Thursday, March 10, 2005

Wolfowitz considered in March 2005

Recently a liberal friend sent a copy of Wolfowitz's speech from February 2003 just before the war, and now I've stumbled across this excellent posting from Timothy Burke via Crooked Timber. His best paragraph is the last:
The Wolfowitzian defenders of the war want to skip Go and collect $200.00 on this one, go straight to the day two centuries hence when the innocent dead recede safely into the bloody haze of anonymous tragedy. Sorry, but this is not on offer, least of all for them. If they can't find the time, emotion and intellectual rigor to be as consumed by the case of a blameless mother and father turned into gore and sprayed on their children as they are by what Sean Penn had to say about the war last week, then their entire argument about the war is nothing more than the high-minded veneer of a more bestial and reasonless fury. If Brooks or anyone else wants to rise to toast Paul Wolfowitz, then they'll have to live up to the vision they attribute to him, and meet the real problems and failures of that vision honestly and seriously.
Why he was wrong in contradicting Shinseki's estimate that we'd need "something on the order of several hundred thousand" based on his experience in the Balkans with his now infamous statement "way off the mark". There are 3 possible explanations:
  1. honest error
  2. dishonestly trying to sell the invasion to Congress & American public
  3. delusional
  4. incompetence

I guess I could parse through the statements, but ignoring the troop levels from our experience in the Balkans because of no similar ethnic battles within Iraq is an odd statement given Saddam's brutal suppression of the uprising from Kurds and Shiites back in '91 after the Gulf War. That would rule out honest error, and leave the last 3 categories.

Wolfowitz has made the statement that justification of WMD was chosen for bureaucracy reasons (dishonesty) and also stated that Iraq was a rich enough country to foot the bill (delusional or incompetence). Given the evidence I'll have to conclude it was a combination of the three, though I'll give the biggest weight to Imperial Hubris.

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