A List of People Who Supported the War in Iraq

This doesn’t include neocons, because of course they supported it, or politicians.

*had little or no public profile


Christopher Hitchens**

Dan Drezner

Al Franken

Ezra Klein*

Joe Klein

Michael Kelly**

Jacob Weisberg

Andrew Sullivan

Jeffrey Goldberg

William Saletan

Fred Kaplan

Paul Berman

Thomas Friedman

George Packer

Kenneth M. Pollack

Fareed Zakaria

Spencer Ackerman

Matt Yglesias

Glenn Greenwald*

Josh Marshall

Joshua Foust*

Bill Keller

Peter Beinart

David Remnick

Anne-Marie Slaughter

Matt Stoller*

Michael Ignatieff

Jonathan Alter

Henry J. Aaron

Mark Bowden

Greg Easterbrook

Paul Glastris

Steve Ratner

Michael O’Hanlon

Fred Hiatt

Leon Wieseltier

Jonathan Chait

Kevin Drum

Richard Cohen

Roger Cohen

Posted in Blog
22 comments on “A List of People Who Supported the War in Iraq
  1. *typo: Is that because almost none of the women you considered supported the war, or because you didn’t consider many women?

    • DaMizner says:

      Well first of all, men dominate the pundit corps and yes, men were more likely to support the war. Frank Rich:

      “Bill Keller wrote that it was “surely relevant” that his I-Can’t-Believe-I’m-a-Hawk cohort was “exclusively a boys’ club,” and observed that Samantha Power, the writer who had written more eloquently on the case for American humanitarian interventions than anyone, had chosen not to join it.”

      That said, it’s a list in progress so if you know of prominent writers (male or female) who supported the war, please let me know.

      • Thanks for clarifying that. If I remember rightly, here in Britain the war had support from Christopher Hitchens and David Aaronovitch, who are men, and from Julie Burchill, who is a woman. They all (IIRC) supported it in the Guardian, which I guess qualifies them for your list.

  2. Anais Ruiz says:

    And how may of these folks have publicly recanted their position?

    • DaMizner says:

      Almost all, I’d say. There are a few exception, Roger Cohen and (I belive) Michael O’Hanlon among them.

      • anon says:

        I know the neocons have been missed off, but how about a list/count and percentage of those that have recanted to contrast? A defining thing about conservatism is to make a decision and stick to it, they see that as somehow virtuous!

        Will data undermine my opinion?

  3. Schnitzie says:

    I spoke with Mark Bowden on the eve of the US invasion of Iraq. He had taught a class I took at UPenn in the 80s, and we’d had a good friendship back then, so it was nice to reconnect.

    I was shocked by his support for the war. His position turned mostly on his reporting of Saddam Hussein’s brutality, but, given the abundance of brutal tyrants in the world, we both knew that that alone could not justify such intervention.

    Rather, Mark held to that baklava-in-the-sky idea of how great it would be to have a second democracy in the Middle East, particularly an Arab democracy. Bowden bought into the Cheney-Bush sales marketing of a democratic domino theory: That once Saddam Hussein fell and democracy came to Iraq, all other dictatorships there would also fall, and it would be “Spring in Arabia.”

    I had lived through 9-11 in NYC, and like most of my fellow New Yorkers – that is, the Americans who were actually attacked on 9-11 – I didn’t buy the Cheney-Bush line on Iraq for a nanosecond.

    It really is mind-blowing how many smart, informed and reputable journalists and politicians bought into the warmongering bullshit. And Bowden was not your usual vapid broadcast media reporter, peddling soap flakes and sound bites. His roots were in newspaper journalism, at the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he wrote in-depth magazine pieces and then went on to write books.

    I was profoundly disappointed to discover that even Mark, who had spent years investigating Iraq, back when nobody cared, had allowed himself to be suckered like everybody else on your list.

    Let’s not do that again.

  4. Mark Saleby says:

    Unfair to leave out Al Franken , who was a radio presence at the time, and not yet a politician in thrall to Monsanto.

  5. Ulev says:

    Am I one of the ‘few’ who have noticed the preponderance of a certain group that espouses the dictates of a certain country’s sovereignty at the huge expense of our soldiers lives, our country’s economy wealth, personal sacrifice as in the ‘Great Recession’ and reputation ?
    Without spending a shekel…..

  6. rose528 says:

    don’t forget we were all lied to with info that we had no way to verify. Not by 1 or 2 people but by many.

  7. rose528 says:

    that was then this is now lets see who wants to go to War now

  8. Pat McDonald says:

    for years they said join the military and they would pay for college and everything will bill great but this was a con to fill the ranks for a war to get more oil. those people will rot in HELL

  9. rick says:

    Hitchens is dead

  10. Eureka Springs says:

    I like lists of this sort. Though a very easy list would be one of who was always actually against Iraq or any other war…since we haven’t real justification in over 70 years. Recanting is one thing… but people like Juan Cole need to be on this “Support” list and their recanting means little since they are always for the next war until on occasion much too late they are sometimes recanting/against it.

    As for Iraq specifically… I wonder just how many of these people would support serious war crimes trials…. and or serious overhaul of law in how we both declare war and or prosecute those who lie us into war.

    Recanting means little without shame, disgrace…and or serious efforts to make sure they don’t ever wind up supporting mass murder, looting, torture of entire nations.

  11. Bill Michtom says:

    Go back and read the excerpt from Greenwald. He barely supported invading Iraq:

    “I believed then that the president was entitled to have his national security judgment deferred to, and to the extent that I was able to develop a definitive view, I accepted his judgment that American security really would be enhanced by the invasion of this sovereign country.”

    And he became a fierce opponent of the war, Bush, and all his criminal policies.

    To “subtitle the page “people-who-shouldnt-be-talking-about-iraq” is also illegitimate because it denies people the ability to make and recover from errors.

    • DaMizner says:

      Fair points both. GG’s support was the softest kind – he wasn’t a public figure and made no public statement in favor of the war. As for your second point, I agree: the url contains the former name of the post, which I changed for the very reason you cite.

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