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Author Topic: The Neoconservative Exit Strategy
David Ricardo
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http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9674425/site/newsweek

quote:
Conservative Crackup
How the neocons have developed a political exit strategy.

President George W. Bush may have no military exit strategy for Iraq, but the “neocons” who convinced him to go to war there have developed one of their own - a political one: Blame the Administration. Their neo-Wilsonian theory is correct, they insist, but the execution was botched by a Bush team that has turned out to be incompetent, crony-filled, corrupt, unimaginative and weak over a wide range of issues.The flight of the neocons - just read a recent Weekly Standard to see what I am talking about - is one of only many indications that the long-predicted “conservative crackup” is at hand.

Basically, the neoconservatives are trying to pin all the blame for failure in Iraq on the Administration, yet they want to claim that their theory of spreading freedom and democracy throughout the Middle East through American force of arms is still vindicated.

Perhaps, the simpler conclusion is thisL the idealistic liberal vision of sowing democracy in hte Middle East through American military power was horribly flawed from the get-go, and the Administration made it only worse by being incompetent morons to boot.

Still, it is bitterly ironic that the chief intellectual architects for the Iraq War have now all decided to shift the blame for the failure in Iraq entirely onto the shoulders of the Administration. Regardless of how incompetently the Adminstiration has mishandled the occupation of Iraq, we must remember that the ones most directly at fault for permanently setting American strength and reputation back for a decade are the neoconservative intellectuals and acitivists who are now doing their best to scurry away from their pet Iraq project.

[ October 21, 2005, 04:14 AM: Message edited by: David Ricardo ]

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Pete at Home
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That's the nicest compliment I've ever seen anyone pay Bush before, David. Are you going soft on him?

Setting American reputation back ten years ...

Ten years, back before we botched up Bosnia, Kosovo, Sudan, and sat on our hands during the genocide in East Timor ....

Really? Ten years of screwups erased, all thanks to Bush and the Neocons?

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Weeder
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What heppened to the Israel-first faction? :-^]
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KnightEnder
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If true, initially makes me feel sorry for Bush. (I never thought I'd say that.) But then when I think about it, and him and his rich-boy smirk, I get over it. Unless he is as stupid as he seems, in which case I'm back to feeling sorry for him. I'm confused.

KE

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Pete at Home
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What I find interesting here is David's struggle to decied whether he hates Bush or the Neocons more.

Must be hard to stand *against*, all the time rather than standing for anything.

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canadian
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The genocide of East Timor took place in the 70's.

link

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Pete at Home
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Yes. Another one took place in 2000, during the independence vote. Did you miss all those heads mounted on polls, the 100,000 hostages taken to West Timor camps, the systematic rapes and kidnappings, the UN peacekeepers butchered while they emailed for help ... while Australia was the only country to really do jack about it, and took all of the heat?
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RickyB
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"back before we botched up Bosnia, Kosovo"

Botched? Compared to Iraq, those are stunning success stories. Re: east Timor I tend to agree. Re: Sudan, Shrub ain't doing jack either

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WarrsawPact
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Compared to Iraq?

The Serbs were setting up Holocaust-style concentration camps, complete with "shower rooms." They were ethnically cleansing the area with some of the most malicious, despicable acts I've ever even read about.

At least this time we had a president who had the balls to do something before another couple tens of thousands of people were killed or raped or mutilated.

And then there's Rwanda...

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RickyB
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Rwanda is Clinton's most lasting shame and you'll never hear me say otherwise. But with Serbia he stepped in and stopped it, so talking about how the Serbs were awful does nothing but justify him. Oh, btw, "shower rooms"? As in "gas chambers"? You want to back that up? Not that it really matters, but I'm sure I'd hear of that if it were true.

as for president with balls - give me a @#$% break. Had he given a good goddamn about the poor mutilated people he'd do something about Sudan and the janajaweed, which he isn't. Stop already with this attempt to make Iraq about humanitarian concerns. It wasn't and you know it.

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by RickyB:
Rwanda is Clinton's most lasting shame and you'll never hear me say otherwise. But with Serbia he stepped in and stopped it, so talking about how the Serbs were awful does nothing but justify him. Oh, btw, "shower rooms"? As in "gas chambers"? You want to back that up? Not that it really matters, but I'm sure I'd hear of that if it were true.

as for president with balls - give me a @#$% break. Had he given a good goddamn about the poor mutilated people he'd do something about Sudan and the janajaweed, which he isn't. Stop already with this attempt to make Iraq about humanitarian concerns. It wasn't and you know it.

You missed the point, Ricky. Clinton stepped in in KOSOVO, where Serb actions did NOT ammount to Genocide. Clinton said he had evidence they'd planned to, but that evidence is STILL "top secret." Rakak was a feud between independent paramilitaries.

Bosnia let the horrors happen in Bosnia, and did not interfere until too late.

Then he threw us into a totally unnecessary war in Kosovo, just so his legacy would be covered by mixing up Bosnia with Kosovo as you just did.

Kosovo was an unnecessary war because first there was no Serb genocide of the Albanians until the bombs started falling, cutting Serbia off and turning it over to the paramilitaries that Tito had set up;

second because stupid Albright didn't bother to even offer the Serbs the deal that they finally took AFTER the war, i.e. the promise that Kosovo would remain technically part of Serbia. THEY WOULD HAVE ACCEPTED THAT BEFORE THE WAR, and thousands of people would not have died.

In Iraq we've had mixed success. Kosovo was an absolute WASTE of life, and only a PR success because people don't read the stinking news very carefully.

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by RickyB:
as for president with balls - give me a @#$% break. Had he given a good goddamn about the poor mutilated people he'd do something about Sudan and the janajaweed, which he isn't. Stop already with this attempt to make Iraq about humanitarian concerns. It wasn't and you know it.

You don't think that promoting democracy and peace in the middle east is a humanitarian concern, or you don't think that promoting democracy and peace in the middle east was Bush's real end-game? [Razz]

Curse at me all ye like, Ricky, cause I've got ya in the pinchers.


Incidentally, I talked to one of my best law school buddies, who is Chilean and a communist, and obviously no friend of the US policy in Chile.

He said that it's NOT conclusive that the CIA had Allende murdered. That he believes they did, but that it's FAR from actual proof. The CIA connections to those guys was about the same level as their connections to Osama Bin Laden. So your derision at me was entirely unwarranted -- it's a good theory, and a solid rumor, but not a fact, even in to my commie Allendista friend. Link me if you know differently, but do quit the sneering if I am not up on all the same news blurbs that you are. [Razz]

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RickyB
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Allende, as far as I know, took his own life so as not to be captured. But that the CIA backed Pinochet coup is fact.

As for promoting democracy etc. - option 2

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David Ricardo
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Meanwhile, real conservatives are pushing back against the neoconservatives who pushed the country along the path towards failure in Iraq and a new 21st century American torture doctrine.

Former Bush Administration State Department Chief of Staff Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson had a blistering tongue-lashing for the "neoconservative cabal" that drove the United States unnecessarily into war in Iraq (full transcript here):

http://www.thewashingtonnote.com/archives/Wilkerson%20Speech%20--%20WEB.htm

Dana Wilbank in the Washington Post summarizes Colonel Wilkerson's blistering critique of the neoconservative cabal here:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/10/19/AR2005101902246.html

quote:
"As Colin Powell's right-hand man at the State Department, Larry Wilkerson seethed quietly during President Bush's first term. Yesterday, Colonel Wilkerson made up for lost time.

He said the vice president and the secretary of defense created a "Cheney-Rumsfeld cabal" that hijacked U.S. foreign policy. He said of former defense undersecretary Douglas Feith: "Seldom in my life have I met a dumber man." Addressing scholars, journalists and others at the New America Foundation, Wilkerson accused Bush of "cowboyism" and said he had viewed Condoleezza Rice as "extremely weak." Of American diplomacy, he fretted, "I'm not sure the State Department even exists anymore."

And how about Karen Hughes's efforts to boost the country's image abroad? "It's hard to sell [manure]," Wilkerson said, quoting an Egyptian friend.


The man who was chief of staff at the State Department until early this year continued: "If you're unilaterally declaring Kyoto dead, if you're declaring the Geneva Conventions not operative, if you're doing a host of things that the world doesn't agree with you on and you're doing it blatantly and in their face, without grace, then you've got to pay the consequences."

[...]

Wilkerson's beef with the administration was, for the most part, not ideological. He argues that U.S. forces must remain in Iraq, and he describes George H.W. Bush as "one of the finest presidents we've ever had."

Rather, the colonel objected to the administration's secrecy, which allowed Cheney, Rumsfeld and others to subvert the foreign policy apparatus that has been in place since 1947.

"What I saw was a cabal between the vice president of the United States, Richard Cheney, and the secretary of defense, Donald Rumsfeld," he said. By cutting out the bureaucracy that had to carry out those decisions, "we have courted disaster in Iraq, in North Korea, in Iran, and generally with regard to domestic crises like Katrina." If there is a nuclear terrorist attack or a major pandemic, Wilkerson continued, "you are going to see the ineptitude of this government in a way that'll take you back to the Declaration of Independence."

Wilkerson, part military man and part academic, said "hell" a lot but also used words such as "desultory" and "titular." Peering from large wire-rimmed glasses, armed with a flag lapel pin, he spoke with barely restrained anger. He had given critical quotes about the administration before, but yesterday's New America Foundation speech was his coming out as an administration critic.

He had barbs for lawmakers ("truly abandoned their oversight responsibilities") and said past presidents had also circumvented the national security structure. But, he said, "the case that I saw for four-plus years was a case I have never seen in my studies of aberrations, bastardizations, perturbations, changes to the national security decision-making process."

Wilkerson blamed Bush, "not versed in international relations and not too much interested," for letting the Cheney-Rumsfeld cabal to take over. He blamed Rice for dropping her role as honest broker to "build her intimacy with the president." And he blamed whoever gave Feith "carte blanche to tell the State Department to go screw itself."

The cabal's end run around the bureaucracy, he argued, stalled nuclear diplomacy with North Korea and Iran. He said top officials "condoned" prisoner abuse and left the Army "truly in bad shape."


"You and I and every other citizen like us is paying the consequences," he said, "whether it was a response to Katrina that was less than adequate certainly, or the situation in Iraq which still goes unexplained."

The colonel said his old boss is not pleased with his decision to go public with his criticism. Powell, he said, "is the world's most loyal soldier." Wilkerson said he admired that, but he took a different view of loyalty: not to the administration, but to the country.


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TCB
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It's too bad that all these "real conservatives" only found the courage to stand up for their convictions after Bush's approval ratings fell. I'm glad Wilkerson is taling about his problems with Bush, but I wish he'd been outspoken years ago, when he might have been able to do some good.

I wonder if all these conservatives aren't just trying to preserve their careers by jumping ship.

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