The war against Iraq was wrong from the start, nothing will ever make it right, it is a never-ending injustice against a people that did us no harm and whose we destroyed under false pretenses: the claims by the pro-war propagandists of Saddam Hussein’s hand in 9/11 and stockpiles of WWDs that could make the next 9/11 a mushroom cloud rising over rubble-reduced Manhattan (remember the scary scenarios of suitcase nukes being smuggled in by terrorists? I do). I was recently going through my Vanity Fair clips from that post 9/11 period and the apocalyptic hysteria and macho bullying of those years–the kneejerk invocations of Hitler and Neville Chamberlain, the Churchillian cadences of the war’s advocates–were headache-making. It’s as if the entire political and media establishment entered a fever dream that would allow them to play liberators and anyone who didn’t want to play was an appeaser, a superannunated hippie. How the chickenhawks loved to castigate their opponents as chicken-hearted. I’ll never forget the sick feeling I had watching the live coverage of the first US “shock and awe” bombing runs on Baghdad, with so much of the media in vainglorious hoopla mode, as if it were Super Bowl halftime entertainment. The war would cost so much more and last so much longer than its peddlers anticipated, and, as Justin Raimondo and others have pointed out, there is no penalty whatsoever in political punditsphere for being so wildly, bloody-mindedly wrong.