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."


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  1. From Instaputz – 8/13/02: Argues that invading Iraq is important for “psychological reasons”, i.e., to humilate the Arab world.

    A sure recipe for success every time!

  2. “not the promising concept in the world, but not the most risible”

    David, what does this mean? proofread, man!

  3. We have got to stay the course, regardless of the consequenses. It doesn’t matter if every American of fighting age is killed, we must stay the course.

    We must fight until mission is accomplished and there is democracy in the middle east. We must attack Syria and Iran next and stay the course there also.

    We should use nuclear weapons all over Iraq until we have finally won the war on terrorism and got all of the Iraqi terorists that were responsible for 9-11.

    We need to continue the crusade and stay the course until all the Islamic terists are dead. We must stay the course on the war on Islam.



  4. That was good, Juanita! Keep it up!

  5. Bizarre post.

    Shameless or not, Instaputz isn’t ‘looking back in laughter’ – but reviewing Reynolds’s record on Iraq.

    Which isn’t that great, is it?

  6. It’s good to have you back, Juanita.

  7. David, what does this mean? proofread, man!

    I don’t get what it is that you don’t get. In other words, I get it, don’t you?

  8. The most striking thing isn’t how consistently Glenn, and the rest of the hawks got things wrong. We all screw up sometimes.

    The really striking thing is how consistently he responded to people who later turned out to right with the most ferocious denunciations.

    See what’s happening in Iraq, faith-based-ers? This is what certainty gets you. Maybe if you’d taken the trouble to actually think about and answer criticisms, you wouldn’t have failed so miserably to understand the world.

  9. I think he means that the line should read…

    “not the *MOST* promising concept in the world, but not the most risible”

  10. actually, I suspected the line should have read “not the [MOST] promising concept in the world, but not the most risible”

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