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Saturday, April 09, 2005

What disaster in Iraq?


Things are just going SO well in Iraq


The beginning of the End for Neo-cons (+ the stupidest quote of the year)
by Magorn
[Subscribe]

Fri Apr 8th, 2005 at 13:18:10 PDT

For the minions of the PNAC, the end is nigh. Conservatives with some residual decency have begun to turn on their neo-con brethren.

Yesterday, while All eyes were fixed on Rome, Richard Perle and Gen Wesley Clark had a rematch in front of the same house Armed Service Committee they testified before in 2002 on the eve of the invasion.

Things went a little differently this time:

Rep. Walter B. Jones Jr. ..a conservative Republican from North Carolina.. turned his fury on Richard N. Perle

Jones, who said he has signed more than 900 condolence letters to kin of fallen soldiers, pronounced himself "incensed" with Perle.

"It is just amazing to me how we as a Congress were told we had to remove this man . . . but the reason we were given was not accurate," Jones told Perle at a House Armed Services Committee hearing.

Jones said the administration should "apologize for the misinformation that was given. To me there should be somebody who is large enough to say 'We've made a mistake.' I've not heard that yet."


But apologies apparently aren't Perle's thing:

Perle wasn't about to provide the apology Jones sought. He disavowed any responsibility for his confident prewar assertions about Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction, heaping the blame instead on "appalling incompetence" at the CIA.

As if that buck passing wasn't enough, he then pulled the rarely seen triple axel fact twist and blamed Saddam Hussein's agents for goading us into an attack Really. I couldn't make this up:

"There is reason to believe that we were sucked into an ill-conceived initial attack aimed at Saddam himself by double agents planted by the regime. And as we now know the estimate of Saddam's stockpile of weapons of mass destruction was substantially wrong."


There it is folks, the single most mind-blowingly asinine thing ever said in Washington. Its a high bar, I know, but Perle cleared it.

This was apparently about when Rep. Jones' gag reflex kicked in:

Jones, nearly in tears as he held up Perle's testimony, glared at the witness. "I went to a Marine's funeral who left a wife and three children, twins he never saw, and I'll tell you, I apologize, Mr. Chairman, but I am just incensed with this statement."

There's nothing like coming face to face with the costs of war to reveal its utter folly.

In the wake of three or four Major reports blasting the intelligence that led to the War in Iraq; and the inept planning and execution of the post war period, you might think that one of its chief architects would be a little humble when facing a Congressional oversight panel.

You might think that, but then you don't know Our Man Rich, who approached this hearing as, apparently, an annoyance in his otherwise busy day. He even bought a bit of light reading with him:

Perle's reading material -- he put on the witness table a copy of "Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly" -- suggested he was not expecting what was to come.

That's right, you read that correctly. The man responsible for n 1600+ dead and 50,000+ wounded American soldiers, 200+billion in cost overruns, and the utter destruction of civil society in Iraq, brought a book with him in case he got bored!.

If I even attempt to convey my feelings about that I'm going to sound like Chris Rock with Tourettes.

breathe...breathe ...Phew!

Perle needn't have had worries about boredom however as he instead ran into a buzzsaw on both sides of the aisle. And helping run the Sawmill was none other than our hero, Gen Wesley, "I freakin' TOLD, you this would happen" Clark.

Less charitable minds might have seen Gen Clark's testimony as a bit of payback from the last time these two testified together and Mr. Perle was,- less than charitable himself, towards General Clark:


As chairman of the Pentagon's Defense Policy Board, Perle had gone before the same committee in 2002 and smugly portrayed retired Army Gen. Wesley K. Clark, who urged caution in Iraq, as "hopelessly confused" and spouting "fuzzy stuff" and "dumb clichés."

{he dismissed} Clark's argument that "time is on our side" in Iraq and that force should be used only as a "last resort."

Perle said Clark was "wildly optimistic" and called it "one of the dumber clichés, frankly, to say that force must always be a last resort." While Clark fiddled, "Saddam Hussein is busy perfecting those weapons of mass destruction that he already has."


Ahh but reality can be such a Bitch sometimes can't she?


In retrospect, Clark's forecasts proved more accurate than Perle's, and even Republicans on the committee made little effort yesterday to defend Perle or to undermine Clark.

MOST Republicans that is. It was a little too much to expect the entire party had gone "reality based all at once.

The exception was Chairman Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), who pressed Clark to acknowledge that the Iraq invasion should get some credit for signs of democracy in the region.

Clark however, was not only prepared but ready willing and able to return fire, and it wasn't pretty for the bad guys

We've got to do a lot less crowing about the sunrise," Clark rejoined.

When Hunter's GOP colleagues didn't join his line of questioning, he took another turn grilling Clark. The chairman likened President Bush's Middle East policies to those of President Ronald Reagan in Eastern Europe.

"Reagan never invaded Eastern Europe," Clark retorted.

In another try, Hunter said Clark was "overstating" the risk in challenging other countries in the Middle East. Clark smiled and showed his trump card -- reminding Hunter of their exchange at the 2002 hearing. "I kept saying time was on our side," Clark said. "I could never quite satisfy you."

As for who proved correct, the general said, "I'll let the record speak for itself."


Indeed. We call that in the vernacular a double atomic smack-down. (Why wasn't this guy our Candidate again?)

The record is in fact our most powerful weapon now. In their spectacular arrogance, the Neo-cons made a lot of lofty absolute predictions and pronouncements; but, of course, none of them have even begun to touch reality. Even the Republicans with consciences (unknown exactly how many of the mutant hybrids there are in captivity at the moment) are beginning to sit up and take notice. The first batch of Kool-aid is wearing off and they don't seem all that eager to drink another glass.

We cannot let those idiotic prophecies and arrogant words simply slip away down the memory hole. We need to throw there words back in their face at the slightest opportunity.

O6 needs to be the Year of "I told You So"


Very simply: Richard Perle might have heard a shotgun once.

Wesley Clark won the Bronze Star in Vietnam as a platoon commander.

He also commanded NATO.

I wonder who knows more about war?

posted by Steve @ 12:09:00 AM

12:09:00 AM

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