Saturday, November 04, 2006

King's X - Neocon War Advocates Take It All Back

"The expression king's X is an exclamation used among children during fights and games to call a temporary truce or an exemption from being tagged."
-- Random House Word of the Day
They just keep falling off George W. Bush's train. First, it's the growing number of citizens who want to protest the Iraq war. Then it's the highest ranking officers in the military services.

Now, it's the neocons who got us into this mess in the first place.

Vanity Fair has the exclusive: "In a series of exclusive interviews, Richard Perle, Kenneth Adelman, David Frum, and others play the blame game with shocking frankness. Target No. 1: the president himself.
Richard Perle:"'Should we go into Iraq?,' I think now I probably would have said, 'No, let's consider other strategies for dealing with the thing that concerns us most, which is Saddam supplying weapons of mass destruction to terrorists.' * * * Could we have managed that threat by means other than a direct military intervention? Well, maybe we could have."
David Frum:"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."
Frank Gaffney:"[Bush] doesn't in fact seem to be a man of principle who's steadfastly pursuing what he thinks is the right course. He talks about it, but the policy doesn't track with the rhetoric, and that's what creates the incoherence that causes us problems around the world and at home."
Michael Rubin:"Where I most blame George Bush is that through his rhetoric people trusted him, people believed him. Reformists came out of the woodwork and exposed themselves." By failing to match his rhetoric with action, Rubin adds, Bush has betrayed Iraqi reformers... ."
Nov. 4 pm

Kevin Drum at WaPo's Political Animal makes several trenchant observations about the Vanity Fair article. This part captures the full flavor:
"[I]t was only a matter of time before the neocon hawks began claiming, like old-time Trotskyists, that there was nothing wrong with their ideas, only with the fools who had bungled their execution. Richard Perle states this the most directly... .
* * *
It's worth saying very plainly what's going on here: the neocons are using these interviews to make the case that neoconservatism is in no way to blame for the disaster in Iraq. If they had been in charge things would have been different.
* * *
This baby needs to be strangled in its crib. The 1997 "Statement of Principles" of the Project for a New American Century, the neocon Bible, was signed by, among others, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Zalmay Khalilzad, Scooter Libby, and Elliot Abrams. All of these men were deeply involved in the formulation, planning, and execution of the Iraq war. The neocon creed was part and parcel of every move they made.
* * *
The failure of Iraq is inherent in the naive idealism and fixated ideology of neoconservatism, and shame on us if we let them get away with suggesting otherwise."

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