The Magazine

The Cassandra Chronicles

The stupidity of the antiwar doomsayers.

Apr 21, 2003, Vol. 8, No. 31
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This man directs the "University of Texas Inequality Project," where "our work so far has emphasized the use of Thiel's T statistic to compute inequality indexes from industrial data." In his spare time, he foretells the near-term deaths of millions:

"If history is a guide, you cannot subdue a large and hostile city except by destroying it completely. Short of massacre, we will not inherit a pacified Iraq. . . . To support 'the groundwork' for this effort is to support a holocaust, quite soon, against Iraqi civilians and also against the troops on both sides. That is what victory means."

--James K. Galbraith on the American Prospect website, April 1, 2003

Did you know that your average Iraqi fellow would much rather watch his relatives be raped or eaten by dogs than have to shake hands with an American Marine on the sidewalk?

"Regardless of their political affiliations, patriotic Iraqis prefer to bear the yoke of Saddam's brutal and corrupt dictatorship than to suffer the humiliation of living in a conquered nation. . . . The thought of infidel troops marching through their cities, past their mosques, patting them down, ordering them around, disgusts them even more than Saddam's torture chambers."

--Cartoonist and conspiracy-theory book author Ted Rall, April 2, 2003

They don't call it "conventional wisdom" for nothing. Mere days before the fall of Baghdad, one of America's newsweeklies, the "hip" one, makes a fatuous blunder for the ages:

"Cheney [down arrow] Tells 'Meet the Press' just before war, 'We will be greeted as liberators.' An arrogant blunder for the ages."

--Newsweek, April 7, 2003 edition

Mere hours before the fall of Baghdad, an English fifth columnist in the grand old tradition files an "eyewitness" report:

"Vast areas of Baghdad--astonishing when you consider the American claim to be 'in the heart' of the city--remain under Saddam Hussein's control."

--Robert Fisk in London's Independent, April 9, 2003

And finally, there are these two spectacular embarrassments, both of which are still on the newsstands, even today:

"Al-Jazeera has had reporters inside Mosul, Baghdad and Nasiriya...and they have presented a much more detailed, more realistic account of what has befallen Baghdad and Basra, as well as showing the resistance and anger of the Iraqi population, dismissed by Western propaganda as a sullen bunch waiting to throw flowers at Clint Eastwood lookalikes. . . . The idea that Iraq's population would have welcomed American forces entering the country after a terrifying aerial bombardment was always utterly implausible."

--Edward Said in the April 17, 2003, London Review of Books

"Is Wolfowitz really so ignorant of history as to believe the Iraqis would welcome us as 'their hoped-for liberators'?"

--Eric Alterman in the April 21, 2003, issue of the Nation

Here, indeed, we are witnessing some of the worst wartime (self-)destruction ever recorded in human history.