Rachel Maddow hosted New York Magazine writer-at-large Frank Rich on her show Thursday night, to discuss what she called "the American lessons learned" during the U.S. war in Iraq. The war came to its official end on Thursday.
Maddow wondered specifically what the Republican candidates learned from waging what she called "preemptive war." Maddow played clips of the various candidates responding to questions posed to them about a nuclear Iran. Maddow said by exception of Ron Paul, "every single Republican running for president says that he or she would gladly consider starting a preemptive war in the Middle East. No problemo."
Rich said that "half of [the candidates] don't know where Iran is," and described the candidates' responses as "empty posturing." He added that "they've learned nothing, they don't even care if they've learned anything," from the war in Iraq.
Maddow said that she thought the media had learned "a lot" from the war in Iraq. "I think the media would be significantly more skeptical and less cheerleadery for now any new venture," Maddow said.
Rich agreed and said, "almost every major news organization including most major newspapers and television networks went along with the [weapons of mass destruction] barrage." He described how media outlets buried stories that challenged the Bush administration's "weapons of mass destruction" message, and that it would be in the media's "best interest" to not let that happen again.