The Iraq War: A Look Back in Laughter


Glenn "Instapundit" Reynolds blows the horn of Gondor and calls for a "blog symposium on Iraq, Iran, and Syria"—not the promising concept in the world, but not the most risible. The shameless Instaputz responds with a history of the Iraq conflict told via the sillier things that have appeared in the blogosphere.

It's framed as a knock at Instapundit himself, but muddle through the archive and you find that almost all of the posts are links to other blogs that seemed interesting at the time. This link to an Austin Bay analysis simply repeats, in an eloquent manner, the conventional wisdom about how Iraq's forces would crumple under an American invasion. Even this post quoting Steven Den Beste, who's always struck me as a buffoon, has some wisdom beneath the bluster.

The overwhelming urge is to breathe a sigh of relief and get back to normal life, only more so: normal life minus current events. Yet this is just the moment when it's probably most important to pay attention to what is going on in the Middle East, because these are the weeks when we will or won't make the mistakes that will cost us the benefit of all the sacrifice of life and treasure.

Yadda, yadda; but the point that the first months after the successful invasion were determinative of the occupation's success is a sound one. Click through more of the posts and the analysis gets less… prescient.

For all the talk about bloggers selling out/not selling out to politicians, the way blogs evolved during the Iraq war is the most interesting mass media occurrence of the decade so far. A form of communication that was headed into a pretty interesting direction was utterly changed by the buildup to war and related propaganda pushes on the pro- and anti- sides. For more, check out Matt Welch's great "Farewell to Warblogging."