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.