Saturday, October 22, 2005

Bush To Bash Bush

Although some dullards and knaves now are claiming in behalf of all journalism "we were all wrong" about WMDs in Iraq, as Arianna Huffington pointed out earlier this week the truth is that a lot of journalists got it right -- and early.

Two in particular (whom Huffington inexplicably overlooks) deserve special mention: Seymour M. Hersh and George Herbert Walker Bush.

As for Hersh, he and other colleagues were writing in-depth articles for the weekly New Yorker Magazine that covered Bush's Iraq War policy earlier, more accurately, in more depth, and with truer balance than anyone else. Period.

Fortunately, their work going as far back as the year 2000 is conveniently archived on line.

Even before George W. Bush settled in at the White House, and well before 9-11, New Yorker Magazine reporters were writing that the new administration lusted for war against Iraq. They were describing how the evidence for weapons of mass destruction was weak. They were explaining how the White House Iraq Group was deliberately ignoring intelligence to the contrary. And they plumbed in depth how the WHIGs were badgering CIA analysts (and anyone else) who turned in reports that did not agree with their preconceptions.

Also well before the war began, Hersh and other contributors laid out for New Yorker readers in detail how the administtration was not planning for post-war reconstruction -- and, indeed, had fired those who were most involved in it; they reported that the administration was ignoring signs of incipient urban guerilla opposition, and how the administration was planning for a danerously low troop strength far short of what would be needed. They described how dangerous to our national interests even a quick military victory could be and how unstable a peace-gone-wrong would become for the whole of the Middle East.

Regrettably, much of what the New Yorker was reporting has come to pass. The same can be said for the warnings issued by George Bush's father, the 41st President.

The Memory Hole has preserved his early warning in the form of a Time Magazine article co-authored by George Herbert Walker Bush and Brent Scowcroft:
We would have been forced to occupy Baghdad and, in effect, rule Iraq. The coalition would instantly have collapsed, the Arabs deserting it in anger and other allies pulling out as well. Under those circumstances, furthermore, we had been self-consciously trying to set a pattern for handling aggression in the post-cold war world. Going in and occupying Iraq, thus unilaterally exceeding the U.N.'s mandate, would have destroyed the precedent of international response to aggression we hoped to establish. Had we gone the invasion route, the U.S. could conceivably still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land. It would have been a dramatically different--and perhaps barren--outcome.
Sound familiar?

What brings all of this to mind is today's advance alert by United Press International that:
The Bush administration is bracing for a powerful new attack by Brent Scowcroft, the respected national security adviser to the first President George Bush.

* * *
The article also contains some critical comments on the handling of U.S. foreign policy by the current President Bush from his father... .
Scowcroft's article appears Monday. Guess who's publishing it?

The New Yorker Magazine.

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