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Thread: The Emerging "Neocon" Alibi on Iraq

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    Council Member SteveMetz's Avatar
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    Default The Emerging "Neocon" Alibi on Iraq

    I'm surprised it's taken this long, but the "neocon" architects of the Iraq disaster seemed to have agreed on an alibi and it is---drum roll--the "stab in the back."

    Last week was the Post's story of Douglas Feith's forthcoming book; today the Times includes an essay by one of the movement's other ideologues-in-chief, Richard Perle, which lays it at the feet of, "Secretary of State Colin Powell; the national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice; and the director of central intelligence, George Tenet."

    This whole process is both nauseating--it sickens me that people like Perle and Feith without the slightest shred of honor or integrity shape our nation's policy--and almost humorous as both spin like dervishes to absolve the people who most shaped the decision: the President, the Vice President, and the Secretary of Defense.

    Feith's "stab in the back" theory has evolved. I heard him give a talk at AEI a few years ago where he trial ballooned the idea of blaming the military. I guess once he figured that wouldn't fly, he had to settle on the State Department and CIA. Anything, of course, but placing the responsibility where it belongs--on his desk, that of the Deputy SECDEF, the SECDEF, the VP, and POTUS.
    Last edited by SteveMetz; 03-16-2008 at 12:26 PM.

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    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    This whole process is both nauseating--it sickens me that people like Perle and Feith without the slightest shred of honor or integrity shape our nation's policy--and almost humorous as both spin like dervishes to absolve the people who most shaped the decision: the President, the Vice President, and the Secretary of Defense.
    Funny Gian G and I talked about this several months ago on here in a thread I could not find

    It is much like being a sociopath, Steve, as they define anything they do as good for the country because they are the country--at least what is important in the country.

    Best

    Tom

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    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveMetz View Post
    I'm surprised it's taken this long, but the "neocon" architects of the Iraq disaster seemed to have agreed on an alibi and it is---drum roll--the "stab in the back."
    Back when I was studying politics, I came across a tactic labeled "The Big Lie". This involves putting out a Bravo Sierra story and then having it spun out via as many media streams as possible. It relies on the "if there's smoke, there's fire" meme that operates in most cultures, and takes advantage of the joy most humans get out of feeling they lie in a world governed by conspiracies. I can't remember where I heard the corollary, but it goes something like "we all love conspiracies because to wake up and realize that our governments are full of bunglers and twits who we elected" .

    Needless to say, most politicians are well aware of this and know how to take advantage of it .
    Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
    Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
    Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies,
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    The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, NPSIA
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    Council Member Van's Avatar
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    Default Cause and effect

    One of the underlying problems in the Middle East is a culture that has no innate grasp of cause and effect.
    As in- "I was smoking a cigarette and pumping gas, the Allah (pbuh) caused an explosion".

    Here, we take it the to the step after intellectual enlightenment and rationalize cause and effect, multiplying causes to match our world view.
    As in- "The big tobacco industry has pressured me into smoking while the medical establishment failed to educate me adequately on the risks. The Oil corporations have simultaneously monopolized our automotive industry and destroyed our public transportation system, while allowing the retail gas industry to transition to fundamentally unsafe 'Self-Serve' gas pumps."

    It doesn't change the fact that the guy who blew himself up at the gas pump was so self-serving and self-absorbed that he couldn't be bothered to put out the cigarette first.

    And both of them were unwilling to accept personal responsibility for their actions.

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    Default Lol

    Van--

    That is one of the funniest things I have ever read!!!!!

    JohnT

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    Council Member SteveMetz's Avatar
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    I'm a bit peeved that this whole thing spewed out after my book went to press. Otherwise I would, in my own insignificant little way, have called out these slime pits for what they are.

    What's really tragic is that this won't affect their income flows one whit. In fact, I suspect that the stab-in-the-back alibis would do exactly as intended and preserve their income flows.

    Having gotten this spun up so early in the morning, I suspect my adrenaline will be depleted and I'll be ready for a nap by late morning.

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    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Instead, we blundered into an ill-conceived occupation that would facilitate a deadly insurgency from which we, and the Iraqis, are only now emerging. With misplaced confidence that we knew better than the Iraqis, we sent an American to govern Iraq. L. Paul Bremer underestimated the task, but did his best to make a foolish policy work. I had badly underestimated the administration’s capacity to mess things up.
    From Richard Perle whom I respect less than the gun toting Mall Ninja. Mr. Perle in contrast to the Mall Minja has never carried a gun and has seen less action than our wannabe warrior mall security guard.

    To the Ninja's credit, he does not use the term "we" when he really means "you" as Mssr Perle does here as a ploy to avoid personal responsibility by sharing blame. In contrast, Mr. Perle has never had a problem using "I" when things go right. In using it in the above paragraph, he patronizingly glib in dismissing his own role as if he had merely suggested a bad play for a local softball team.

    What an ass..

    Tom

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    Council Member SteveMetz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Odom View Post
    From Richard Perle whom I respect less than the gun toting Mall Ninja. Mr. Perle in contrast to the Mall Minja has never carried a gun and has seen less action than our wannabe warrior mall security guard.

    To the Ninja's credit, he does not use the term "we" when he really means "you" as Mssr Perle does here as a ploy to avoid personal responsibility by sharing blame. In contrast, Mr. Perle has never had a problem using "I" when things go right. In using it in the above paragraph, he patronizingly glib in dismissing his own role as if he had merely suggested a bad play for a local softball team.

    What an ass..

    Tom
    I find Perle less nauseating than Feith. Perle advocated just throwing the keys to Iraq to Chalabi and beating feet. I think that would have been immoral and a disaster, but at least he can credibly make a case that the Bush administration did not follow his advice. Feith, on the other hand, is trying to foist off responsibility for actions he DID have a hand in on other organizations and individuals. If by some miracle things work out in Iraq, I can easily imagine Feith then taking credit for the decisions.

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default No echo this side of the Atlantic

    Rewriting history this side of the Atlantic has yet to appear, largely as Gordon Brown's government is trying to ignore Tony Blair's leadership. Few I think here will be brave enough to publically say "We were right to invade". Many of the politicians involved have left the limelight.

    The impact of how intelligence is used to persaude the public may have a longer shelf life; many commentators here say the legacy of the Iraq invasion means the public will remain sceptical, if not hostile to intelligence.

    Side issues, like the mysterious death or suicide of Dr David Kelly, a government scientist deeply involved in disarming Iraq, who spoke out of turn to the BBC, arouse some attention and a book on the subject is in it's fourth impression (since late 2007).

    davidbfpo

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    Council Member SteveMetz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    Rewriting history this side of the Atlantic has yet to appear, largely as Gordon Brown's government is trying to ignore Tony Blair's leadership. Few I think here will be brave enough to publically say "We were right to invade". Many of the politicians involved have left the limelight.

    The impact of how intelligence is used to persaude the public may have a longer shelf life; many commentators here say the legacy of the Iraq invasion means the public will remain sceptical, if not hostile to intelligence.

    Side issues, like the mysterious death or suicide of Dr David Kelly, a government scientist deeply involved in disarming Iraq, who spoke out of turn to the BBC, arouse some attention and a book on the subject is in it's fourth impression (since late 2007).

    davidbfpo

    I gave a talk on insurgency week before last at the Royal College of Defence Studies and was surprised at how little interest there was in Iraq. All they wanted to talk about was Afghanistan. Iraq seems to be purely history.

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    Council Member J Wolfsberger's Avatar
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    Default Steve,

    Perle is out of the generation of cold warriors, with a world view shaped by that "competition." How much do you think that experience, in him and others, is shaping our current policy? i.e. Is this group that is referred to as "Neocons" shaped by strong experience that required a hard line in a competition of ideologies?
    John Wolfsberger, Jr.

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    Council Member SteveMetz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J Wolfsberger View Post
    Perle is out of the generation of cold warriors, with a world view shaped by that "competition." How much do you think that experience, in him and others, is shaping our current policy? i.e. Is this group that is referred to as "Neocons" shaped by strong experience that required a hard line in a competition of ideologies?
    IMO, the problem is that people like Perle and Norman Podhoretz whose entire psyche has been was shaped by struggle against an evil enemy have simply shifted fire to "Islamofascism" (which I personally consider a nonsense word, at least the way they use it). Problem is that the notion of World War III or IV which they promote resonates with a lot of Americans, particularly but not exclusively evangelical conservatives.

    I was relieved that Guiliani's defeat showed that as we move further from September 11, receptivity to this idea is declining. I don't think there is enough distance that whoever is president can come right out and reject it, but hopefully they can stop comparing the threat from Islamic militants to the the threat from the Soviet Union or Nazi Germany. I am worried, though, that this group might become involved in the McCain campaign. But I think he's independent enough to make up his own mind rather than being seduced by misguided advisors.
    Last edited by SteveMetz; 03-17-2008 at 12:18 PM.

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    Default There is that "We" again

    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    Rewriting history this side of the Atlantic has yet to appear, largely as Gordon Brown's government is trying to ignore Tony Blair's leadership. Few I think here will be brave enough to publically say "We were right to invade". Many of the politicians involved have left the limelight.

    davidbfpo
    But Mssr Perle will

    We made mistakes in Iraq, but war was just
    By Richard Perle
    Last Updated: 12:01am GMT 16/03/2008

    For a government fighting an unpopular war, five years is an eternity. In the sight of history, it's just a blink, far too short for considered judgment or a balanced accounting. But judges and accountants won't wait, so the fifth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq has renewed the debate about that action and its consequences - a debate dominated by the terrible costs, with almost no assessment of the benefits.

    Amazing but not surprising that 5 years can be dismissed as somehow irrelevant without a blink or a hiccup..

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    Moderator Steve Blair's Avatar
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    And this has a long-standing history in American politics. Vietnam had its many examples, as has just about every conflict we've been involved in. No reason to suspect that Iraq would be any different, especially since our political machine is self-selecting in terms of who it lets through the rusty gates.

    Marc, I think it was Hitler's machine that really perfected the "Big Lie." Goebbles in particular was a master of it; first for the Strassers in Berlin and later for ol' Adi himself down Munich way.
    "On the plains and mountains of the American West, the United States Army had once learned everything there was to learn about hit-and-run tactics and guerrilla warfare."
    T.R. Fehrenbach This Kind of War

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    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Marc, I think it was Hitler's machine that really perfected the "Big Lie." Goebbles in particular was a master of it; first for the Strassers in Berlin and later for ol' Adi himself down Munich way.
    Steve

    I believe you are correct. Big Lie has been a staple of the Hutu Power movement since the end of the genocide in Rwanda.

    Tom

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    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Hi Steve,

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Blair View Post
    Marc, I think it was Hitler's machine that really perfected the "Big Lie." Goebbles in particular was a master of it; first for the Strassers in Berlin and later for ol' Adi himself down Munich way.
    They certainly did a great job of it . Personally, I think Trotsky perfected the theory of it even earlier (aided by Lenin or vice versa depending on who published first ). Still and all, the tactic itself is quite old - take a look at Ramesses II and his spin on Kadesh .
    Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
    Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
    Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies,
    Senior Research Fellow,
    The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, NPSIA
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    Default Vlasov's Army

    Quote Originally Posted by SteveMetz View Post
    I'm surprised it's taken this long, but the "neocon" architects of the Iraq disaster seemed to have agreed on an alibi and it is---drum roll--the "stab in the back."

    Last week was the Post's story of Douglas Feith's forthcoming book; today the Times includes an essay by one of the movement's other ideologues-in-chief, Richard Perle, which lays it at the feet of, "Secretary of State Colin Powell; the national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice; and the director of central intelligence, George Tenet."

    This whole process is both nauseating--it sickens me that people like Perle and Feith without the slightest shred of honor or integrity shape our nation's policy--and almost humorous as both spin like dervishes to absolve the people who most shaped the decision: the President, the Vice President, and the Secretary of Defense.

    Feith's "stab in the back" theory has evolved. I heard him give a talk at AEI a few years ago where he trial ballooned the idea of blaming the military. I guess once he figured that wouldn't fly, he had to settle on the State Department and CIA. Anything, of course, but placing the responsibility where it belongs--on his desk, that of the Deputy SECDEF, the SECDEF, the VP, and POTUS.
    Feith is just disgusting. Whoever pointed out the blaring "Doug Feith is a patriot" quote on his website from General Peter Pace on a SWC thread a week or two back, that was great stuff.

    Perle's been an open and shut case for me since reading Charlie Wilson's War last year. He, Oliver North, and a couple of other Reagan Administration guys had some ludicrous plan to spirit Red Army defectors out of Afghanistan and use them to form a second Vlasov's Army that would bring down the USSR. The experienced CIA guys were incredulous, said it was a joke, but the plan went ahead. In the end they got two shattered conscripts who had been repeatedly raped by the mujahideen, one of whom later robbed a convenience store in Tyson's Corner. Read the book's account of it, the story is hilarious.

    I'm continually amazed at how think tanks, the chattering class, Capitol Hill, and even the upper reaches of the Executive Branch are populated by folks with no earned knowledge of the real world, or often even of their subject matter. Prime case is Michael Ledeen, the neocon "Iran expert." He's never even been to Iran. And people listen to this guy!

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    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Default Power Point Did It


    Fateful Choice on Iraq Army Bypassed Debate

    By MICHAEL R. GORDON
    Published: March 17, 2008

    ....The plan was outlined in a PowerPoint presentation that Douglas J. Feith, a senior aide to Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, gave at a National Security Council meeting that Mr. Bush convened on March 12, eight days before the invasion began. Republican Guard units, the forces deemed most loyal to Mr. Hussein, were to be disarmed, detained and dismantled.

    Ok it is now clear to me. PPT that ubiquitous mind-numbing. intellect robbing deceptively alluring means of non-communications is really to blame...

    I mean when you read this, everyone had the right idea but no one could execute it. Then this guy Bremer--and he apparently had the right idea too--just went and did the wrong thing. It had to have been PPT manipulation of decisionmakers. The research on PPT manipulation is well established in think tanks in DC. Typically PPT-M shows up when briefs have bullets of 3 to 5 words that can offer different meanings to the unwary decision-maker--who everyone knows has too much to read anyway.

    What me worry? (3 words meaning no worries)

    Tom

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    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Ahhhh!

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Odom View Post
    Ok it is now clear to me. PPT that ubiquitous mind-numbing. intellect robbing deceptively alluring means of non-communications is really to blame...
    So it's really all Bill Gates' fault ! Got it !
    Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
    Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
    Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies,
    Senior Research Fellow,
    The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, NPSIA
    Carleton University
    http://marctyrrell.com/

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    Moderator Steve Blair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Granite_State View Post
    I'm continually amazed at how think tanks, the chattering class, Capitol Hill, and even the upper reaches of the Executive Branch are populated by folks with no earned knowledge of the real world, or often even of their subject matter. Prime case is Michael Ledeen, the neocon "Iran expert." He's never even been to Iran. And people listen to this guy!
    I think the real key here is no knowledge of their subject matter. I've seen people who've "been there" who have no real clue as to the history of where they've been (in other words, what was behind the "there" that they saw), and have no idea how to go about gaining that knowledge. Yet they still think they are "experts" based on their handful of trips.

    We have far too many folks kicking around in these circles who don't understand even the basics of intellectual research and confuse .ppt and a few History Channel shows for real research and background.
    "On the plains and mountains of the American West, the United States Army had once learned everything there was to learn about hit-and-run tactics and guerrilla warfare."
    T.R. Fehrenbach This Kind of War

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