Cal  Thomas

New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, who sees no good, hears no good and speaks no good concerning this administration, also wrote on March 30: "In cranking up their war plan with expurgated intelligence, the hawks left the ground troops exposed and insufficiently briefed on the fedayeen. Ideology should not shape facts when lives are at stake." Someone please create a plaque with that last statement and send it to every journalist in the country, beginning with Maureen Dowd.

My personal favorite is the comment by columnist and TV host Chris Matthews, who wrote last Aug. 25 in the San Francisco Chronicle: "This invasion of Iraq, if it goes off, will join the Bay of Pigs, Vietnam, Desert One and Somalia in the history of military catastrophe."

Barry McCaffrey, a retired U.S. Army general who commanded the 24th Infantry Division 12 years ago during Desert Storm, told the BBC's "Newsnight" program on March 24: "(We) could take, bluntly, a couple to 3,000 casualties." Thankfully, the casualty numbers have been incredibly small.

There were numerous observations from journalists and commentators about the supposed "insufficiency" of troops. There were predictions that the "Arab street" would stage an uprising. There were forecasts that Israel would be drawn into the war when Saddam attacked with Scud missiles.

All of the printed and voiced prophecies should be saved in an archive. When these false prophets again appear, they can be reminded of the error of their previous ways and at least be offered an opportunity to recant and repent. Otherwise, they will return to us in another situation where their expertise will be acknowledged, or taken for granted, but their credibility will be lacking.

If these false media prophets won't "fess up," then let the tribunal begin at an academic institution or in a major television studio. I'll bet it would claim high ratings for the Fox News Channel, which is clobbering its competition precisely because the public recognizes false prophets when it sees them.

Cal Thomas

Get Cal Thomas' new book, What Works, at Amazon.

Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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