War Accountability in the US

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Maybe Americans just do it differently. Republican members of Congress sat down with George W. Bush in the White House this week and told him that he must get results in Iraq, or get out.

But when you look at how Israel has now taken stock of its disastrous campaign in Lebanon last summer, America's muffled efforts at self-assessment over the profound failures of the Iraq war look something like pathetic.

If little Israel can formally name names and lay blame, right to the top, why can't we?

This hour On Point: the Israeli example and missing Iraq war accountability in the United States of America.

Quotes from the Show:

"There's a tradition of investigations here [in Israel] after major crisis. ... Israelis knew the war was a failure in their own terms. What this report did is pin the war with a very harsh adjective — severe failure." Steven Erlanger

"It's not in the American tradition and is contrary to the American government [to have a report similar to Israel's]." Ken Adelman

"You have to get people motivated to do this kind of introspection, this kind of investigation." Lawrence Wilkerson

"In our system, things are sloppier than in a parliamentary system. But, we have great openness and accountability." Ken Adelman

"What I would like to see is somebody look at 'Did we go to war on false pretenses ..., and if we did, was it avoidable or unavoidable?' and then I would like to see some true accountability." Listener

"You would have not wanted to see 2001 into early 2005 without Colin Powell [on Bush's administration]." Lawrence Wilkerson

"No one is holding Bush responsible. ... He should be the one to hold responsible." Listener


Steven Erlanger, Jerusalem Bureau Chief for the New York Times

Ken Adelman, former member of the Defense Policy Board and national editor of the Washingtonian magazine;
Lawrence Wilkerson former Chief of Staff for Secretary of State Colin Powell;
Chuck Freilich, former Deputy National Security Advisor of Israel from 2000 to 2005.

This program aired on May 10, 2007.


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