Jonah Goldberg is another conservative writer who has never deviated from that fundamental requirement, and he is not about to start. Goldberg's ignorant and dangerous warmongering in 2002 and 2003 was exposed for what it was at the time by Juan Cole. But here we are, over a decade later, with that war having caused untold suffering and so many deaths, and Goldberg is again spewing forth on Iraq. What does he want? A "time machine".
Given that Goldberg eventually admitted that the war was a mistake, if he had a shred of decency he would obviously use a time machine to go back and retract his support for the war:
The Iraq war was a mistake.But of course Goldberg has neither honor nor decency. No, he wants a time machine so that President Obama could go back a couple of years and change his policies:
I know, I know. But I've never said it before. And I don't enjoy saying it now.
A better option would be a time machine. That way today’s President Obama could go back and give first-term Obama the benefit of his experience. He could tell him that foreign policy should define his talking points, not the other way around. .... Or maybe he would have kept U.S. troops in Iraq to deter the rise of ISIS.Goldberg concludes with this conservative prescription:
Defenders of the president often ask critics, “Well, what do you want to do?” I’ll be honest. I don’t know. We have no good options left. I certainly think we should provide assistance to the (corrupt and pathetic) Iraqi government to repel ISIS. (Obama turned down their requests for air support last month.) But I certainly don’t want boots on the ground.Well, I can't give you a machine in which you might transport Obama back a few years, but I can take us back to 2005 when Goldberg wrote this:
What I want is that time machine.
Since he [Juan Cole] doesn’t want to debate anything except his own brilliance, let’s make a bet. I predict that Iraq won’t have a civil war, that it will have a viable constitution, and that a majority of Iraqis and Americans will, in two years time, agree that the war was worth it. I’ll bet $1,000 (which I can hardly spare right now). This way neither of us can hide behind clever word play or CV reading. .... Money where your mouth is, doc.Let's also go revisit what Cole wrote in 2005:
Jonah Goldberg knows absolutely nothing about Iraq. I wonder if he has even ever read a single book on Iraq, much less written one. He knows no Arabic. He has never lived in an Arab country. He can’t read Iraqi newspapers or those of Iraq’s neighbors. He knows nothing whatsoever about Shiite Islam, the branch of the religion to which a majority of Iraqis adheres. Why should we pretend that Jonah Goldberg’s opinion on the significance and nature of the elections in Iraq last Sunday matters? It does not.
Jonah Goldberg is a fearmonger, a warmonger, and a demagogue. And besides, he was just plain wrong about one of the more important foreign policy issues to face the United States in the past half-century. It is shameful that he dares show his face in public, much less continuing to pontificate about his profound knowledge of just what Iraq is like and what needs to be done about Iraq and the significance of events in Iraq.There would be no need to even wish for a time machine if warmongers like Goldberg hadn't help push us into a war that we knew before it happened would be a disaster.