The Dream Is Dead
By MAUREEN DOWD
December 12, 2007
Go to Columnist Page » Blogrunner: Reactions From Around the Web The
man crowned by Tommy Franks as "the dumbest [expletive] guy on the
planet" just made the dumbest [expletive] speech on the planet.
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
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
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.
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
Asked about getting tough with Iran and Syria, Feith offered this
incandescent insight: "As we all know, the president said he's The
Decider. That actually is quite a profound point. The president is The
Decider and the main thing he decides about is risk."
He noted that in battles through American history, "the military
fights better over time." This from a guy who sent our military into
Iraq without the right armor, the right force numbers or the right
"A strategic alliance of the ousted Baathists and foreign jihadists
was something that our intelligence community did not anticipate," he
said, continuing to spread the blame.
But the intelligence community didn't miss it. The neocons tried to
scrub out that sort of analysis, knowing it would make the war harder
Classified reports prepared for President Bush in January 2003 by the
National Intelligence Council warned that rogue elements of Saddam's
government could hook up with existing terrorist groups to wage
In "Fiasco," Tom Ricks wrote that Feith's Pentagon office was dubbed
the "black hole" of policy by generals watching him drop the ball.
"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
What's the answer to bin Laden? According to Feith, it was an attack
on an unrelated dictator. He oversaw the Policy Counterterrorism
Evaluation Group, whose mission was to amp up links between Saddam and
It defies reason, but there are still some who think the chuckleheads
who orchestrated the Iraq misadventure have wisdom to impart.
The Pentagon neocons dumped Condi Rice out of the loop. Yet, according
to Newsweek's Mike Isikoff, Condi has now offered Wolfie a job. It
wasn't enough that he trashed Iraq and the World Bank. (He's still
larking around town with Shaha, the sweetheart he gave the sweetheart
Condi wants Wolfie to advise her on nuclear proliferation and W.M.D.
as part of a State Department panel that has access to highly
Once you've helped distort W.M.D. intelligence to trick the country
into war, shouldn't you be banned for life from ever having another
top-level government post concerning W.M.D.?
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