David Brooks: our nation's premier expert warrior


( Few things irritate me more than rabble rousing, journalistic chicken hawks and I have long felt that David Brooks and his buddy/ mentor Bill Kristol are two of the most serious irritants. Neither has served under arms nor heard a shot fired in anger, yet they have, for years, kept up a constant drumbeat for various wars to be fought by other people’s children. The piece below, in which Glen Greenwald  takes Brooks to the woodshed appeared in my email this morning. Well worth a read and putting up with a Salon ad or two. higgins )

From: Glen Greenwald / Salon Friday Sept. 25, 2009

In today’s New York Times, the grizzled warrior David Brooks performs a chest-beating war dance over Afghanistan of the type he and his tough guy comrades perfected in the run-up to the Iraq War.  It’s filled with self-glorifying "war-is-hell" neocon platitudes that make the speaker feel tough and strong. No more hiding like cowards in our bases. It’s time to send "small groups of American men and women [] outside the wire in dangerous places." Those opposing escalation are succumbing to the "illusion of the easy path." Chomping on a cigar in his war room, he roars:  "all out or all in." The central question: will we "surrender the place to the Taliban?," etc. etc.

Needless to say, Brooks was writing all the same things in late 2002 and early 2003 about Iraq — though, back then, he did so from the pages of Rupert Murdoch and Bill Kristol’s The Weekly Standard. When I went back to read some of that this morning, I was — as always — struck by how extreme and noxious it all was: the snide, hubristic superiority combined with absolute wrongness about everything. What people like David Brooks were saying back then was so severe — so severely wrong, pompous, blind, warmongering and, as it turns out, destructive — that no matter how many times one reviews the record of the leading opinion-makers of that era, one will never be inured to how poisonous they are.

All of this would be a fascinating study for historians if the people responsible were figures of the past. But they’re not. They’re the opposite. The same people shaping our debates now are the same ones who did all of that, and they haven’t changed at all. They’re doing the same things now that they did then. When you go read what they said back then, that’s what makes it so remarkable and noteworthy. David Brooks got promoted within our establishment commentariat to The New York Times after (one might say: because of) the ignorant bile and amoral idiocy he continuously spewed while at The Weekly Standard. According to National Journal’s recently convened "panel of Congressional and Political Insiders," Brooks is now the commentator who "who most help[s] to shape their own opinion or worldview" — second only to Tom "Suck On This" Friedman.  Charles Krauthammer came in third.  Ponder that for a minute.

Follow the "source link to read the rest at "Salon"

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