The Not Safe For War 100
A NSFWCORP Special Feature. The definitive list of those who were most responsible for talking America and 48 other coalition countries into the Iraq war. The Not Safe For War 100.
The story of the Iraq War, which began ten years ago this week, can be told through its lists. The Axis of Evil list, the fake evidence listed by Colin Powell in his UN speech, the list of countries in the coalition of the willing, the playing- card hit list, the list of soldiers and civilians killed.
But as we look back at the invasion, one list remains unwritten: The definitive list of those who were most responsible for talking America and 48 other coalition countries into starting a disastrous war. The 100 people who, next time armed conflict seems imminent, must be kept as far away as possible from a podium, microphone, keyboard or battlefield. The Not Safe For War List.
Like all definitive lists, ours was many months in the making. Thousands of names were considered, from every branch of public life. Experts were consulted, gods were summoned, contemporary news reports revisited and books reread.
The methodology for selecting the final 100 was complex but, we think, unassailably logical. Dead people were removed from consideration (’bye Saddam! So long Hitchens!) not because they’ve suffered enough, but because they couldn’t participate in another war if they wanted to. Also gone were those who were just following orders and anyone who we deemed too stupid to know better. Then came the ranking: those posing a present danger (Keller, Powell) outranked anyone who was hugely influential in 2003 but who has since withered to irrelevance (Bush, Miller). Thomas Friedman and Bill Kristol got their own pages, for reasons which will hopefully be obvious.
But still there were some tough calls. Where to put the New Yorker’s David Remnick, for example. Remnick’s magazine initially supported the war, but it also published Seymour Hersh’s exposé of the Abu Ghraib prison abuses. Does Al Gore belong on the list? He founded the anti-war Current TV, but it’s also his fault that we had George Bush in the first place. And what to make of Julian Assange?
These were all tough calls, but war is about tough calls. Tough calls and lists.
Here, then, is The Not Safe For War 100.
Print subscribers can download the full 12,000 word illustrated feature, including full explanations of why each of the following made the list, and exclusive essays by The War Nerd.
Non-subscribers can buy the feature for Kindle or iOS. (But maybe scroll down to check if your name is on the list first)
100. Britney Spears 99. Aleksander Kwaśniewski 98. George Bush 97. Rob Lowe 96. Kid Rock 95. Tom Hicks 94. Mary McGrory 93. Anthony Keating 92. Scooter Libby 91. Anders Fogh Rasmussen 90. Dr Phil 89. Curveball 88. Harry Reid 87. Hans Blix 86. Martin Amis 85. Gregg Easterbrooke 84. Kenneth Pollack 83. George Packer 82. Jonathan Alter 81. Harvey Mansfield 80. Kenneth Adelman 79. Elisabeth Bumiller 78. Joshua Foust 77. Walter B. Jones 76. Elie Wiesel 75. Lynndie England 74. Dianne Feinstein 73. Elliot Cohen 72. Megan McCardle 71. Michael McFaul 70. Paul Berman 69. Jonathan Chait 68. Peter Beinart 67. Marty Peretz 66. Victor Davis-Hanson 65. John Podhoretz 64. Jeff Gannon 63. Dan Savage 62. Bob Ney 61. Bob Woodward 60. David Wurmser 59. Bill Kristol 58. Leon Weiseltier 57. Fareed Zakaria 56. Dennis Miller 55. John Yoo 54. Kanan Makiya 53. Nicholas D. Kristof 52. José María Aznar López 51. Ann Coulter 50. Glenn Greenwald 49. Al Franken 48. Ezra Klein 47. Judith Miller 46. Dave Weigel 45. Matt Yglesias 44. Anne Applebaum 43. Fred Kaplan 42. Timothy Noah 41. Jacob Weisberg 40. John Howard 39. Silvio Berlusconi 38. Saddam's Drones 37. Donald Rumsfeld 36. Mrs. Anthrax 35. Dr Germ 34. Max Boot 33. Charles Krauthammer 32. Julian Assange 31. Michael Gordon 30. Tom Freidman 29. John Kerry 28. Michael Ledeen 27. George Tenet 26. Andrew Sullivan 25. David Brooks 24. Michael Ignatieff 23. Jim Wilkenson 22. Douglas Feith 21. Paul Wolfowitz 20. House of Saud 19. Tony Blair 18. David Petreus 17. David Frum 16. Scott Ritter 15. Hillary Clinton 14. R. James Woolsey 13. Dick Cheney 12. Jeffrey Goldberg 11. Tommy Franks 10. Al Gore 9. Condoleezza Rice 8. Karl Rove 7. Francis Fukuyama 6. Fred Hiatt 5. David Remnick 4. Bill Keller 3. Rupert Murdoch 2. Richard Perle 1. ????
Adapted from NSFWCORP Print, issue #1, published March 25, 2013.