TomDispatch reminds us of the faces we constantly see in our media, pontificating about the glories of war:
Pentagon foreign policy is regularly seconded by a growing cadre of what might be called military intellectuals at think tanks scattered around Washington. Such figures, many of them qualifying as “warrior pundits” and “warrior journalists,” include: Michael O’Hanlon, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution; retired Lieutenant Colonel John Nagl, president of the Center for a New American Security and Petraeus adviser; former U.S. Army officer Andrew Exum, fellow at the Center for a New American Security, founder of the Abu Muqawama website, and a McChrystal advisor; former Australian infantry officer and Petraeus adviser David Kilcullen, non-resident senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security;Thomas Ricks, formerly of the Washington Post, author of the bestselling Iraq War books Fiasco and The Gamble, Petraeus admirer, and senior fellow at the same center; Frederick Kagan of the American Enterprise Institute, the man Gates credits with turning around his thinking on Afghanistan and a recent Petraeus hireein Afghanistan; Kimberley Kagan of the Institute for the Study of War, an adviser to both Petraeus and McChrystal; Kenneth Pollack, director of the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution; and Stephen Biddle, senior fellow for defense policy at the Council on Foreign Relations and another Petraeus as well as McChrystal adviser. These figures, and numerous others like them, are repeatedly invited to U.S. war zones by the military, flattered, toured, given face time with commanders, sometimes hired by them, and sometimes even given the sense that they are the ones planning our wars. They then return to Washington to offer sophisticated, “objective” versions of the military line.
Toss into this mix the former neocons who caused so much of the damage in the early Bush years and who regularly return at key moments as esteemed media “experts” (not the fools and knaves they were), including former Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, former head of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) L. Paul Bremer III, and former senior advisor to the CPA Noah Feldman, among others. For them, being wrong means never having to say you’re sorry. And, of course, they and their thoughts are dealt with remarkably respectfully, while those who were against the Iraq War from the beginning remain scarce commodities on op-ed pages, as sources in news articles, and on the national radio and TV news.