WaPo: The Good, the Bad, Then a Different Good Again

Taking responsibility, and avoiding it
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Admirable/good: The Post's columnist David Ignatius (disclosure: a very long-time close friend) begins a column today forthrightly saying that he regrets having supported the invasion of Iraq ten years ago:

Ten years ago this week, I was covering the U.S. military as it began its assault on Iraq. As I read back now over my clips, I see a few useful warnings about the difficulties ahead. But I owe readers an apology for being wrong on the overriding question of whether the war made sense.

Invading Iraq to topple Saddam Hussein a decade ago was one of the biggest strategic errors in modern American history.
We shouldn't overlook what it takes to write something this direct. One indication is its rarity: think of the other people who might have said something similar, and didn't. Which brings us to:

Less admirable/bad: The Post's editorial page, which 10 years ago, under the same leadership as today, was one of the most impassioned voices about the need to invade, has so far not ventured one word about how it looks back on that all-in bet.

Back to the good: OK, this is on an entirely different scale, but I can't help but be excited by the Post's Beer Madness bracket: a showdown of local D.C.-based beers.

Thumbnail image for Beers2.jpg

I've filled out my bracket and will watch to see if the expert panel makes the right choices.

Seriously, very gutsy column by David Ignatius.
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James Fallows is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States and once worked as President Carter's chief speechwriter. His latest book is China Airborne. More

James Fallows is based in Washington as a national correspondent for The Atlantic. He has worked for the magazine for nearly 30 years and in that time has also lived in Seattle, Berkeley, Austin, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, and Beijing. He was raised in Redlands, California, received his undergraduate degree in American history and literature from Harvard, and received a graduate degree in economics from Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. In addition to working for The Atlantic, he has spent two years as chief White House speechwriter for Jimmy Carter, two years as the editor of US News & World Report, and six months as a program designer at Microsoft. He is an instrument-rated private pilot. He is also now the chair in U.S. media at the U.S. Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, in Australia.

Fallows has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award five times and has won once; he has also won the American Book Award for nonfiction and a N.Y. Emmy award for the documentary series Doing Business in China. He was the founding chairman of the New America Foundation. His recent books Blind Into Baghdad (2006) and Postcards From Tomorrow Square (2009) are based on his writings for The Atlantic. His latest book is China Airborne. He is married to Deborah Fallows, author of the recent book Dreaming in Chinese. They have two married sons.

Fallows welcomes and frequently quotes from reader mail sent via the "Email" button below. Unless you specify otherwise, we consider any incoming mail available for possible quotation -- but not with the sender's real name unless you explicitly state that it may be used. If you are wondering why Fallows does not use a "Comments" field below his posts, please see previous explanations here and here.
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