Saturday, November 04, 2006


Neo-Con Drive-by

The intellectual architects of the Iraq War throw their administration allies under the bus:

Here's Richard Perle: "The decisions did not get made that should have been. They didn't get made in a timely fashion, and the differences were argued out endlessly.… At the end of the day, you have to hold the president responsible.… I don't think he realized the extent of the opposition within his own administration, and the disloyalty."

And there's more:

To David Frum, the former White House speechwriter who co-wrote Bush's 2002 State of the Union address that accused Iraq of being part of an "axis of evil," it now looks as if defeat may be inescapable, because "the insurgency has proven it can kill anyone who cooperates, and the United States and its friends have failed to prove that it can protect them." This situation, he says, must ultimately be blamed on "failure at the center"—starting with President Bush.

Kenneth Adelman, a lifelong neocon activist and Pentagon insider who served on the Defense Policy Board until 2005, wrote a famous op-ed article in The Washington Post in February 2002, arguing: "I believe demolishing Hussein's military power and liberating Iraq would be a cakewalk." Now he says, "I just presumed that what I considered to be the most competent national-security team since Truman was indeed going to be competent. They turned out to be among the most incompetent teams in the post-war era. Not only did each of them, individually, have enormous flaws, but together they were deadly, dysfunctional."

Michael Ledeen, American Enterprise Institute freedom scholar: "Ask yourself who
the most powerful people in the White House are. They are women who are in
love with the president: Laura [Bush], Condi, Harriet Miers, and Karen
Ah, that's a novel one (but something Hillary Clinton should keep in mind): When the manly business of war runs aground, cherchez la femme!

And on and on it continues.

As the saying goes, victory has a thousand fathers, but defeat is an orphan. A corollary to this, perhaps -- sometimes war-planners are just arrogant, blame-shifting bastards.

That said, I will agree with Ken Adelman on this point:

The most dispiriting and awful moment of the whole administration was the day that Bush gave the Presidential Medal of Freedom to [former C.I.A. director] George Tenet, General Tommy Franks, and [Coalition Provisional Authority chief] Jerry [Paul] Bremer—three of the most incompetent people who've ever served in such key spots. And they get the highest civilian honor a president can bestow on anyone! That was the day I checked out of this administration. It was then I thought, There's no seriousness here, these are not serious people. If he had been serious, the president would have realized that those three are each directly responsible for the disaster of Iraq.
UPDATE: Oh, and Ahmed Chalabi, the neo-conservative's one-time Iraqi Exile knight-in shining-armor points the finger at Paul Wolfowitz.

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