Yesterday, June 16, there was a lengthy–and rather fawning–article in The New York Times recounting the policy-promoting exploits of the Kagan family: Brothers Robert and Fred, and father Donald, a hawkish triumvirate of unrepentent neocons that has untiringly encouraged U.S. military interventionism abroad, notably including but not limited to the Bush Administration’s invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. Then today, June 17, I listened to John Hockenberry–as part of his excellent NPR radio show, The Takeaway–interviewing Richard Perle, another heavy-hitting neocon interventionist chickenhawk with considerable blood on his unapologetic hands (as well as an irresistible fondness for nuclear weapons). Both the NYT puff piece and the Hockenberry interview were occasioned by the current ISIS military offensive in Iraq, and in both cases, the individuals being interviewed were treated as wise and knowledgeable…rather than discredited and culpable.
Which makes me wonder. What would it take for such people to be discredited rather than respected? To be seen as the blundering, immoral, geostrategic numbskulls and international war criminals that they are, rather than being treated as strategic sages? Tens of thousands (perhaps hundreds of thousands) have died and whole countries laid waste, many thousands more have had their lives ruined by the heedless incompetence and ideologically blinkered vision of such people, and yet for the most part they continue to be treated with a kind of esteem.