Monday, December 11, 2006
Thank You For Making Me Look Strong
Which expression would you use if your mis-judgment led a young woman to lose her leg?
4. Smirking fist-pump?
After watching the news shows Sunday morning it still amazes me that people like Ken Adelman still cannot make the connection between the decision to invade Iraq and the bloody mess that followed.
Adleman once predicted that "demolishing Hussein's military power and liberating Iraq would be a cakewalk." I guess that depends on how you define "liberating." Very few people doubted our ability to knock over Saddam's regime. Just as many thought about what consequences that would bring. We removed the government and created a vacuum for terrorism and insurgency. The critical moment was not the removal of Saddam, it was not the toppling of his statue, it was not declaring "mission accomplished." The critical moment was the day after we had "demolished" Saddam's government and how we proceeded.
Adelman still stands by his belief that taking Saddam out was the right thing to do. He cites the fact that we didn't know that Saddam didn't have WMDs. Now, I keep thinking of Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz saying "an empty hand has nothing to give" in response to why Iraq wasn't laying down it's illegal weapons. It was a dilemma, you see. Was he armed? Did we have proof? What did the rest of the world think? Answer: let's invade, just to be on the safe side.
Apparently Adelman, and many others, are still receiving newsletters from the non-realist school of international affairs. Symptomatic of someone who split time in the 70s teaching Shakespeare and working for Don Rumsfeld is the vast disconnect between fantasy and reality. On one hand you have an extremely abstract, many would say preposterous, notion of Democracy reform in a hostile region; on the other you have George W. Bush to execute the plan.
This is a man whose claim to fame is an ability to saw down a tree and clear brush.
Adelman is supposed to be a smart fellow, how did he not connect the dots here? You might trust Bush to do your lawn work (maybe), but would you trust him with your investments? With major decisions? With Democracy reform? Is Adelman nuts? Men and women come back from the Iraqi Freedom project torn up, literally. The president gives them a fist-pump and a few warm fuzzies. Symptomatic perhaps of someone with the luxury to afford to live in an abstract play-land on the far side of fantasy rather than reality.