Monday, August 20, 2007

Asking the experts

By Libby

The A-listers have been having an ongoing discussion this weekend about the "foreign policy community." These guys certainly don't need my help in working it out but I'm going to tell you what I think anyway.

Glenn Greewald fires the latest salvo in defense from his critics and he's right. The "serious" pundits that have been given almost sole control of the public forums are the extremist neo-conservatives who have a vested interest in continuing the ill-fated occupation in order to protect their own reputations and are most certainly, gleefully supporting endless war.

Drezner's feeble claim that these tiny cabal of PNAC proponents can't be held responsible for the dismal failure of the Bush Doctrine would be laughable if his opinion wasn't so respected among those who have the power to sway policy. Dan asserts that the "community" is composed of a large group of individuals with widely ranging views and quotes someone who notes the neo-conservatives numbers are dropping, extrapolating from there that their influence is waning.

Indeed, this study at first blush would seem to support that premise. The vast majority of foreign policy experts agree that Iraq is a disaster and our current strategies are not only ineffective, they're downright dangerous. In fact, it's correct that the true believers in the doctrine are miniscule.
Only 3 percent believed the United States will achieve its goal of rebuilding Iraq into a beacon of democracy within the next 10 years.

The problem being, it's that 3 percent that are still being given the public forum via the media and who have the president's ear and confidence, despite having been absolutely and destructively wrong about everything since 9/11. That serves their long range goals, but not the national interest.

So in the end, the study upholds Glenn's position. Our foreign policy is being dictated by a fringe group of extremists and our media is complicit in this folly by continuing to treat this cabal as honored experts instead of the failed pundits that they are. Furthermore they verge on criminal negligence by failing to give the 90% of dissenting experts equal air time to expound on how the surge has failed and the Bush Doctrine endangers us.

As the saying goes, words have consequences and on-air time matters.

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