Excerpt from “Freedom’s just Another Word,” by Frank rich, NYT, 9/4/10. “The other American casualties of Iraq include the credibility of both political parties, neither of which strenuously questioned the rush to war and both of which are still haunted by that failure, and of the news media, which barely challenged the White House’s propaganda about Saddam’s imminent mushroom clouds. Many pundits, quite a few of them liberals, stoked the war fever as well. Some eventually acknowledged getting it wrong, though in most cases they stopped short of apologizing for their failures of judgment and their abdication of journalistic skepticism about the government’s case for war.

“Even now those think-tank types who kept seeing light at the end of the Iraqi tunnel are ubiquitous on television and op-ed pages making similar stay-the-course prognostications about Afghanistan. Their embarrassing track records may have temporarily vanished into the great American memory hole, but actions do have consequences, and there must be an accounting. America does have a soul, and, as Franzen so powerfully dramatizes in “Freedom,” when that soul is violated, we are paralyzed until we set it right.”

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