Back in 2003, in the build-up to war with Iraq, the Independent's Johann Hari was one of the most vocal liberal/left-wing supporters of the invasion. "Every single anti-war protester should - on the basis of this evidence and similar material I have offered in previous columns about the real wishes of the Iraqi people - reconsider their view," he wrote in March 2003.
Four years on, it's Hari himself who is reconsidering his views. He is scathing about those who planned the invasion- and the "leftists" who thought Washington's neoconservatives could be an ally:
"It's painfully conspicuous that [Nick] Cohen's statements about neoconservatism consist solely of assertions, primarily about the personal niceness of Paul Wolfowitz. The overwhelming contrary evidence is simply ignored. A policy of systematic torture? The immediate imposition of mass privatisations, causing mass unemployment and sectarian unrest? The barricading of civilian men aged between 18 and 60 in Fallujah, a city the size of Baltimore, before attacking it with chemical weapons? Cohen does not say how these neoconservative tactics have been "fighting the Left's battles for them".
Hari goes on:
"The notion that neoconservatism is a vehicle for a global democratic revolution is a 1990s rhetorical creation. On the contrary, for most of its short intellectual life neoconservatism has been a force defending autocracy".
It's great to see that Hari is moving in the right direction. But he still has a little further to go on his journey towards the truth. Like the war in Iraq, the neocon-inspired war against Yugoslavia in 1999 - which Hari still defends - had nothing to do with "humanitarian concerns" or "spreading democracy" (Yugoslavia under Milosevic was a multi-party democracy, with a well-financed opposition media) but was purely and simply about extending Pax Americana and, to use Hari's own words the imposition of mass privatisations. In order to achieve their goal, the empire builders in Washington had to resort to deceit: in 2003, the Big Lie was that Iraq possessed WMDs, four years earlier, it was that Yugoslav forces were committing genocide in Kosovo.
Sadly, large sections of the liberal left believed the official version, and in 1999 backed the illegal war.
Messrs Perle, Wolfitowitz and Rumsfeld - all members of the executive of the Balkan Action Committee (which lobbied for US involvement on the side of the separatist leader Izetbegovic in Bosnia, and then for full scale war against Milosevic's rump Yugoslavia in 1999) would never have got the level of public support they did for their wars without the propagandising done for their cause by liberal-left writers like Nick Cohen, David Aaronovitch and Johann Hari - and of course, Christopher Hitchens.
Once the liberal-left wakes up to the fact that in Yugoslavia, as in Iraq, they were sold a pack of lies, it really is game over for the serial warmongers.
Over to you, Johann.