This issue of Chronicles commemorates what I suppose is an anniversary, of sorts. It has been nine years since the February 2003 issue questioning the legitimacy of the war in Iraq was published, an anniversary which also roughly corresponds to the planning leading up to and including the prosecution of the war.
Aside from the constant litany of the costs of the war, which a news junkie like myself is subjected to every night on cable television, two experiences are prominent in my memory in relation to the piece I wrote for that issue. The first is prominent because of its dubitability and its annoyingly repetitious reinforcement.
Whenever I visit my mother’s people in Mobile and discussion turns to the war in Iraq, a cousin of mine—who is currently positioning himself to run as a conservative Republican for a national office—restates the claim that the imminent threat of the use of chemical weapons of mass destruction was the reason for war, but that the failure to discover these weapons did not invalidate the claims that the war in Iraq was just, because these weapons had been surreptitiously moved to Syria before the beginning of the war. This is a claim that was widely disseminated in the media but has questionable support.
The second event occurred in June 2004. A friend of mine who is a physicist and was a weapons designer...