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American mainstream media utterly failed its duty to the public in the lead up to the invasion of Iraq, largely opting to cheerlead (rather than question) the Bush administration’s arguments and plans for the war.


Twenty years later, the consequences of this failure still reverberate. Has the media learned any lessons from the Iraq war, or are journalists today repeating the very same mistakes? What does media coverage of recent events — like President Biden’s withdrawal from Afghanistan,  President Trump’s strikes on Syria, or Russia’s war in Ukraine — tell us about the fourth estate’s approach to American foreign policy and wars?


Join us on Wednesday, March 22, from 4–5:30 PM ET online or in-person at the Lindner Family Commons of George Washington University’s Elliott School for a discussion of the media’s role in war and peace. We’ll be joined by three journalists who have gotten it right — Reuters’ Jonathan Landay, one of the few mainstream journalists to challenge the administration’s WMD claims, Responsible Statecraft’s Kelley Beaucar Vlahos, who took on Bush’s war policies from heterodox conservative platforms, and Jewish Currents’ Peter Beinart, a one-time Iraq war supporter turned leading media critic — for a discussion moderated by Breaking Points’ Krystal Ball, a clarion voice in modern media for independent analysis on U.S. foreign policy.


This event is sponsored by the Quincy Institute, with co-sponsorship from the Institute for Middle East Studies at George Washington University, The Nation magazine, and Breaking Points podcast, and additional support from the John Quincy Adams Society’s George Washington University Chapter.


The event will be immediately followed by a special reception featuring wine, beer, and hors d’oeuvres in the City View Room of the Elliott School (7th floor), beginning at 5:30 PM.

Event Details