The Economist smacks down the neo-con's incompetence dodge
I still retain a lingering affection for clever Brits at The Economist. If nothing else, they're courtiers who are reliable weathervanes:
“NEMESIS” was the word The Economist printed on its front cover four years ago, when jubilant Iraqis, aided by American soldiers, hauled down the big statue of Saddam Hussein in Baghdad's Firdos Square. ...
“It is hard to imagine any post-war dispensation that could leave Iraqis less free or more miserable than they were under Mr Hussein,” we said four years ago. Our imagination failed. One of the men who took a hammer to Saddam's statue told the world's media this week that although Saddam was like Stalin, the occupation is worse.
What went wrong? The most popular answer of the American neoconservatives who argued loudest for the war is that it was a good idea badly executed. Kenneth Adelman, he of the “cakewalk”, has since called the Bush national-security team “among the most incompetent” of the post-war era.
That's the incompetence dodge, and I'm glad The Economist is calling bullshit on it. What's wrong with it?
That excuse is too convenient by half: it is what the apologists for communism said too.
This is Digby's "conservatism can never fail; it can only be failed. But although the neo-con's Trotskyite roots are evident in everything they do and say, this aspect never occurred to me. Kudos to the clever Brits!
It is not enough to say with the neocons that this was a good idea executed badly. Their own ideas are partly to blame. Too many people in Washington were fixated on proving an ideological point: that America's values were universal and would be digested effortlessly by people a world away. But plonking an American army in the heart of the Arab world was always a gamble. It demanded the highest seriousness and careful planning. Messrs Bush and Rumsfeld chose instead to send less than half the needed soldiers and gave no proper thought to the aftermath.
What a waste. Most Iraqis rejoiced in the toppling of Saddam. They trooped in their millions to vote. What would Iraq be like now if America had approached its perilous, monumentally controversial undertaking with humility, honesty and courage? Thanks to the almost criminal negligence of Mr Bush's administration nobody, now, will ever know.
What do they mean, "almost criminal negligence?
The Economist is widely read by the sort of people who travel in the big seats at the front of airplanes. I'd say this story shows it really is open season on the maladministration, in almost all circles of society -- except for the small circle of loyalists and enables who still surround the man who stole election 2000 in Florida and governed as if He had a mandate.