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October 25, 2006


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Wrong game. A pitcher who walks two batters and then gets hit by the third for a home run, in the sixth inning, does walk off the field.

it's a reason to take away his license

I sort of knew it before, but one thing the past five years have brought home to me is that there's one and only one thing that gives you a license to opine prominently about U.S. foreign policy: having lots of money behind you.

Thus, if you're Jonah Golberg and faithfully represent the foriegn policy perspective of giant defense corporations, you will have a platform for the rest of your life. It's literally impossible to be wrong enough about something to lose the platform, as long as you were wrong in the service of giant defense corporations. See also: 99% of the U.S. punditocracy.

Likewise, if you don't have lots of money backing you, it's literally impossible to be right enough to be given a prominent platform. See: Ritter, Scott.

It's difficult for nice liberals, but they (we) really need to get over the hope/belief that knowledge, honesty, competence, etc. have anything to do with anything.

Maybe it's just me, but I'm getting a kind of uncharacteristically bitter vibe from this post.
A doctor's ineptitude actually causes people harm. Does this guy really have that much influence? The wiki calls him a commentator, not a journalist. Just seems like a guy who people can agree to, not have their minds changed by.

That said, this:
an enormous amount of hatred unleashed on the world
was good to read. As someone who believes hatred perpetuates itself, it's nice to see other people consider it a problem and an important consequence of (this) war. Just out of curiosity, do you think hatred is ever justified, or a good thing? Maybe there is some cathartic value to it. You said one time you believe in evil. Do you think people can be evil, and can they change? If not, is it okay to hate them?

Ah, questions questions, sorry for all the questions. Just trying to figure out what grade to give you on my bleeding heart scale : ) I'd like to hear other people's answers as well.

I am bitter, partly because I have been thinking a lot about Iraq lately, and trying and failing to write about it. -- I think Jonah Goldberg didn't by any means cause the war -- that honor belongs to Bush, of course -- but he did have a lot of influence back in 2002, and had he actually thought hard about what he was advocating, it might have made a difference in the support for the war. Who knows.

The last time I talked about evil, people seemed to think that to call someone 'evil' was to say that they are unalterably part of a special class of 'evil beings', or something. I think that 'evil' is a property that human beings can have, the same way they can be courteous or sociable or gutsy; and that it's as changeable as any other significant character trait.

I also don't think that it's particularly my job to go around figuring out who the evil people are. I can speculate -- I really don't see how to read Jonah G. as anything other than appallingly cavalier about what he advocates, for instance -- but that's not my main concern. (My basic attitude goes back to when I was Christian: God can read the human heart, and who knows what He sees in a particular person? Not me. I still think this, except that I don't believe in God any more.)

By the same token, I think that to embroil myself in hatred is to focus on someone else's badness while cleverly overlooking the enormous moral dangers I take by hating someone. It's enough, I think, to hate evil itself, and to work against it.

I wouldn't say this to someone in Iraq, though. Not my place to tell people who have suffered a lot more than I ever will (I hope) what to do with their grief. I can imagine very close friendships in which something like this might happen, given the right context, but not normally.

My response would be that Goldberg and any other pundit deals with the coin of public opinion, so to give him a pass is to let him accumulate a debt and then avoid the necessity of paying it off. I assume we want commentators who lay out honest and accurate argumentation because this is one of the main ways to inform the body politic. Walking away and saying 'who does he actually influence anyway?' is to chuck the mechanism of self-correction out of the window (not that it is such a finely honed instrument as to keep us on the straight and narrow, but it is really all we've got)

LJ gets right to the heart of it.

It's the division of labor at work. The modern world is complex enough that most of us cannot, in the time and with the resources we have, suss out enough about a lot of issues to form an informed judgment worth respecting. It's not like having information compels a uniform judgment, of course - people can all have enough facts to actually understand what's going on and the logical apparatus to think clearly about it and hearts which have enough compassion, love of justice, and so on to make moral decisions, and still disagree. But we do reasonably expect that after a while of poking at data, thinking about them, having the opportunity to consult directly with decision-makers and first-hand observers and such, some views will get ruled out. The function of a good pundit is to see what we would want to see, and to think about what we'd want to think about if we had the free time. It's the pundit's job to analyze more carefully than most of us can, and then to present in a more polished way than most of us can.

What we have instead is a spectacularly stupid treason of the clerks, in which they fail to see as carefully or think as wisely and morally as the rest of us do most of the time anyway. They don't just fail to help, they actively make it harder to come to informed decisions, because they sow misdirection and crap argumentation all around the truth. No one example of this is crucial, but the cumulative effect is very real - compare the pundit concensus on issues like "was the war a mistake" and "should we consider impeachment" to where the people have gotten despite the pundits' best efforts. Jonah Goldberg matters because he is highly visible and highly copied; a lot of lesser flunkies take cues from him and his colleagues.

Not the clerks, Bruce Baugh, the clerisy. The clerisy has been doing its best to encourage the administrators to purge the clerks.

Hilzoy, I don't think you're giving organic farmers nearly enough credit.

Although with the sheer amount of, shall we say, organic fertilizer Goldberg slings, he'd seem a natural fit, the recent spinach scare says to me that organic farming is yet another profession I'd like him to steer clear of. Perhaps pet grooming?

The function of a good pundit is to see what we would want to see, and to think about what we'd want to think about if we had the free time. It's the pundit's job to analyze more carefully than most of us can, and then to present in a more polished way than most of us can.

Yes, but again, that's just your and my definition of the function and job of a pundit. It differs from the definition of the corporation that owns the Los Angeles Times, all the networks where Goldberg regularly appears, etc. -- because clearly by their definition he's a good pundit. By contrast, by their definition, Scott Ritter is a bad pundit.

Whose definition matters can be measured by which of them has a LA Times column and appears on TV constantly. I realize this is hard for nice liberals to come to terms with, because we want to believe honesty, knowledge, competence, etc. factor in there somewhere.

They don't, though. It may be possible to change this, but not until we understand the world as it is, rather than as we wish it were.

The problem is that a large portion of the media transformed from the sorts of intermediaries that Bruce described into outright propagandists while using the implicit trust of intermediaries. Had Goldberg come out and said that he had been wrong on a daily basis for three years, and so, due to abject incompetence, he would be leaving journalism forever, I might take it seriously. Because the two options are that he is so incompetent as to beggar the imagination or he was complicit as a propagandist. Even under the best of conditions, simply trying to slide through those options would be somewhat galling. For him to try to slide past those options while ignoring the mounded corpses and destruction of Iraq, US security, and global stability, is despicable.

It may be possible to change this, but not until we understand the world as it is, rather than as we wish it were.

Well, one way to change this is to be more cutting, more dismissive, harsher when these types of mistakes occur and that is essentially what is happening. Unfortunately, it is a 'nice liberal' thing to say 'well, perhaps he's wrong about this, but each question is case by case', so this post, saying that JG needs to hang up his word processor, as he's not fast enough to keep up with the field is moving us towards where you are suggesting we go. The next step will be to scrutinize the private lives of pundits and hold them up when they are guilty of hypocrisy or even the appearance of hypocrisy. I don't particularly like that notion, but, as I've suggested before, that is the place where the train is heading.

"Well, one way to change this is to be more cutting, more dismissive, harsher when these types of mistakes occur and that is essentially what is happening."

I agree that there needs to be more of this. When lies are passed off as erudition, someone has to call it out. The sad thing is that so much effort is put into telling people who listen to some of these sources that all other sources are not to be trusted. I'm constantly shocked when I listen to some pundits how a literal majority of their time is spent immunizing their listeners to facts. From rants about the main stream media to talk about the dangers of the other side's propaganda machine, more effort is spent on a daily basis telling people not to listen to anyone else than on all other topics combined.

What happens to discourse in this country when more and more people fall under the influence of those self-contained worlds? What can be done to break people out when the act of trying is enough to turn them against you?

Well, one way to change this is to be more cutting, more dismissive, harsher when these types of mistakes occur and that is essentially what is happening.

I agree that's one way to change things, and think it's worth doing. But I doubt that could ever have much effect as long as most of our information comes from corporations. Telling the truth and making as much money as possible just don't go together -- not now and not in any human society that's ever existed.

In other words, the problem is a bad structure rather than specific bad individuals. If we could somehow embarrass Goldberg so deeply he decided never to appear in public again, the Los Angeles Times would just hire someone else with the same views.

"the Los Angeles Times would just hire someone else with the same views."

Especially in the modern news world where every question has only two sides and the reporter's job consists entirely of finding a republican and a democrat to provide those two equal and opposite sides. The height of political discourse is now being the one to define what the two sides are so that the media can pick out someone to give them the correct quotes.

Hm, I just got annoyed with my own frustration. Anyone have any ideas for breaking past this system? I mean, consider this board. We certain have a spread of perspectives but things remain civil. There is a certain openness to being wrong. How does one extend that to mass market forums? Is that even reasonable or is the sense that small scale solutions can get somewhere?

I'm pretty sure that an organic farmer with Jonah-level bad judgement could do a lot of harm to other people. For example by farming organic potatoes in a blight-prone area, or not rotating his crop so they catch bacterial wilt or some other contagious disease requiring quarantine. Or maybe by figuring that human waste is organic and using it to fertilise his spinach crop.

hilzoy: thanks for the answers (I give you a 9 out of 10 :P ). I hope you will feel better .
It has been difficult for me to define the word evil. The closest I've come is 'intent to harm', where to harm is to hurt someone/thing against their will. It covers a lot of ground, but I am unsure whether or not to draw a line between evil and indifference. I suppose it's all semantics in the end. Still, hearing people talk about the forces of evil and axes and whatnot outside of discussions of fiction always leaves me thoroughly confused and somewhat depressed.
As regards hatred, well I basically define it 'intent to harm'. So yeah, an evil emotion, which is why your statement of 'hating evil itself is enough' doesn't make a lot of sense to me. I suspect your definition of hatred is closer to's intense dislike.

Anyway, enough of that tangent. I can understand the criticism of Goldberg, this whole punditry structure is just so foreign to me. I'm not sure we have anything similar in Holland, if we do it's definitely not worthy of as much attention. I keep wanting to see Goldberg and his audience as fringe, because who would even listen to a guy that thinks installing democracy in Iraq would be easy? I guess my problem is I have trouble believing significant numbers of American citizens are thát stupid.

Anyone have any ideas for breaking past this system?

Well, I'm not one of those who thinks the blogosphere is the most wunnerful thing since sliced bread, but given that all of the old media outlets seem to be bleeding red ink, one can hope that it is already happening. This Kinsley piece about Jonah's outpost as well as Drum's observation about the redesign are further signs. I wonder how that NYTimes select is going. The WaPo is, I think, doing the best in terms of finances, and they did it by setting up a separate shop, so I think that as these outlets end up being susceptible to internet pressure, they are not going to be get away (at least as readily) with hiring people with D- in critical thinking.

Significant numbers of Americans are that stupid if stupidity is defined as the condition of being blinded by beliefs that inhibit the ability to reason.
Bush tapped right into the myth of American exceptionalism, which, in this day and age, is just a highfalutin' way for rationalizing excessive nationalism. Yes, we went into Iraq because the administration thought it would be easy. Bush wanted to throw some crappy little country against the wall so that he could shake his codpiece at a media event. But he didn't do it by himself. He was successful in starting the war because all kinds of people bought into the fantasy that the exceptional Americans were going to heroically save the poor little people from themselves. Either that or they just wanted to identify with the winninng team, to feel powerful and godlike. Americans love a winnner and hate a loser. 911 made people feel like losers. Throwing some crappy little country against the wall so that Americans could feel like winners again is a big why Bush's call to arms had such resonance. Remember how much so many people enjoyed the beginning of the war? All the flags? All the "Sleeping Giant Awakes" posters and "United We Stand" bumper stickers? The Democratic "leaders" so afraid of the rampant jingoism that they either collaborated or hid? Not only did we invade because we were told it would be easy: we invaded for fun. It was supposed to be like Bush's daddy's war: quick, easy, not enough American deaths to worry about, hooray for our team. The American exceptionalism idea distorts our discussion of national security, poisoning it with pride games,making it difficult to discuss wars, diffficult to separate the legitimate reasons for fighting from the emotional desires.
One good thing that might come out of this mess is the end of the belief in conservative superiority in national security issues. The rightwing approach to national security overemphasizes vanity and power and underemphasizes the uses to which power can be put. After all, we could have been the heroes in Afganistan.
It is notable that Jonah uses football language. That's exactly what's wrong with the conservative approach to national security. Too much emphasis on winning for its own sake and not enough thought about the purpose of the fight.

Just one commment: Goldberg states that he thought establishing democracy in Iraq was the comparitively easy option. That is different from suggesting it would be easy.

Which is not to defend Goldberg in any way, shape, or form.

Andrew: I didn't read it that way. -- I mean: he says: "toppling the Iraq domino and standing-up a stable, democratically inclined government was supposed to be comparatively easy." The key word is 'comparatively', and I suppose the question is: compared to what?

One answer would be: compared to tasks in general, or at least tasks in some relevant comparison class. Then 'comparatively easy' would mean, basically: pretty easy. The other answer, which might be yours, is: compared to the other options available; in which case it would mean: the easiest option open to us. (As in: Michelangelo's painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel while lying on his back might seem pretty hard, but when you consider the alternatives, like digging up the entire building, turning it upside down, letting Michelangelo paint it while standing upright, and then turning it over again and replacing it in the earth, it's comparatively easy.)

The trouble with the second answer -- aside from the fact that there's no real evidence in what Goldberg said that he meant this -- is that it's so clearly not true. Whatever the merits of relying on Hans Blix to inspect, discover, and destroy WMD, it was obviously a lot easier than creating a whole new democracy in Iraq. Likewise, finding some new and friendlier dictator to replace Hussein would also have been much easier. So if Goldberg is saying that creating a democracy in Iraq was the easiest option available to us -- not the best or the wisest, but the easiest -- that's just bizarre.

I think he just meant: it wouldn't be that hard.

I think that as these outlets end up being susceptible to internet pressure, they are not going to be get away (at least as readily) with hiring people with D- in critical thinking.

Again, it's important to see the world as it is rather than as we want it to be. And in the world as it is, I don't think there's any evidence huge corporations will make more money by replacing their Jonah Goldbergs with people with better critical thinking skills. Probably they'd make less money.

What we really should do, in my opinion, is strengthen already-existing non-profit institutions and start new ones. For instance, I admire what these people are trying to do.

And in the world as it is, I don't think there's any evidence huge corporations will make more money by replacing their Jonah Goldbergs with people with better critical thinking skills.

Possibly, but if we reach a point where we are running folks out of the punditocracy out of the MSM on a rail, two things could happen. One, self-preservation might kick in (Goldberg's LATimes gig is just a cherry on the top, the really remuneration must be the web of media appearances, so if those were endangered, people might start thinking twice, something ole Jonah can't be accused of) and at least the people hired can let the LATimes slip beneath the waves without the shock to its dignity. Or hiring people who actually reflect the current questions in a way that is enlightening might go some measure to pulling them to within spitting distance of profitability. The last is admittedly optimistic, but watching the SS TNR slowly slip beneath the waves to be replaced by something that actually has progressive cred makes me hope.

We all make mistakes. We even make really dumb, bad mistakes. And very often, other people pay the price -- how many of us have jobs where our mistakes affect nobody else? Or have no families to be hurt if we lose money or health? So I can forgive an occasional massive lapse in judgment.

But was this an honest mistake? Apparently not. Goldberg's explanation of why he is so late to the table:
"I must confess that one of the things that made me reluctant to conclude that the Iraq war was a mistake was my general distaste for the shabbiness of the arguments on the antiwar side."

Nice of him to confess it. But considering that his whole job is to think things through by himself, an abject apology might be more in order. Because what he is saying here is, I refused to see or admit the obvious because I didn't like the people who said it.

To put it in a different context:
Physicist: "Well, yes, the math of the General Relativity theory checks out, but Einstein is such a hippie it can't be right!"
Judge or juror: "Well, the defendant didn't put on any evidence, but I can't staaaand that plaintiff!"
Boss: "Alright, he produces twice as much as anybody else and the customers love him, but if he wants a raise, he needs to get a nose job."

My point is, Goldberg's whole raison d'etre, his special professional ability, is supposedly to come at facts fairly and intelligently. Instead, he let his biases rule. If there were a license for punditry, he should lose it.

I think you had one word too many in the title to this post, "wrong" is Jonah's state of being (with occasional exceptions).

Re: the discussion on 'evil' vs. 'indifference'.

I've always thought that the difference was that indifference is simply a lack of care about others, whereas evil is actively making decisions that harm some other person and don't benefit you, or have an alternative available that would benefit you equally and not hurt anyone else.

Admittedly, this is a fairly specific description, but then, I think 'evil' is a very strong word to use, especially when so many things are very subjective.

Instead, he let his biases rule. If there were a license for punditry, he should lose it.

of course he does. unabashedly-biased conservatives are the antidote to the unspoken liberal bias of the MSM. and i say that with no snark at all - it's a standard conservative argument.

he can't lose his license, or his sponsor, because conservative bias is what conservative media demands (likewise for liberal bias in liberal media). the fact that he appears in ostensibly objective streams of media is unfortunate, but it's not his fault people keep asking for his opinion.

Trilobite, in the sentence you quote, Goldberg refers to "the shabbiness of the arguments", not the shabbiness of his opponents.

Zaeron, that definition of "evil" seems very limited. It's not evil to harm others as long as you're benefiting more from the harm than you could without harming them? It's hard to be sure you've analyzed all possible alternatives, and it's not clear what counts as a benefit (would pleasure derived from killing count?), but it seems evil would be extremely rare by that definition.

Prudence indeed, will dictate, that Governments long established, should not be changed for light and transient Causes.

a decent Respect to the Opinions of Mankind requires that they should declare the Causes which impel them to the Separation.

Thom. Jefferson on the need for caution before starting wars.

Nevermind Jonah Goldberg--what about Tom Friedman? There's the supposed expert on globalization who spends years mocking the anti-globalization protestors. Then Joseph Stiglitz comes out and says "Those guys aren't right about everything, but they're right about some things." Well, gee, if that's what the insider says, why didn't good old Tom let us know sooner?

Or on the current subject--Iraq. Tom Friedman, whose other area of expertise is the Middle East, was all in favor of the war and he was a big fan of Donald Rumsfeld, precisely because he came across as crazy.

And I still meet people who think Friedman is a liberal.

Jon(S) is right--there's something wrong with punditland that goes a little deeper than the flaws of individuals. People like Friedman and Goldberg are successful because they say what the powerful want to hear.

I wouldn't let him near my dogs. Pet grooming is also out.

KC - I personally tend to feel that words like hate and evil should never be used lightly, so I tend to put very firm definitions on them. Basically, if the only benefit of an action is the harm it causes someone else, or the satisfaction you get from causing that harm, that is evil.

I realize that most situations are more complex than that, but I think that's the best place to start judging whether something/someone is evil.

Analyzing Jonah Goldberg's remarks then and now gives the hack too much credibility. A simple "Shut the eff up" may even be a waste of precious breath, but I would enjoy hearing it said the next time he appears on a political hack show.

His career, too good of a word, began with the tragic death of the anchovies that ended up on Monica's pizza. I liked the anchovies better.

The edifice of Republican politics and Republican media punditry since @1980 has been the victory of Holiday Inn Express amateurism over expertise, information, data, experience, wisdom, intelligence, science, education, and considered judgement.

One can understand a little Andrew Jackson populism after the mistakes of the best and the brightest in an earlier era, but opting for the worst and the dumbest seems an odd choice. Somehow the lowest common denominator once again yielded the highest number of voters and viewers.

Then again, we live in an age when Hilzoy's example of an unqualified amateur rummaging around in a guy's thorax looking for the liver probably sounds like a good idea for a reality show.

Goldberg's schtick was thought up by Paddy Chayevsky and put in Faye Dunaway's character's mouth in "Network". Chayevsky intended biting satire; little did he know he was providing a blueprint for the future.

Two words: Matt Drudge.

Speaking of Limbaugh, here's a guy who has lived for the day when he could insult and belittle a person with Parkinson's disease. The second and last braincell in Limbaugh's two-braincell sewer of a mind turned to the first braincell and said "Fat boy, we are going to finally do away with political correctness completely", and then went into a jerking, choking, flailing rendition of a guy with a dopamine imbalance.

It's surprising Limbaugh didn't do it in blackface in a mincing effeminate voice. He could have had a threefor. Because mentrual (as Archie Bunker referred to them) shows are funny!

Are there human stem cells that could be injected into Limbaugh to culture just a little human kindness? Really, he and the rest need to be followed to their deathbeds every waking hour, outside their homes, on the golf course, and on the sidewalk outside every news studio in the land by a wailing chorus of dead Iraqis and Parkinson's sufferers.

I've always found it amusing that some on the Right fancy themselves to be The Fellowship of the Ring. What is odd is that, in their rendition, they employ the Nazgul --among them Limbaugh, Drudge, and Goldberg (let's throw in Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly, hopefully from a very great height).

They require a warrior, perhaps a woman like Hilzoy, to stab them right through the black gape in their ugly helmets and bury the sword to the hilt in their bile-spewing mouths.

God, damn that is some good sh!t Thullen.

Incidentally, without Michelangelo lying on his back and dripping that paint all over the Chapel's floor, Jackson Pollock would have ended up a portrait painter on the Boardwalk.

It wouldn't bother me so much if the Chapel was turned upside down to accommodate a standing Michelangelo. What bothers me is that 51% percent of the American people think Charlton Heston IS Michelangelo ... and Moses.

"What bothers me is that 51% percent of the American people think Charlton Heston IS Michelangelo ... and Moses."

Wait a minute!! I thought the R's were opposed to cloning people.

"culture just a little human kindness?"

Yet do I fear thy nature;
It is too full o' the cheese of human kindness
To catch the nearest way.

(Yoghurt doesn't scan.)

The only way that you will ever get people like Jonah "I'm 35 years old, my family couldn't afford the lost income, I have a baby daughter," Goldberg to stop advocating for war is to organize a crowd, stop a the local recruiting station pick up a USMC recruiter, go to his house and dragoon his ass into the Marine Corps.

Until you start doing that, all those bright young men who know that they will not have to serve will have no problems advocating for wars in which they won't have to fight in.

The real point is that there is a big sickness in our political discourse, of which Goldberg is just a symptom. The war advocates only made the worst foreign policy blunder in US history, and then go on their merry way as if its no big deal. The same syndrome repeats itself in discussions about what to do next, as with the torture debate and numerous other issues.

Goldberg deserves a non-stop rhetorical pounding every time he opens his mouth, and its actually good for the country to throw those brickbats. Otherwise we remain locked in the phony world erected by these people to paper over the horrible errors. All that can be done is constant repitition of the facts and non-stop pressure on the peddlers of this lying filth. They will never issue their own mea culpa.

I don't know if it is possible to hate evil without hating the being. Few of us are stong enough to love our enemies - or even just not hate them.


But simply because you called the wrong play doesn't mean you walk off the field.

I don't think Goldberg is dismissing the idea that he should stop opining on things that he doesn't know anything about (or, doesn't even *care* to know anything about). Partially because I suspect he's so far into himself as a wise pontificator that this idea wouldn't even occur to him...
But mostly bc of context. I think he's suggesting that the bad call that got us into Iraq, or the bad calls that have created the mess we're in, shouldn't be followed by us 'walking off of the field'- ie leaving Iraq.
He never really brings up the idea that he should suffer, professionally, for his profoundly stupid opinions- so I don't see why he would be dismissing that idea at the end of the column. And the final statements are in the first person plural- "we called the wrong play". He's just come up with a sports metaphor for "stay the course"; it's unfortunate for him that this has occurred to him just as that phrase was being shoved down the memory hole by the administration.

Surely, the simplest explanation for Jonah Goldberg is that, like Andrew Sullivan much of the time, he is wholly frivolous and deeply cynical. He cares about nothing in any true sense, and is interested only in being in some kind of public eye. There is no real core to the man. 'As the air to a bird or the sea to a fish, so is contempt to the contemptible.' Contempt is Goldberg's element.

Pundits are nothing more than entertainers pretending they're intellectuals.

I've read more good horse sense and analysis from many of the commentators here than from 99% of so-called pundits.

Present day talk-shows are nothing more than verbal mud-wrestling, with all the integrity of staged fights to amuse the hoi polloi.

Circus et panem, circus et panem...

OK, no. Until now I'd thought this "Jonah Goldberg" I'd heard so much about on KOS and other sites was just another frothing wingnut idiot. But no. Wait. Let me get this straight. This guy actually said this?

"the bedrock tenet of the Ledeen Doctrine in more or less his own words: "Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business." (...)
For now let's fall back on the Ledeen Doctrine. The United States needs to go to war with Iraq because it needs to go to war with someone in the region and Iraq makes the most sense."

No, Goldberg isn't an idiot, he's a psychopath. Was going to say sociopath but no, this sort of casual disregard for human life means he probably doesn't have the capability to empathize with other people on any meaningful level.

It's both sad and frightening. He's high functioning, but that sort of violent desire indicates a serious disconnect with reality. The guy needs treatment.

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