chapter  7
The sound of silence: Rhetorical coercion, Democratic acquiescence, and the Iraq War
Pages 18

The Iraq War has been accused of, among other things, alienating young Muslims and revitalizing the Islamist threat, distracting the US government from the “war on terror” properly conceived, breaking the US Army and the military’s reserve components, and estranging America’s allies. The war has yet to be blamed for contributing to global warming. And yet it could, not just because the US military’s inefficient vehicles in Iraq and Afghanistan produce many greenhouse gases, but because the debate over these wars, their conduct and their legacy has led to the destruction of innumerable trees. Eager to learn how the United States might avoid such needless and costly wars in the future, journalists (Gordon and Trainor 2006; Isikoff and Corn 2006; Ricks 2006), pundits (Fukuyama 2006; Rich 2006), and scholars (Dueck 2004; Flibbert 2006; Freedman 2004; Kaufmann 2004; Monten 2005; Mueller 2005; Western 2005a) have all sought to understand how the United States came to launch a misguided war against Iraq and how that war, once undertaken, could have been bungled so badly.