The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom. - Wm. Blake

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Tommy Franks Got It Right

OK, like all good liberals, I've long relished Franks' line about Rumsfeld's errandboy, Doug Feith: "Every day I've got to work with the fucking stupidest guy on the face of the earth." And I'd never really heard anything to make me question that assessment. But Jeffrey Goldberg's New Yorker piece [not, apparently, online] on him really closes the argument.

What's most staggering is the guy's lack of self-awareness. He's still waving an October '01 MoDo piece about poor performance in Afghanistan as a defense against the idea that things have gone poorly in Iraq. He actually says that Iraqis were too scared of the Ba'ath to throw flowers to US soldiers, "but they had flowers in their minds." Is he serious?

In one passage, Feith sounds like the most desperate of warblogger deadenders, insisting that, knowing what he knows now, he would still have recommended invasion:
The main rationale was not based on intelligence. It was known to anyone who read papers and knew history. Saddam had used nerve gas, he had invaded his neighbors more than once, he had attacked other neighbors, he was hostile to us, he supported numerous terrorist groups. It's true that he didn't have a link that we know of to 9/11.... But he did give safe haven to terrorists.

Not based on intelligence, indeed. None of those factors approach the level of demanding invasion, but he doesn't understand that, or doesn't care. He is quite dismissive of the 1,500 US soldier deaths (deaths of the liberated don't merit mention, of course), because he thinks that his little experiment will "prevent the next, as it were, 9/11 [...] that could kill tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of Americans."

Or facilitate, as it were. Whichever.


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