"There's plenty of blame to go round. You'd think that these days the cheerleaders for war were limited to a platoon of neo-cons, as potent in historical influence as the Knights Templar supposedly were. But it was not so; the coalition of enablers spread far beyond Cheney's team and the extended family of Norman Podhoretz, the founding neo-con who, as editor of Commentary, led the liberal defection into the Reagan camp in the late 1970s.
Atop mainstream corporate journalism perch the New York Times and the New Yorker, two prime disseminators of pro-invasion propaganda, written at the NYT by Judith Miller, Michael Gordon and, on the op-ed page, by Thomas Friedman. The New Yorker put forth the voluminous lies of Jeffrey Goldberg and has remained impenitent to this day.
The war party virtually monopolised television. AM radio poured out a torrent of war bluster. The laptop bombardiers such as Salman Rushdie were in full war regalia. Among the progressives, the liberal interventionists thumped their tin drums, often by writing pompous pieces attacking the anti-war "hard left".
But today, amid Iraq's dreadful death throes, where are the parlour warriors? Sometimes I dream of them - Tom Friedman, Christopher Hitchens, Salman Rushdie - like characters in a Beckett play, buried up to their necks in a rubbish dump on the edge of Baghdad, reciting their columns to each other as the local women turn over the corpses to see if one of them is her husband or her son.
Liberal interventionism came of age with the onslaught on Serbia. Liberal support for the attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq were the afterglows. Now that night has descended and illusions about the great crusade are shattered for ever, let us tip our hats to those who opposed this war from the start – the real left, the libertarians and those without illusions about the "civilising mission" of the great powers
Read more of Alexander Cockburn's brilliant First Post piece on the fourth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, here.