The weekend after the statue of Saddam Hussein fell, Kenneth Adelman and a couple of other promoters of the Iraq war gathered at Vice President Cheney's residence to celebrate. The invasion had been the "cakewalk" Adelman predicted. Cheney and his guests raised their glasses, toasting President Bush and victory. "It was a euphoric moment," Adelman recalled.
Forty-three months later, the cakewalk looks more like a death march, and Adelman has broken with the Bush team. He had an angry falling-out with Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld this fall. He and Cheney are no longer on speaking terms. And he believes that "the president is ultimately responsible" for what Adelman now calls "the debacle that was Iraq."
Adelman, a former Reagan administration official and onetime member of the Iraq war brain trust, is only the latest voice from inside the Bush circle to speak out against the president or his policies. Heading into the final chapter of his presidency, fresh from the sting of a midterm election defeat, Bush finds himself with fewer and fewer friends. Some of the strongest supporters of the war have grown disenchanted, former insiders are registering public dissent and Republicans on Capitol Hill blame him for losing Congress.
Yeah, sucks to be you guys. After all, it's not like you were out there selling the war and calling anyone who was skeptical about it unpatriotic, right?
The truth is that the GOP haven't been right about one damned thing in this war. Not a single reason for this war has turned out to be true, nothing that's happened since the invasion -- other than dethroning Saddam Hussein -- has turned out as advertised, and Iraq is a smoking hole.
The invasion was called Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Ask 10-year-old Mohammed what he thinks of Iraqi freedom.
Mohammed was playing in the garden behind his house one evening after sunset. His father found him on the ground, moaning, with blood coming from his neck.
A stray bullet hit Mohammed and went through his spinal cord.
At first, he was paralysed from the chest down, but able to move himself about in a wheelchair. Now his arms are also paralysed.
Mohammed's father - and many others I have met - say life was better under Saddam Hussein.
Brutal and terrible, but nowhere near as bad as it is now.
Iraq has become Hell.
Remember this kind of talk?
Dick Cheney on Meet the Press, March 16, 2003:
"I think things have gotten so bad inside Iraq, from the standpoint of the Iraqi people, my belief is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators. ... I think it will go relatively quickly, ... (in) weeks rather than months."
Iraq Seminar with Richard Perle and Kanan Makiya, March 17th, 2003:
(QUESTIONER): Vice President Cheney yesterday said that he expects that American forces will be greeted as liberators and I wonder if you could tell us if you agree with that and how you think they'll be greeted and also what you meant you said before that some Iraqi opposition groups might be in Baghdad even before American forces?
KANAN MAKIYA: I most certainly do agree with that. As I told the President on January 10th, I think they will be greeted with sweets and flowers in the first months and simply have very, very little doubts that that is the case.
Makiya, an architect and professor at Brandeis University, was as big a con man and cheerleader for the war as Ahmed Chalabi. The neocons aren't talking about those two anymore. Mostly because doing so would mean admitting they've been chumps.
But, at the time, they were playing monkey see, monkey do, with these guys. Paul Wolfowitz told a VFW audience, "The Iraqi people understand what this crisis is about. Like the people of France in the 1940s, they view us as their hoped-for liberator."
When looking at the reasons for the war and the predictions about it, you're left with only two possible conclusions -- the Bush administration was lying or the Bush administration was a bunch of pigeons for the Iraqi National Congress -- the iraqi exile group that Chalabi and Makiya represented. Personally, I think it's the latter. The neocons were completely delusional about Iraq and still are. Take a look inside Donald Rumsfeld's head, for example:
Ken Adelman, quoted in the New Yorker:
“He was in deep denial—deep, deep denial. And then he did a strange thing. He did fifteen or twenty minutes of posing questions to himself, and then answering them. He made the statement that we can only lose the war in America, that we can’t lose it in Iraq. And I tried to interrupt this interrogatory soliloquy to say, ‘Yes, we are actually losing the war in Iraq.’ He got upset and cut me off. He said, ‘Excuse me,’ and went right on with it.”
Yeah, it's crazy, but it shouldn't surprise anyone that Rummie's squirrellier than a walnut grove. But what gets me is 'we can only lose the war in America, that we can’t lose it in Iraq.' Can someone please show me even a sliver of logic or an appreciation of reality there? Anyone?
How hard would it be to convince people who think this way that invading Iraq would be a good idea? The neocons wanted to go into Iraq and they needed reasons to do so. There are two kinds of people who are easy to con; the true believers and the greedy. The neocons fit nicely into both.
So the question we're left with is, "why should we believe you?" They've been wrong about everything. On the eve of war, Bush spelled out his reasons for it:
Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised. This regime has already used weapons of mass destruction against Iraq's neighbors and against Iraq's people.
The regime has a history of reckless aggression in the Middle East. It has a deep hatred of America and our friends. And it has aided, trained and harbored terrorists, including operatives of al Qaeda.
The danger is clear: using chemical, biological or, one day, nuclear weapons, obtained with the help of Iraq, the terrorists could fulfill their stated ambitions and kill thousands or hundreds of thousands of innocent people in our country, or any other.
None of it was true.
The iraqi government estimates that 150,000 iraqis have been killed since 2003. There have been 2,856 US soldiers have been killed. All for a pack of lies bought and repeated by the most gullible bunch of morons ever to work in the White House. And they're not likely to get any smarter.
We've got the Iraq Study Group, a bipartisan panel, looking at our options, but the panel has no middle east experts. I'm not holding my breath for a decent solution there.
We're told that if we pull out of Iraq, things will devolve into chaos, but since Iraq's Higher Education Minister Abed Dhiab al-Ujaili told Agence France-Presse that Iraq doesn't have an effective government, it's already chaos. The question isn't what will make things worse, the question is will our presence ever make things any better?
The Iraq war was a mistake of historical proportions. There is literally no legitimate reason for it -- every single one has been proven to be untrue. The time has long passed to get the hell out.
Technorati tags: politics; war; Rumsfeld; Cheney; Bush; Paul Wolfowitz; Iraq's a hellhole because the neocons are gullible chumps