Friday, November 03, 2006

Richard Perle off the reservation.

What an unserious defeatist. Can't he see that we're winning? (Hat tip, Atrios).
New York, N.Y., November 3, 2006 — A group of neoconservatives led by former chairman of the Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board Advisory Committee Richard Perle and former Pentagon insider Kenneth Adelman tell Vanity Fair contributing editor David Rose that they blame the “dysfunctional” Bush administration for the “disaster” in Iraq and say that if they had it to do over again they would not advocate an invasion of Iraq.

Perle tells Rose that, “at the end of the day, you have to hold the president responsible.... I don’t think he realized the extent of the opposition within his own administration, and the disloyalty.... [Bush] did not make decisions, in part because the machinery of government that he nominally ran was actually running him.”

Adelman tells Rose that when he wrote in 2002 that “liberating Iraq would be a cakewalk,” he “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 postwar era. Not only did each of them, individually, have enormous flaws, but together they were deadly, dysfunctional.”

Adelman also tells Rose that “the idea of using our power for moral good in the world” is dead, at least for a generation. After Iraq, he says, “it’s not going to sell.”

Of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, whom Adelman says he is “very, very fond of,” he admits, “I’m crushed by his performance. Did he change, or were we wrong in the past? Or is it that he was never really challenged before? I don’t know. He certainly fooled me.”

Adelman adds that he “checked out” of this administration the day that Bush gave the Presidential Medal of Freedom to former C.I.A. director George Tenet, General Tommy Franks, and Coalition Provisional Authority administrator Paul Bremer—“three of the most incompetent people who’ve ever served in such key spots.” It was then, Adelman says, “that I thought, There’s no seriousness here, these are not serious people. If he had been serious, the president would have realized that those three are each directly responsible for the disaster of Iraq.”

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