Ramesh: Welch makes perfectly legitimate points and I agree that the dead children number was always — in all likelihood — outrageously inflated. But let me offer a couple objections.
First, so what if UNICEF never used the word “containment”? Containment is a catchall for, among other things, the no-fly-zones, sanctions, the oil-for-food program etc. In fact, the word “containment” has only really come into wide usage in the last few months, from what I can tell, as anti-war types have discovered they can sound tough by adopting the formerly hawkish position viz a viz Iraq and the Soviets. As you well know, none of these people favored “containment” or sanctions prior to 9/11.
Second, when Welch headlines his piece “When the Hawks Co-Opt the Doves Bullsh*t Math” I think he and you miss the reason so many hawks liked Mead’s piece. Or, not wanting to speak for my fellow raptors, why I liked the piece. Mead argues the case for war on the doves own terms, using the doves own “facts” and logic. Much like Jonathan Chait’s excellent TNR piece making the liberal case for war, I enjoy it whenever conservatives win the argument on our terms and their terms.