Theater of War

From The New York Times:

Cover190 THE GREATEST STORY EVER SOLD: The Decline and Fall of Truth From 9/11 to Katrina. By Frank Rich.

The author, an Op-Ed columnist for The New York Times, has his liberal views, which are not strikingly original. I happen to agree with him that Karl Rove and George Bush manipulated public fear and wartime patriotism to win elections, and that Dick Cheney and his neocon cheerleaders favored a war in Iraq long before 9/11 “to jump-start a realignment of the Middle East.” Whether Rich is right to say that this has “little or nothing to do with the stateless terrorism of Al Qaeda is debatable. The neocons may well have believed that an American remake of the Middle East was the best way to tackle terrorism.

They were almost certainly mistaken. But the point of Rich’s fine polemic is that the Bush administration has consistently lied about the reasons for going to war, about the way it was conducted and about the terrible consequences. Whatever the merits of removing a dictator, waging war under false pretenses is highly damaging to a democracy, especially when one of the ostensible aims is to spread democracy to others. If Rich is correct, which I think he is, the Bush administration has given hypocrisy a bad name.

More here.