Yesterday I wrote,
The mismanagement of national security over the past 6 years is of such a magnitude that it’s nearly incomprehensible. The Iraq debacle is as sickening as it is tragic.
Well, it turns out that some of the most prominent neoconservative proponents of the Iraq war are thinking the same thing. David Rose’s “Neo Culpa,” which just hit the Vanity Fair website, leaves me almost speechless. Richard Perle, Kenneth Adleman, David Frum. Here’s Adleman:
“I just presumed that what I considered to be the most competent national-security team since Truman was indeed going to be competent. They turned out to be among the most incompetent teams in the post-war era. Not only did each of them, individually, have enormous flaws, but together they were deadly, dysfunctional.”
“I always believed as a speechwriter that if you could persuade the president to commit himself to certain words, he would feel himself committed to the ideas that underlay those words. And the big shock to me has been that although the president said the words, he just did not absorb the ideas. And that is the root of, maybe, everything.”
When Bush was first (sort of) elected, I thought he couldn’t be as stupid as he seemed. The news reports of the “CEO-style” presidency impressed me. When the invasion of Iraq was looming, a friend in the Air Force reserves told me there was no plan for after the invasion. What did he know? He was just in the reserves, for crying out loud. No President, no Secretary of Defense, no Pentagon brass could possibly undertake a war without a post-invasion plan.
Or so I thought.
I was on the fence about Iraq. Like many Americans, I decided to trust what the administration was saying. So many of my colleagues were exasperated with me. And it turns out they were right.