Advice For Mort Zuckerman: ‘Bite Your Tongue’

Mortimer B. Zuckerman, editor-in-chief of the U.S. News & World Report, argues this week that it’s “Too Soon to Leave,” his latest installment on getting things wrong on Iraq over and over again.

Zuckerman’s main argument is that things could get really bad if U.S. troops leave Iraq “too soon,” failing to recognize that things are extremely awful already.

Zuckerman’s latest op-ed strikes a familiar tone. At the end of 2005, he said we were turning a corner in Iraq:

Indeed, what a foolish time to talk of getting out, just when we are getting our act together with the accelerated and improved training of Iraqi troops, and just before an election when Shiites and Sunnis are working to form the sort of institutions required to build a nation and quell the low-level civil war.

Before the war, he supported the invasion by falsely connecting Saddam Hussein’s secular regime to the problems of Islamist extremists like Al Qaeda, and he shamelessly misused the 9/11 attacks throughout 2004 and 2005 to mindlessly cheerlead for President Bush’s failed strategy.


Enough’s enough. A month after the invasion, Zuckerman wrongly predicted, “Those who were so confident that America would mess up the war are now equally assured that America will mess up the peace, but all of them should be prepared to bite their tongues.”

It’s time for Zuckerman to take some of his own advice and stop writing on Iraq — his credibility is shot, and no one should care anymore what he has to say.

Brian Katulis