Iraq & Washington’s Systemic Failure
By Robert Parry
March 19, 2007

George W. Bush and Dick Cheney may deserve the most blame for the Iraq War, but a core reality shouldn’t be missed: the four-year-old conflict resulted from a systemic failure in Washington – from the White House, to congressional Republicans and Democrats, to an insular national news media, to Inside-the-Beltway think tanks.

It was a perfect storm that had been building for more than a quarter century, a collision of mutually reinforcing elements: aggressive Republicans, triangulating Democrats, careerist journalists, bullying cable-TV and talk-radio pundits, aggressive and well-funded think tanks on the Right versus ineffectual and marginalized groups on the Left.

“Tough-guy-ism” from Washington’s armchair Rambos had become the capital’s controlling ideology, especially after the 9/11 terror attacks. In part, the Iraq War could be viewed as a macho parlor game of one-upmanship gone mad, with very few daring to be called unmanly or un-American.

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