As the situation in Iraq increases in brutality, and outside commenatators look at the mess created and sustained within the country, the most enthusiastic neoconservative cheerleaders for war are again outdoing themelves in their eagerness to jump on a bandwagon, this time for the opposite cause:
As he looks into my eyes, speaking slowly and with obvious deliberation, Perle is unrecognizable as the confident hawk who, as chairman of the Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board Advisory Committee, had invited the exiled Iraqi dissident Ahmad Chalabi to its first meeting after 9/11. “The levels of brutality that we’ve seen are truly horrifying, and I have to say, I underestimated the depravity,” Perle says now, adding that total defeat—an American withdrawal that leaves Iraq as an anarchic “failed state”—is not yet inevitable but is becoming more likely.
More likely? Good Lord, Perle, where is your confidence in the End of History and inevitable triumph of Western democracy? Right now the general carnage in Iraq seems too widespread for even the really big lies to paper over. But, even at this terrible point, will they put their hands up and admit responsibility?
Know what, Richard? Go to hell. You brought Chalabi and his merry band of crooks to the White House and had them feed the CIA bogus intel. You kept insisting that the invasion was a success long after it was clear to all … that it was an abject failure. And you and Frummy wrote An End to Evil, the ultimate book of neocon wingnuttery that recommended, among other things, that the United States declare France an enemy state. To say that you bear no blame for this sad human catastrophe is beyond reprehensible. You and your buddies need to be banished completely from the national discourse and be forced to beg on the street for food. Just go away. Never come back.
Reading through the excerpts, the neocons blame everybody (the President and the President’s advisors are choice targets) except themselves for ramping up pro-war sentiment with dodgy intelligence. Still, I don’t think much will be achieved from this turnaround. Just as with the mass recantation of the Decents, both the the recent rash of pro-war chest-beaters and the opponents waiting in the wings assume that it’s all a game, the outcome of which is no more important than who gets the biggest space for their op-ed page, in which they outline what they would have done to make it all better, never mind the blood on the streets in the present day. I don’t think anyone far from the bloodshed is entitled to finger-pointing, let alone a bit of a gloat. Given the amount of killing that has taken place as a direct consequence, this recantation is far too little, too late.
(Bearing in mind I’m writing this on the eve of the US midterm elections while listening to the Beeb World Service report on the voting, where Iraq is treated as just another talking point. Never mind the piles of corpses, what about the exit polls?)