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Neoconservatives decry execution of Iraq war
CNN ^ | 4 November 2006

Posted on 11/03/2006 11:34:40 PM PST by Aussie Dasher

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A leading conservative proponent of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq now says dysfunction within the Bush administration has turned U.S. policy there into a disaster.

Richard Perle, who chaired a committee of Pentagon policy advisers early in the Bush administration, said had he seen at the start of the war in 2003 where it would go, he probably would not have advocated an invasion to depose Saddam Hussein. Perle was an assistant secretary of defense under President Reagan.

"I probably would have said, 'Let's consider other strategies for dealing with the thing that concerns us most, which is Saddam supplying weapons of mass destruction to terrorists,'" he told Vanity Fair magazine in its upcoming January issue.

Asked about the article, White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe said, "We appreciate the Monday-morning quarterbacking, but the president has a plan to succeed in Iraq, and we are going forward with it."

Other prominent conservatives criticized the administration's conduct of the war in the article, including Kenneth Adelman, who also served on the Defense Policy Board that informally advised President Bush. Adelman said he was "crushed" by the performance of Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld.

Adelman also said that neoconservatism, "the idea of using our power for moral good in the world," has been discredited with the public. After Iraq, he told Vanity Fair, "it's not going to sell."

(Excerpt) Read more at cnn.com ...


TOPICS: Front Page News; Government; Politics/Elections; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: georgewbush; iraq; neocons; richardperle
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To: Aussie Dasher

The neo-cons tick me off. It was their unrealistic expectations of the Iraqi people's ability to actually behave like westerners that gave us irrational expectations that this would be easy. All the cakewalk crap, and now that they were proven wrong, and it is a difficult mission they are blaming the President for their bad prognostications.

What little punks.


21 posted on 11/04/2006 3:57:23 AM PST by dogbyte12
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To: Aussie Dasher

Although we carried out a brilliant campaign to "conquer Iraq" and capture Saddam, our followup does appear to be lacking. Are we using our technology to ensure minimal casualties? That is, we seem to have multiple layers of complex rules of engagement where we punish our own to the delight of the enemy (Pendleton 8 & others); we do not seem to be using our technology to minimize our own casualities (MOAB, failure to bomb certain buildings being used for weapons storage, and places for the enemy to hide), reconnoiter policies, interrogation policies, etc. Are we too quick to arrest our own military for doing their job too well (thanks to Murtha an his ilk).


22 posted on 11/04/2006 5:05:59 AM PST by olezip
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To: jeltz25
Adelman is right in that any hopes of doing anything to Iran, Syria or any other terrorists is finished.

I agree with this statement, unfortunately. They will have two years to work their mischief, unchecked by US power. Blame this on American liberals and their utter failure of understanding of the world around us. Of course a lot of those @$$h-les can't do simple math, either.

23 posted on 11/04/2006 5:13:03 AM PST by Hardastarboard (Why isn't there an "NRA" for the rest of my rights?)
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To: Aussie Dasher
scum sucking bottom feeders comes to mind.

traitors and opportunists is probably a more accurate statement.

24 posted on 11/04/2006 5:18:13 AM PST by Pietro
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To: Aussie Dasher
Richard Perle...said had he seen at the start of the war in 2003 where it would go, he probably would not have advocated an invasion to depose Saddam Hussein.

Well, goooooolly, ain't he smart? Yeah, and if I knew last weeks winning lottery numbers before they were picked I'd be rich too. So what?

I don't remember a single pundit who said, "Yeah, defeating Saddamm's military will be relatively easy, but terrorists will start blowing up people in the streets and it'll be hard to kill them down, especially when the MSM will be rooting for the terrorists to win."

25 posted on 11/04/2006 5:21:03 AM PST by libertylover (If it's good and decent, you can be sure the Democrat Party leaders are against it.)
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To: olezip
Are we using our technology to ensure minimal casualties?

Yes.

...we seem to have multiple layers of complex rules of engagement where we punish our own to the delight of the enemy...

There have been very few of those instances, and they were all well-deserved.

we do not seem to be using our technology to minimize our own casualities (MOAB, failure to bomb certain buildings being used for weapons storage, and places for the enemy to hide)

Please detail to me how this FReeper fave "MOAB" is going to help anything in Iraq. I can't wait to hear this.

Are we too quick to arrest our own military for doing their job too well

No. No one here is arrested for doing their job well. They are arrested for playing Militarized Hannibal Lecter. Huge difference.

26 posted on 11/04/2006 5:29:04 AM PST by Future Snake Eater (My Savior beat up your Prophet!)
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To: jeltz25; dasboot

Thanks for your point of view jeltz25.

Like you, I don’t have to be in lock step agreement with the President on everything he and his administration does in order to be a “true” Conservative or a good Republican and not a RAT. Perhaps that makes me a dreaded Neocon or Libertarian and if so, I’m OK with that tag. I’ve not been happy with everything that this administration has done but I support the President overall. Think he is a good man, an intelligent man and a just and honest man, but not a perfect man.

Thoughtful reasoned debate should only make us stronger but derision and splintering on every point and name-calling among us will divide and weaken us. Can’t we agree to disagree on some things and still be Conservatives?

As dasboot said, ”Perle didn't say it was a "foreign policy disaster'. CNN said he said it.”

However I do think that Richard Perle and other GOP critics should have held their opinions and criticisms until after the elections for the greater good of the party, the moral of our troops and the cause of Conservatism at large.

That being said I was and am definitely still in support of the invasion of Afghanistan and the take down of the Taliban and I think the invasion of Iraq and the removal of Saddam was absolutely necessary in the WOT.

What I as a Conservative have a problem with is our long-term objective in both countries. It is not clear to me what that objective is and “Nation Building”, while theoretically a noble cause, is not practical in all cases as history has proven again and again. As George Washington said in is farewell address, “Beware of Foreign Entanglements’. There is a fine line between acting in our national interests and becoming entangled and bogged down in the affairs of other nations.

We’ve freed Iraq of Saddam, mostly castrated the Taliban in Afghanistan and given the people of both countries freedom and laid the groundwork for a Constitutional government. If they reject this gift and fall into civil war and anarchy what should our response be? Where does it end?

Once we removed the direct threat to our nation, our job should be done. I’m not suggesting cutting and running, but how many of our good soldiers have to die trying to give these slobs over there, something they may never understand and don’t really want.

I say we should back off soon and say to them, “We have done our job, we’ve removed the biggest threat to us and to you, the choice and the direction you take is now up to you. But be advised, if your people and country ever poses a threat to our wellbeing and security – we will annihilate you all and without warning and with extreme prejudice!”

This policy should also apply to other nations too; Iran, Syria, N. Korea, China…
Knowing some military and DOD folks, I can tell you that Rumsfeld is not universally liked or well respected. And remember that Rumsfeld, during his tenure in the Nixon administration, was a Dove on Vietnam and a proponent of our withdrawal.

“if all this was happening in Iraq and Bill Clinton was C-in-C, the GOP and Conservatives would be all over his disastrous leadership.”

I think you are absolutely right on this observation. We Conservatives are not always intellectually honest in this regard.

I’ve made the point several times on FR about the administration’s support of warrant-less wiretaps and how if this came from a Clinton administration, we’d all be crying foul.


27 posted on 11/04/2006 5:50:51 AM PST by Caramelgal (Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys. P.J. OR)
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To: Future Snake Eater

Thanks for responding to my questions. I fully support our efforts in the war in Iraq, but would like to discuss more after the Republicans win the upcoming elections in the House and Senate.


28 posted on 11/04/2006 6:09:24 AM PST by olezip
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To: olezip

You know, the helluvit is that I clicked on this article to see if these "neocons" had any ideas to go along with their "decrying." Looks like they don't. What a shock.


29 posted on 11/04/2006 6:15:10 AM PST by Future Snake Eater (My Savior beat up your Prophet!)
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To: Aussie Dasher

Dasher, let me put my reaction to what these two did in terms any MP in the Commonwealth would understand immediately:

Shame. Shame. Shame.


30 posted on 11/04/2006 6:29:05 AM PST by RichInOC ("Aye, fight and you may die. Run, and you'll live...at least for a while.")
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To: Aussie Dasher

I believe this is a quote from one of the guys in the article:

"Some people interviewed for the piece are annoyed because they granted interviews on the condition that the article not appear before the election. Vanity Fair is spinning a series of long interviews detailing the introspection and debate that occurs among responsible policymakers every day into a pre-election hit job. Who doesn’t constantly question and reassess? Vanity Fair’s agenda was a pre-election hit job, and I guess some of us quoted are at fault for believing too much in integrity."


31 posted on 11/04/2006 7:16:56 AM PST by Mr Rogers (I'm agnostic on evolution, but sit ups are from Hell!)
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To: Caramelgal
Perle isn't a Republican. He is a Democrat, favoring a strong foreign policy. I agree(d) with him on most issues, but never could stand his devotion to Chalabi. And I think his biggest grief is that he was betting on the wrong guy with Chalabi.
If Perle would be still committed to a strong US foreign policy he shouldn't contribute to such hit-pieces, that favor
Democrats, who represent a foreign policy 180° contrary to his own positions.
32 posted on 11/04/2006 7:41:29 AM PST by SolidWood
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To: jeltz25
You're missing my point. Perhaps my post lacked clarity. You wrote about the blind obedience of Hitler's staffers and planners "...even when he was making catastrophic strategic blunders."

While it's true Hitler made a number of huge strategic errors (attacking the Soviet Union, for example), it was his interference in military matters that ultimately sealed the fate of the Third Reich (Hitler's decision to go after the Caucasus oil fields rather than finishing off Moscow). You're missing the distinction between political strategies and military tactics. President Bush establishes strategy; i.e., the political goal. The military is concerned with execution in accordance with that goal.

As I understand it, there were/are three successive primary strategic goals motivating the Iraq War: (1) The removal of Saddam Hussein and his Baathist regime; (2) The establishment of an Iraqi government based on democratic principles in order to achieve the larger, more ambitious goal, (3) Fundamental change in the authoritarian tradition of Middle Eastern affairs in a way that promotes longterm stability and positive political evolution, and counters Islamic extremism.

Nothing wrong with the President's strategy, which I fully support, and those complaining about the blood and time and money spent executing that strategy have very short historical memories, seek political advantage or payback against the Administration for real and imagined slights, or are displaying the lack of nerve common to armchair field marshals when the bullets and bombs start flying.

I believe one may strongly support the President and still disagree with the way this war is being conducted--means can be adjusted--but if one disagrees with the strategic ends--promotion of longterm Middle Eastern stability by introduction of democratic principles of individual liberty and conception of basic human rights--then we might as well pick up our toys and go home. Paraphrasing Mark Steyn, it isn't about being for or against the war; it's about being for winning or losing the war.
33 posted on 11/04/2006 9:43:45 AM PST by Rembrandt_fan
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To: Aussie Dasher

There never were more than three Neocons.


34 posted on 11/04/2006 9:45:50 AM PST by RightWhale (RTRA)
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To: Caramelgal
Iraq invasion and and continued presence was, and is, a bold stroke of genius. "Bring democracy" is a secondary, unnecessary side benefit.

Mission: Base of ops in the middle of the fray; give terrorists a place to go to be liquidated; have the terrorists spend their wealth and materials of destruction attacking men and women who can defend themselves, and earn the honor of saving civilization from the ravages of abject thuggery and evil.

This conflict is not new: the Arab supremists, and their buddies (Dems...by virtue of the fact that both they and the AS have a common enemy) have more than pirate ships and swords and armies on horseback, now.

No matter who takes command of the action in the future, the world owes GW a debt of gratitude for his foresight and bold action. WE (the good guys) have a chance to abate the rising tide; and, maybe, forever put off the day when appeasers, having allowed this tumor on Earth to grow unchecked, will have to employ radical nucular surgery against it.

35 posted on 11/04/2006 10:57:03 AM PST by dasboot
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To: Aussie Dasher

Already debunked as a lie by subsequent post.


36 posted on 11/04/2006 11:11:28 AM PST by pabianice
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To: pabianice
Already debunked as a lie by subsequent post.

Do you mean, David Frum responds to Vanity Fair's lies : the Neocon still support Bush on Iraq?

Somehow I don't think that's going to do it. Frum's not exactly the most credible figure in US politics. Recall his boasting of having created the phrase "axis of evil" and his subsequent backpedaling.

If former policy makers were asked about their view of Iraq based on a promise that the article wouldn't be published until next year, they might give different answers than if they knew the interview would come out right before the election.

37 posted on 11/04/2006 11:21:31 AM PST by x
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To: Aussie Dasher

These are the same people we are listening to scream about IRAN...?!


38 posted on 11/04/2006 11:59:16 AM PST by gaijin
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To: Elyse

I agree. I dont think the whole war has gone wrong and I don't think Perle, Adleman and others are saying it has. I think they're saying that there have been some wrong decisions made and that they've had a big effect on things.

Things like ignoring the Mahdi Army and letting it grow and flourish instead of clamping down at the beginning, not doing anything while Iran and Syria wreak havoc, letting this Saddam trial and all these other top leaders go on for years, Abu Ghraib, and plenty of other decisions made after April 2003 have negatively affected where we are today and that's a fact. Mentioning those isn't defeatist or liberal.

I agree with you about the media. They're despicable.


39 posted on 11/04/2006 3:00:19 PM PST by jeltz25
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To: OldFriend

Of course war doesn't go as planned.

But no administration is above criticsm. Or do you believe in blind faith and loyalty. Is there some Fuehrerprinzip we've all taken with regards to Bush?

He and his administartion have been wrong on immigration, wrong on spending and entitlements, wrong on McCain feingold, wrong on Harriet Miers, wrong on a bunch of other things. Is it really inconceivable that they've made some mistakes in Iraq?

If I had asked in fall of 1944 why thousands of Americans are getting cut down in the Huertgen Forest or in winter of 1944 why we were so unprepared for the Ardennes offensive, is that giving aid and comfort to the enemy? No

I want victory just as much as you do, but I'm not sure the path the administartion is taking is the right one. Are you? Are you 100% satisfied with everything Bush has done in regards to Iraq?


40 posted on 11/04/2006 3:05:30 PM PST by jeltz25
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