Yglesias Award Nominee
"There were a helluva lot of us who got dragged along for the [Iraq War] ride, played like chumps we now know with hindsight. Realist types like me mostly did based on fears of Saddam's supposed chemical and biological WMD capability (relying on Tenet's 'slam dunk' for the casus belli), thinking 9/11 might have inspired Saddam, and per 'the enemy of my enemy is my friend,' that he might decide to cozy up with transnational terror groups like al-Qaeda to deliver a severe second-round blow to the U.S.
Like many New Yorkers and others who were impacted or witnessed the attacks, I suspect, I suppose I also felt much anger, fused with an ill-advised sense of absolutist, moral righteousness that was its own form of self-indulgent vanity too, one that helped spur on copious helpings of jingo-fever in the air - with too few of us asking the hard questions about the hows and why and whos of how the post-war nation-building effort would be pursued (I speak here of Iraq, not the fully warranted conflict in Afghanistan). Such public confessionals aren't particularly pleasant, of course, but they have the merit of being honest reflections of what I now believe, for whatever they're worth," - Greg Djerejian.
I see a lot of my own vanity in those months as well. And I feel the same way about it as Greg does.