Swapping Nightmares

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Harold Meyerson rightly fears that that’s all the U.S. has accomplished in Iraq. Sure, a brutal dictator was deposed, but now we’ve brought massive unemployment, violence, set the stage for civil war, and perhaps an Iranian-backed mini-state. But he gets it wrong when he writes:

What neither Bush’s critics nor defenders could foresee was his administration’s mind-boggling indifference to establishing security in post-Hussein Iraq.

Of course, just yesterday we learned of pre-war State Department memos (which, depending on how you look at it, could be tallied as information from Bush’s critics, defenders, or both) warning Central Command that its post-war plans were deficient. A flock of hawks—ex-generals, national security advisors, etc.—warned that planning wasn’t being taken seriously. And as Bush worked up the nation for war, there were even those who said that regime change in Iraq wasn’t a bad idea per se, but thought it was an awful idea as long as it was carried out by this negligent lot. Lots of people foresaw that post-war planning would be disastrous. And that of course makes the problems today all the more upsetting, and the administrations responsibility all the clearer.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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