Slow Burn: The Road to the Iraq War

Season 5: Bonus Episode 4
Content Locked for Slate Plus members

How the Iraq War Ignited Online Discourse

And looking back at Slate’s own history with the topic.

Episode Notes

In this bonus episode, Slow Burn’s host Noreen Malone and producer Jayson De Leon discuss the intellectual discussion and blogs that emerged in the leadup to the Iraq War. Then we’ll hear from eight writers and editors who worked at Slate in the early 2000s—Fred Kaplan, Mickey Kaus, Dahlia Lithwick, David Plotz, Will Saletan, June Thomas, Jacob Weisberg, and Robert Wright—about Slate’s position over the war and the rise of argument in online discourse at the time.

Mentioned in this episode:
Republic of Fear by Kanan Makiya
Bully Bush,” by Fred Kaplan, Slate, March 5, 2003
Confessions of an Uncertain Columnist,” by Fred Kaplan, Slate, Nov. 30, 2009
Whose Smoking Gun?” by Robert Wright, Slate, Feb. 7, 2003
Smarter Bombs, Smarter Democracy?” by David Plotz, Slate, April 22, 2003
Feels So Good,” by Robert Wright, Slate, Sept. 20, 2001

Production by Chau Tu.

About the Show

In 2003, the United States invaded Iraq without provocation. Most Americans supported the war—as did most politicians and intellectuals, both liberal and conservative. Today, it’s universally considered a disaster.

Hosted by award-winning reporter Noreen Malone, the fifth season of Slow Burn explores the people and ideas that propelled the country into the Iraq war, and the institutions that failed to stop it. How did the Iraq catastrophe happen? And what was it like to watch America make one of its most consequential mistakes?

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  • Chau Tu is a former editor of Slate Plus.