The Christian Science Monitor reports that Paul Bremer, who was young Mister Bush's pick to head the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq after the fall of Baghdad, has written a new afterword to his book on what went wrong with Operation Iraqi Freedom.
"The biggest obstacle [to progress] has been the failure to provide adequate security for the Iraqi people," writes Mr. Bremer.
Really? Let's get something straight here. The only legitimate purpose of government is to provide security for its people. Bremer is a career diplomat who earned an advanced degree in political studies. You'd think he'd have understood that when, under his care, Iraq's security situation went to hell in a coal car.
Another "lessons learned on Iraq" book writer is Larry Diamond, a "democracy expert" who was a senior adviser to Bremer's Coalition Provisional Authority. Diamond wrote "If we learn from our mistakes, our next engagement to help rebuild a collapsed state might have a more successful outcome."
No, Larry. If we learn from our mistakes, we won't collapse any more states that we have to rebuild.
You may not be surprised to learn that Larry Diamond is a senior fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution, which is part of the network of neoconservative think tanks that include the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), the Heritage Foundation, and Bill Kristol's infamous Project for the New American Century (PNAC).
The people writing the lessons learned on the Iraq disaster are the very people who created it, and who have a vital stake in rewriting history before anybody figures out they're the ones responsible for one of history's most profound fiascos.
Weekly Standard publisher and PNAC founder William Kristol, whose father Irving is considered to be the founder of American neoconservatism, has called on numerous occasions to send more ground troops into Iraq, even though he has no knowledge of warfare, much less the kind of warfare he helped create in Iraq. Here's a perfect example from an article he recently co-authored for the Washington Post of just how sans-a-clue Kristol is about his favorite form of national power:
The bottom line is this: More U.S. troops in Iraq would improve our chances of winning a decisive battle at a decisive moment. This means the ability to succeed in Iraq is, to some significant degree, within our control. The president should therefore order a substantial surge in overall troop levels in Iraq, with the additional forces focused on securing Baghdad.
Insurgent forces, especially successful ones like the ones we face in Iraq, don't engage in decisive battles with superior, conventional military units. That's Asymmetric Warfare 101 stuff. It doesn't surprise me that Kristol doesn't know that, but why anybody still listens to Kristol or any of his cronies in the Big Brother Broadcast Network is a mystery mini-series to me.
But listen they do. Conservatives and liberals alike are pushing for a U.S. force structure shift that would increase the size of our ground forces, but why would they want to do that?
Back to the bogus lessons learned from Iraq. Proponents of establishing a larger ground force base their arguments on the principle that we needed--or need--a larger ground force to "win" in Iraq. But the real lesson from Iraq is that invade-and-occupy wars are counterproductive.
So why would we want to pursue a force strategy that supports a grand strategy of pursuing further counterproductive wars?
Pavlov's Dogs of War
Don't think for a lightning bug's blink that our Iraq experience has taught the neoconservatives anything.
In a recent piece for The Australian, Joshua Muravchi, who lo-and-behold is a "resident scholar" with the American Enterprise Institute, says "Neo-conservatism isn't dead, it's the only viable option." And that "the neo-con strategy of trying to transform the Middle East, however blemished, remains without alternative."
The neo-con strategy remains without alternative.
Oh my stars and stripes.
Fools and fanatics. Absurdities and atrocities. Are the imbeciles putting us on, or do they really mean it?
More to the point: will we ever learn to ignore the absurdities of fools and fanatics, or will we continue to act like imbeciles and commit their atrocities for them?
Commander Jeff Huber, U.S. Navy (Retired) writes from Virginia Beach, Virginia. Read his commentaries at ePluribus Media and Pen and Sword.