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November 01, 2007



Open Letter to WashPo Columnist David Ignatius


Very nicely done! Alas, most Ignatius columns display the same sort of reasoning.

Ignatius (as do far too many pundits, sadly) is essentially arguing an authoritarian line. Trust us, and trust these people. Those who question deserve gentle chiding or outright ridicule, regardless of clear evidence to justify that questioning. One would have to be blind and deaf to miss the saber-rattling - and amnesiac not to recognize the pattern - but here Ignatius is, saying, 'move along, folks, nothing to see here.'

I wonder for many pundits how much is apologism and how much is cognitive dissonance: "Surely they must want diplomacy!" even though they both say they don't, and don't actually pursue it. "Surely they must be sane, responsible, wise, and would never start another war unless necessary!" Sigh.

He "confuse[s] professionalism with toadyism and journalistic rules with unethical corporate conformity," indeed. That's a nice self-congratulatory way of him looking at an atrocious failure by his profession. The responsible reaction would be, "How horrible, obviously something we're doing doesn't work, we have to examine this and fix it!" Instead, Ignatius – again, like far too many other pundits — has quickly absolved himself and his fellows. The mistakes were bad enough, since it's not as if they weren't warned, they just ignored the many sensible folks who called Iraq right from the start. What's really galling, though, is that they haven't learned anything, and are eager or indifferent to it happening all over again.


Right on. I especially enjoyed Ignatius's 2004 mealy-mouthed dodge of his journalistic responsibilities, along with his concomitant embrace of the MSM's holy grail: "objectivity," which inevitably boils down to he (Republican) said, he (Democrat) said. It completely escaped him that Hans Blix, Scott Ritter, Mohammed el Baradei & the IAEA, and a large percentage of the left Ignatius is quick to deride were 100% right about the lies emanating from the Bush administration before the war on Iraq.

With Bush et al. attempting another sell job to convince the American public about the dangers of the "Iranian threat," Ignatius and his MSM brethren are once again swallowing Administration claptrap as if they haven't seen this credulity-straining routine before. The Bloodhound hits the nail on the head: the media's job is to report the truth and hold those in power accountable. Ignatius does neither.


bush should worry about what is going on in Pakistan... but I know he isn't...


Outstanding post! I have watched with alarm as significant voices in the mainstream media continue to lazily parrot Bush Administration talking points with regard to Iran, just as they did with Iraq.

Ignatius is a decent writer of spy fiction; he should stick to it.

R P Alderson

There is a difference between the run-up to the Iraq debacle and today.

We KNOW now that this worthless administration lied, told half (or quarter) truths and cherry picked what ever intelligence best suited their ambitions in the Middle East.

For a "responsible" journalist to still be drinking this Kool-Ade is beyond just poor reporting.

It's downright irresponsible. Thank you for calling him on it.

What our Doofus-In-Chief tried to say is true despitite his butchering of the homily..."Fool me once, shame on ME, fool me twice" and Ignatius must have covered the story!

grover nerdkissed

he's not gonna read it unless you can prove that you make at least $300, 000 annually.

that is the figure that makes one begin to be "real" in america today.

anything less, & you are part of the rabble.


Great post and so far the comments have all been spot on. Very intelligent group here on MediaBloodhound.

Wayne Dickson

I'm curious about the phrase "diplomatic pressure." Two reasons. First, I thought diplomacy involved at least two-sided conversation. Do we have a diplomatic presence in Iran, and do we have an active high-level communication channel? Second, does threatening to attack constitute diplomacy? Do economic sanctions constitute diplomacy? Do magazine headlines like "The Evil Has Landed" or insults like those Ahmadinejad was dealt at Columbia constitute diplomacy?

Between the U.S. and Iran there is no diplomacy. Within the U.S. there is no informed conversation. Presidential candidates of both parties are slavering for war like rabid dogs—mostly the Republicans, of course, but not solely they. Look at who voted for the Lieberman-Kyl outrage. Last night The History Channel ran a series of promos claiming we are "on the brink of war" with Iran.

Says who? Where's the diplomatic leadership? Where's the democracy? Where's the *INFORMED* consent of the people? Indeed, where's the public outrage? Apologies to Stanley Kubrick, but it sure looks as if Vice President Jack Ripper is forcing President Clueless Codpiece into a war that is totally insane and self-destructive. And the sacrificial sheep of Congress, the press, and public are allowing themselves to be led docilely toward the jaws of Moloch. (Yeah. I switched the allusion from Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove to Fritz Lang's Metropolis. But educated readers will understand.


Exceptional post. Great comments as well. Ignatius reflects the same unconscienable deference to power the vast majority of mainstream print and television do--the PRIMARY REASON we are in the mess we are in.

We absolutely need our media (and mainstream, not progressive) to hold them to account--our only hope. I do not see that likely to happen. Consequently, given the open interpretation of the Lieberman/Kyl ammendment, we are headed for the opening of another disasterous front on the war on terra.


I remember that column in the Washington Compost. I wrote to David Ignoramus about it and said, "Your journalism is as yellows as the stripe on your back."


Complaining about Ignatius is like complaining about the stench in a gas station restroom. His character has been revealed in article after article. Post like this treat him as though his opinion means something. Informed people already know that anything he writes is one sided and normally based on some big lie that the administration is trying to put out and he is always anxious to help. If you want to stop folks like this keep writing articles based in truth and ignore the smell coming from WAPO propagandist


funny, I seem to remember a lot of voices raising the point that an invasion of Iraq was pure folly and for all the reasons that have come to pass. maybe these were just not "serious" experienced folk (one example General Odom). I must have been hallucinating. I guess that's what happens when you pay to much attention to reality.


Where do I sign!? Oh, it's not a petition to get journalists to do their jobs? That's a shame. It would make a one.


Oops. That supposed to read "a GREAT one."


Great post! Pundits like Ignatius should understand there was a time when readers would trust what they reported. That time is over except for those who refuse to think critically. The performance of the press during the run up to the Iraq war was and still is an embarrasment to this country. Now as they try the same sort of lazy and dishonest reporting regarding Iran counter arguments like this post will be there.


There are too many words in your letter to be read by Ignatius.

Rather than citing the evidence that the administration isn't pursuing diplomacy and questioning the number and rank of officials who pretend they are, it is sufficient to point out that anyone in the administration is simply not a reliable source on this topic. As all prior instances have shown, it is best to simply assume that the administration is lying to you, no matter what they say or who says it.

Any article that quotes a member of the Bush administration for support is not worth reading, period.


Great job. Sadly he is consistently considered one of the wise men in Washington, no matter how frequently his predictions prove to be ass backwards. Still an' all, great job.

Ho Chunk

I guess he will have to feign surprise when the bombs start falling on Iran.

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