Kristof and Krugman emphasized the way the Bush administration deceived the American people in its presentation of the Iraq war, Cohen and Meyerson explore the more interesting psychological question: How the Bushies deceived themselves.
The basic answer is, irrational thinking: A refusal to allow contradictory data to interfere with a pre-set world view based largely on faith rather than evidence. As Meyerson puts it, "My friends on the left fear the administration's budding imperialism. I'm more concerned by its raging anti-empiricism."
And Steven Berlin Johnson on America, 4th of July, what we ought to be patriotic about-
4th of July imagery and rhetoric is usually full of old-time Americana: the small town's one firetruck decked out for the main street parade, the little league game, the white picket fences with their patriotic bunting. There's plenty to celebrate about the joys of small communities, but there's little that's fundamentally unique to the American experience. World history is teeming with small, successful communities united by a common culture and worldview, after all. What is rarer -- not quite uniquely American, but much closer to it -- is that scene today in Prospect Park [of racial and cultural diversity & harmony]. Few countries have figured out how to attract that kind of diversity, much less develop spaces where all those groups can somehow coexist. When some of our politicians make passing references to the "real America," what they're usually saying is that real America is everything that's not in our big cities. But if we're looking for a true site of American exceptionalism, something we've figured out how to do better than any other civilization on earth, today in Prospect Park wouldn't be a bad place to start.