Wednesday, March 19
The Slate Field Guide to Iraq Pundits
David Plotz, Julia Turner, and Avi Zenilman, Slate.com, March 14, 2003
You've seen them pontificate gravely on Meet the Press, explain military strategy to Oprah, denounce France on The O'Reilly Factor, and solve the war's aftermath in 30 seconds on The NewsHour. But face it, it's impossible to tell them apart.
What's the difference, if any, between William Kristol and Robert Kagan? Which one of those ex-generals worked for Bush the Father, which worked for Clinton, and which worked for Bush the Son? Who is Frank Gaffney, and why is he always on my TV set?
The Slate field guide to Iraq pundits is arranged in order of bellicosity, from blood-red hawks to snow-white doves.
1. Richard Perle
Aka: The Hawk's Hawk
Authorized bio: Chairman of the Pentagon's Defense Policy Board. American Enterprise Institute fellow.
Unauthorized bio: Easily mistaken for an actual administration official. Suing Sy Hersh, who criticized him in The New Yorker for establishing a company that would allegedly profit from war. [...]
2. Frank Gaffney
Authorized bio: President and CEO of the Center for Security Policy. Assistant secretary of defense under Reagan.
Unauthorized bio: The cable networks call him when Perle is busy [...]
3. William Kristol
Aka: The Happy Warrior
Authorized bio: Chief of staff for Vice President Dan Quayle. Editor of the Weekly Standard. Co-author of The War on Iraq: Saddam's Tyranny and America's Mission. Chairman and co-director of the Project for the New American Century, etc., etc., etc.
Unauthorized bio: Irving Kristol's son, Dan Quayle's brain.[...]
4. Robert Kagan
Aka: The Thoughtful Superhawk
Authorized bio: Washington Post columnist, senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, author of Paradise and Power: America vs. Europe in the New World Order, co-director of the Project for the New American Century.
Unauthorized bio: The guy who explains why the Europeans are wimps.[...]
5. Laurie Mylroie
Aka: Ms. Iraq=Al-Qaida
Authorized bio: Iraq scholar and investigator, author of The War Against America: Saddam Hussein and the World Trade Center Attacks: A Study of Revenge, which links Iraq to both World Trade Center attacks.
Unauthorized bio: The one who blames everything on Saddam.[...]
6. James Woolsey
Aka: The Clintonite Who Sounds Like a Bushie
Authorized bio: CIA director under President Clinton.
Unauthorized bio: The guy who advocated looking into Saddam's ties to Sept. 11 as early as Sept. 13
7. Steve Emerson
Aka: The Terrorism Guru Doves Love To Hate
Authorized bio: NBC terrorism analyst; author of American Jihad: The Terrorists Living Among Us; producer of 1994 Frontline film Jihad in America.
Unauthorized bio: Journalist most loathed by American Muslims. Has been documenting American links to Islamic terrorists for years. [...]
8. Christopher Hitchens
Aka: The Latter-Day Orwell
Authorized bio: Astonishingly prolific author of Why Orwell Matters and The Trial of Henry Kissinger, columnist for Vanity Fair and Slate.
Unauthorized bio: Iconoclast who broke ranks with the left over Islamist terrorism and Saddam Hussein. Quit writing a column for The Nation in September 2002 because the magazine was an "echo chamber of those who truly believe that John Ashcroft is a greater menace than Osama bin Laden."
9. Henry Kissinger
Aka: As Always, the Realist
Authorized bio: Former secretary of state and national security adviser, prolific author. CEO of Kissinger Associates.
Unauthorized bio: Minion of Satan. [...]
10. Gen. Wayne Downing
Aka: The Go-to General
Authorized bio: Retired Gulf War general and special-ops expert. Former adviser to the Iraqi National Congress. Appointed by Bush to head the White House Office for Combating Terrorism in October 2001; resigned 10 months later.
Unauthorized bio: TV general who explains why current U.S. military plans make sense. [...]
11. David Kay
Aka: Hell Hath No Fury Like an Inspector Scorned
Authorized bio: U.N. chief nuclear weapons inspector after Gulf War I, Potomac Institute for Policy Studies senior fellow.
Unauthorized bio: Accused of being a CIA spy after he found documents indicating Iraqi WMD programs in late 1991. He was subsequently locked in a bus and held hostage by Iraqi troops.[...]
12. Kenneth Pollack
Aka: The Lefty Sort-of Hawk
Authorized bio: National Security Council staffer under Clinton. CNN analyst. Brookings Institution senior fellow. Author of The Threatening Storm: The Case for Invading Iraq.
Unauthorized bio: His book is responsible for persuading many on the left to support the war (The "I-Can't-Believe-I'm-a-Hawk" Club). Disingenuously cited by conservatives trying to prove bipartisan unanimity about the war.[...]
13. Norman Schwarzkopf
Aka: Not-So-Stormin' Norman
Authorized bio: Commander of U.S. forces during the Gulf War.
Unauthorized bio: The Gulf War celebrity most likely to criticize today's political and military leaders. In January, he panned Donald Rumsfeld and Gulf War II, though he clammed up once Colin Powell turned hawkish.[...]
14. Lawrence Eagleburger
Aka: The Old-Fashioned Cautious Republican
Authorized bio: Secretary of state under the first President Bush.
Unauthorized bio: Secretary of state for about 15 minutes under the first President Bush.[...]
15. Thomas Friedman
Aka: The Earnest Reformer
Authorized bio: New York Times Pulitzer-Prize-winning foreign affairs columnist.
Unauthorized bio: Along with Pollack, the guy who can make the (reluctant) liberal case for war. Now a charter member of the balking hawks club.[...]
16. Gen. Wesley Clark
Aka: The Democratic General
Authorized bio: Former NATO supreme commander, ran Kosovo operation. CNN military analyst.
Unauthorized bio: Auditioning for presidential campaign.[...]
17. Richard Butler
Aka: The Ex-Inspector
Authorized bio: Former chair of the UNSCOM inspection team; author of The Greatest Threat: Iraq, Weapons of Mass Destruction, and the Crisis of Global Security.
Unauthorized bio: This Aussie was tougher than the Swedish Hans Blix, which is why Saddam booted Butler in 1998.[...]
18. Jessica Mathews
Aka: The Force-Loving Dove
Authorized bio: President of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Served in the Carter and Clinton administrations. Former Washington Post columnist.
Unauthorized bio: Authored the Carnegie Endowment's proposal for "coercive inspections," which got press last summer and then was ignored.[...]
19. Scott Ritter
Aka: The Hawk Who Magically Became a Dove
Authorized bio: Former U.N. weapons inspector.
Unauthorized bio: Hawkish U.N. weapons inspector turned aggressive dove. In new incarnation, addressed Iraqi parliament and made a documentary asserting that Iraq is now harmless.[...]
20. Tom Andrews
Aka: The Mainstream Dove
Authorized bio: Director of Win Without War. Former Democratic congressman from Maine.
Unauthorized bio: The politician doves recruited so they'd seem less radical.[...]
21. Janeane Garofalo
Aka: The Celebrity Dove
Authorized bio: Comedic actress. Appears in anti-war TV commercial.
Unauthorized bio: A celeb doves recruited so they'd be more visible. More appealing and famous than Mike Farrell, celebrity dove No. 2.[...]
22. Dennis Kucinich
Aka: Candidate Dove
Authorized bio: Democratic congressman from Ohio. Former mayor of Cleveland.
Unauthorized bio: Currently competing with Al Sharpton for "fringiest candidate" mantle in the 2004 Democratic primary.[...]