Five Best Monday Columns

Peter Feaver on Iraq war myths, Juliette Kayyem on remembering war, Eric Boehlert on the war and Twitter, Lewis Dvorkin on the economics of online media, and Ross Douthat on the challenges facing the Catholic Church.

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Peter Feaver at Foreign Policy on Iraq war myths As the tenth anniversary of the beginning of the war in Iraq approaches, the myths surrounding the conflict are all the more important to address, writes Peter Feaver. After taking stock of what he deems to be the five biggest myths — among them, the notion that George W. Bush or his lieutenants "lied" in making the case for invading Iraq — Feaver explains how they work together: "All of these myths add up to the uber-myth: That the arguments made in favor of the Iraq war were all wrong and the arguments made against the Iraq war were all right." Reality isn't that simple, Feaver argues. "The point is that neither side in the Iraq debate has had a monopoly on wisdom."

Juliette Kayyem in The Boston Globe on historicizing the Iraq War "The narrative of the Iraq war has a prologue and an epilogue whose lessons are as valuable to the United States as those derived from what came in between," writes Juliette Kayyem, who challenges the assumption that our country's entry (and exit) from Iraq were based on a strong consensus. "Defenders of the war have somehow successfully rewritten the story to ignore the fact that many scholars, journalists, and defense specialists were urging President Bush not to succumb to this folly," she notes, placing emphasis on the costs inflicted on those fighting a war justified with questionable information.

Eric Boehlert at Media Matters on the impact of Twitter on war reporting Eric Boehlert poses a provocative question: Could Twitter, and its endless feed of 140-character messages, have stopped the American invasion of Iraq? Charging D.C. journalists with cheering on the war, Boehlert thinks "Twitter could have rescued forgotten or buried news stories and commentaries that ran against the let's-go-to-war narrative that engulfed so much of the mainstream press." Boehlert acknowledges that the tone of Twitter can veer toward the ridiculous — even the abusive — but argues the risk of a coarser discourse would have been worth it. "The stakes in 2003 were too high to worry about bruised feelings," he writes.

Lewis Dvorkin at Forbes on the economics of online media How do people make money in online media? By exposing how much money his contributors make at Forbes, Lewis Dvorkin insists that, while there is money to be made (in spite of the doomsday predictions to the contrary), the newsroom model is outdated, and can only impede journalists who hope to make a living in their profession. "Consumer demand for credible news and information is greater than ever," Dvorkin writes. "The problem is the 100-year-old model for producing it is forever broken ... a high-cost newsroom structure built for the print age will never work in a smartphone or tablet world."

Ross Douthat in The New York Times on the Catholic Church's challenge We are not an atheistic country, writes Ross Douthat, who cites uber-memoir Eat, Pray, Love and the popularity of megachurch pastors as evidence against God's death. Rather, we "dismiss the idea that the divine could possibly want anything for us except for what we already want for ourselves." This reality is what confronts the new Pope of the Catholic Church, a centuries-old institution in the midst of addressing the myriad scandals affecting its priesthood. To survive, Douthat argues, the Church need to find "a generation of priests and bishops who hold themselves to a higher standard — higher than their immediate predecessors, and higher than the world."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.