Five years on, "liberal hawks" consider their support for the Iraq war.

Who's winning, who's losing, and why.
March 21 2008 12:26 PM

Why Did We Get It Wrong?

Five years on, "liberal hawks" consider their support for the Iraq war.

Illustration by Charlie Powell. Click image to expand.

To mark the fifth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, Slate has asked a number of writers who originally supported the war to answer the question, "Why did we get it wrong?" We have invited contributions from the best-known "liberal hawks"—and others—many of whom participated in two previous Slate debates about the war, the first before it began in fall of 2002, the second in early 2004.

"How Did I Get Iraq Wrong? I believed the groupthink and contributed to it," by Jacob Weisberg. Posted March 21, 2008.

"How Did I Get Iraq Wrong? I seriously misjudged Bush's sense of morality," by Andrew Sullivan. Posted March 21, 2008.

"How Did I Get Iraq Wrong? Wrong question. How did Mary McGrory and Barack Obama get Iraq right?" by Timothy Noah. Posted March 20, 2008.

"How Did I Get Iraq Wrong? I didn't realize how incompetent the Bush administration could be," by Jeffrey Goldberg. Posted March 19, 2008.

"How Did I Get Iraq Wrong? Rather than bore you with the answer, here are lessons from the experience," by William Saletan. Posted March 19, 2008.

"How Did I Get Iraq Wrong? I'm proud of my service there, but now it's time for us to leave," by Phillip Carter. Posted March 18, 2008.

"How Did I Get Iraq Wrong?I forgot that security must come first if democracy is to come later," by Josef Joffe. Posted March 18, 2008.

"How Did I Get Iraq Wrong?I thought we had a chance to stabilize an unstable region, and—I admit it—I wanted to strike back," by Richard Cohen. Posted March 18, 2008.

"How Did I Get Iraq Wrong? I trusted Colin Powell and his circumstantial evidence—for a little while," by Fred Kaplan. Posted March 17, 2008.

"How Did I Get Iraq Wrong? I underestimated the self-centeredness and sectarianism of the ruling elite and the social impact of 30 years of extreme dictatorship," by Kanan Makiya. Posted March 17, 2008. (Kanan Makiya chatted online with readers about this article; read the transcript.)

"How Did I Get Iraq Wrong?  I didn't," by Christopher Hitchens. Posted March 17, 2008.

TODAY IN SLATE

Doublex

Crying Rape

False rape accusations exist, and they are a serious problem.

Scotland Learns That Breaking Up a Country Is Hard to Do

There’s a Way to Keep Ex-Cons Out of Prison That Pays for Itself. Why Don’t More States Use It?

The Music Industry Is Ignoring Some of the Best Black Women Singing R&B

How Will You Carry Around Your Huge New iPhone? Apple Pants!

Culturebox

Theo’s Joint and Vanessa’s Whiskey

No sitcom did the “Very Special Episode” as well as The Cosby Show.

Television

The Other Huxtable Effect

Thirty years ago, The Cosby Show gave us one of TV’s great feminists.

Cliff Huxtable Explains the World: Five Lessons From TV’s Greatest Dad

Why Television Needs a New Cosby Show Right Now

  News & Politics
The World
Sept. 19 2014 12:33 PM The Precarious Predicament of Russia’s Neighbors
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 19 2014 12:09 PM How Accelerators Have Changed Startup Funding
  Life
The Vault
Sept. 19 2014 12:08 PM The CIA Used to Have a Commute-by-Canoe Club. One Member’s Memories.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 11:33 AM Planned Parenthood Is About to Make It a Lot Easier to Get Birth Control
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 19 2014 12:10 PM Watch the Trailer for Big Eyes, a Tim Burton Movie About People With Normal-Sized Eyes
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 12:38 PM Forward, March! Nine leading climate scientists urge you to attend the People’s Climate March.
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 19 2014 12:13 PM The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola  The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.