:
0 # boudreaux 2011-06-21 08:32
I went to that site and am more confused now than I was before. Tell me what you mean.
+24 # CenTexDem 2011-06-21 03:34
Moral of this story: it takes three trillion dollars of taxpayer money wasted on a needless war for the right wing to become politically expeditious pacifists.
+8 # fredboy 2011-06-21 07:38
Completing mikuslaw;

,,,and the destruction of countless innocent lives.

all the while we ignore the real slaughterhouses like the Sudan.
+12 # artful 2011-06-21 08:39
Thanks Matt. You correctly label Douthat for what he is--a right wing idiot, a growing group in this poor benighted nation.
+5 # moby doug 2011-06-21 13:30
And speaking of Iraq Neocon kool-ade drinkers, don't forget Christopher Hitchens over at Slate.....alway s an enthusiastic backer of the invasion. Even now, with his terminal diagnosis, Hitchens is unrepentant about pushing the war. He's also taking $ from a rightwing intellectual whorehouse: The Hoover Institution. Hithens' m.o. has always been to assert his opinions with absolute certainty (anyone contradicting him is a jackass) and to never cop to his phenomenal misjudgments, no matter how stark unfolding time makes them. I guess that's why he has to drink so much.
+1 # stonecutter 2011-06-21 16:52
I'm a hard-wired cynic on corporate media and their slimy tentacles. The army of pundits and PR flacks "on both sides" of issues of war, the economy, abortion, gay marriage, blah, blah, blah, are in fact practicing the 24/7 media business art of branding themselves and their respective points of view as distinct intellectual product: books, columns, TV shows, "talking head" contracts, personal appearances, lecture tours, etc. Big Exposure, Big Money, Big Success. Tortured personal reflection, principles, ideology? Naaahhh, not with these media whores. Maybe with less visible academics, activists, think-tank drones, certainly with ordinary concerned citizens....but not these showbiz types, primping for the cameras in makeup chairs, reading from prompters, doing "re-takes".

The top 50 pundits on the right and left are all performing in this media circus all the time, and most of them have more or less successfully embedded their viewpoints right smack into the central core memory dump of the American public, at least the ones who actually pay attention to this stuff.

From this vantage point, moral or intellectual consistency, social justice, personal integrity, principle: at the end of the day, they don't make a small hill of beans. Ratings, book sales, TV "face time", publicity, awards...right or left, this is where the rubber meets the road!
+4 # stonecutter 2011-06-21 16:56
BTW, Matt, my previous diatribe on modern media exempts're the exception that proves the rule in the print world.
0 # RICHARDKANEpa 2011-06-22 08:39
Stonecutter you talk of corporate media and slimy tentacles. However the goal of fund-raising and accomplishing more can conflict. It’s far easier to raise money to condemn Sarah Palin then against Pat Robertson. To raise money so when 50% of Congress cosigns the war funding will stop. Not to try to urge that the US agree to quickly leave when Kabul can be guaranteed a temporary autonomous region.

Tom Fox went to Iraq to declare peace, but some he met equally blamed the west and civilization itself for destroying the beautiful world they once know. Some in Afghanistan wonder if women without berkas has something to do with their traditionally world no longer seeming to make sense anymore as a Doctors Without Borders medic came into their neighborhood to preach modern hygiene.

Vietnam things made things simple as Jane Fonda received a royal welcome. The war started when Dgo Diem and his friends decided they would fight to death if need be to stop Ho Chi Ming and the Commies from being in charge, making enemies of the majority Buddhist population. To me the following link is fascinating history,
In the end some feared punishment if they didn’t leave, others joining the flight to make money.

Those who promise the war just ending right after the US leaves know how to raise money.
0 # oliver 2011-06-23 19:46
doutht is a scumbag! Matt, kind of surprising you don't call him a "Scum bag." Hope you're not losing your touch, old buddy.
0 # bakerhunny 2011-06-26 00:49
I am just sick!!! Now the promoters of these stupid wars are blaming the President for keeping us there. WTF!!!!
It's like they're saying..."Oh well, too bad, so sad. Now get us out!".
I think I need another glass of Kool-Aid!

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