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One thing we should have learned from Iraq

The Syria situation is a freaking mess, and I’m not even going to add my two cents as to what we should do.

But I do have something to say about *how* we come to a decision:

One of the less savory aspects of the rush to war in Iraq was the way that, in the incestuous world of our political class, many of the pundits who called for war had serious conflicts of interest, conflicts that were not even disclosed.

So George Shultz was presented as a “former Secretary of State,” not a former president¬†and¬†current member of the Board of Directors of Bechtel Corporation, which stood to profit mightily from the Iraq war. (And did.)

And Richard Perle didn’t bother to reveal his connections to Trireme Capital, a defense- and security-related company, until Seymour Hersh (one of our last actual investigative journalists) helpfully did it for him.

You’d think we’d have learned. But according to the blog North Decoder, we haven’t. Specifically, North Decoder caught retired General Michael Hayden calling for an attack on Syria (on MSNBC) without mentioning that he personally stood to profit (and without being called on it).

Seriously, what the hey? Haven’t we learned that when we face the grave and potentially catastrophic decision of whether or not to go to war, we shouldn’t listen to arms dealers? Or at least, if we do listen to them, we should *identify* them as arms dealers?


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