It defies reason, but there are still some who think the chuckleheads who orchestrated the Iraq misadventure have wisdom to impart.
I'm not a big fan of Maureen Dowd but she puts her snark to good use today taking on Douglas Feith and the neocons.
The Dream Is Dead
The man crowned by Tommy Franks as “the dumbest [expletive] guy on the planet” just made the dumbest [expletive] speech on the planet.It's not my fault!
Doug Feith, the former Rummy gofer who drove the neocon plan to get us into Iraq, and then dawdled without a plan as Iraq crashed into chaos, was the headliner at a reunion meeting of the wooly-headed hawks Monday night at the American Enterprise Institute.
The room was packed as the former No. 3 at the Pentagon, previewing his upcoming book, “War and Decision,” conceded that the case could be made that “mistakes were made.” His former boss, Paul Wolfowitz, and the former Pentagon adviser Richard Perle sat supportively in the front row.
But he wasn’t self-flagellating. He was simply trying to put an egghead gloss on his Humpty Dumpty mishegoss.
“At the end of the day, here we are, and as of now there’s a reasonable chance that the country is going to remain united,” he said. Not quite the original boast of democracy cascading through the Middle East.
Feith also inanely noted that his personal view was that his de-Baathification policy — which created a huge, angry pool of unemployed men that fueled the insurgency — “was not basically a big error. It’s been criticized very severely. I think there actually was a lot of good thought that went into the de-Baathification policy.” It just spiralled out of hand, he said. Mistakes were made.Now I firmly believe that the neocons and Cheney knew they were lying about the reasons for war but I also believed they thought it would be the "cake walk" they advertised and so no body would care when it was determined they lied. What Cheney and the neocons didn't anticipate was their own incompetence and Doug Feith was among the most incompetent.
He thinks everything would have been fine if America had not lingered so long in Iraq. If only Paul Bremer and the generals had just turned Iraq over to the slippery con man Feith wanted to put in charge, Ahmad Chalabi.
In “Fiasco,” Tom Ricks wrote that Feith’s Pentagon office was dubbed the “black hole” of policy by generals watching him drop the ball.Dowd then addresses a very important point - what drives the neocons.
“People working for Feith complained that he would spend hours tweaking their memos, carefully mulling minor points of grammar,” Ricks wrote. “A Joint Staff officer recalled angrily that at one point troops sat on a runway for hours, waiting to leave the United States on a mission, while he quibbled about commas in the deployment order.”
Jay Garner, America’s first viceroy in Iraq, deemed him “incredibly dangerous” and said his “electrons aren’t connected.”
Feith’s disdain for diplomacy and his credo that weakness invites aggression were shaped, Ricks reported, by personal history: “Like Wolfowitz, Feith came from a family devastated by the Holocaust. His father lost both parents, three brothers, and four sisters to the Nazis.”
Feith told Jeffrey Goldberg in The New Yorker that “My family got wiped out by Hitler, and ... all this stuff about working things out — well, talking to Hitler to resolve the problem didn’t make any sense to me. The kind of people who put bumper stickers on their car that declare that ‘War is not the answer,’ are they making a serious comment? What’s the answer to Pearl Harbor? What’s the answer to the Holocaust?”
The Holocaust was indeed a terrible thing but becomes even more terrible when it's used to justify flawed policy. Update
Thomas Ricks reports that L. Paul Bremer takes exception to Feith's version of history.