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The Meaning of the Iraq War

In this episode of New Ideal Live, Onkar Ghate and Elan Journo explore the moral and political lessons of the Iraq War.

Among the topics covered:

  • Why Americans need to examine the lessons of the Iraq War;
  • The 9/11 terrorist attacks and the context leading up to the war;
  • The focus on weapons of mass destruction and intelligence weaknesses while evading the threat of Islamic totalitarianism;
  • Why Russia’s attack on Ukraine is not analogous to America’s war in Iraq;
  • David Frum’s analysis of the Iraq War in The Atlantic;
  • John Bolton’s and Bret Stephens’ analysis of the war and the failure to question whether Iraq was the right target;
  • The disastrous results of the war, including increased reluctance to defend American interests militarily;
  • How America’s response to 9/11 set the stage for the rise of populism and widespread distrust of institutions;
  • The erosion of American exceptionalism in the wake of the Iraq War.

Mentioned in the discussion are the book Failing to Confront Islamic Totalitarianism: What Went Wrong After 9/11 and Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, which is free to students.

This episode was recorded on May 5, 2023. Listen to the discussion below. Listen and subscribe from your mobile device on Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotify or Stitcher. Watch previous episodes here.

Podcast audio:


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Dan Schwartz

Dan Schwartz, PhD in philosophy and formerly a professor, is a visiting fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute.

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