WOLFOWITZ: 9 of spades
do these signs mean?)
made quite a name for themselves with their claims to
brilliance and disdain for anyone who disagreed with
their point of view. Their egos gave us a war under
false pretences. Their errors and lies over why we needed
to attack Iraq were reinforced by their fantasies of
what would happen next. For example, Paul Wolfowitz,
Fantasist in Chief and Deputy Defense Secretary, told
the Veterans of Foreign Wars that ruling Iraq would
be like ruling liberated France after World War II.
got that one pretty much wrong, and a lot of people
are dead as a consequence. Trudy Rubin reported that
the Pentagon was unprepared for the aftermath of the
invasion was because "top officials convinced themselves
that the aftermath would be easy - and cost-free."
Rubin reported that "Back in November, Deputy Secretary
of Defense Paul Wolfowitz told me he believed that the
London-based Iraqi opposition (headed by Ahmad Chalabi)
would return to Baghdad and assume the reins of power,
just as Gen. Charles DeGaulle and the Free French returned
triumphantly to postwar France" We will pay the
price for his arrogance for a long time.
poor judgment is at least partly responsible for the
fact that American troops in Iraq are spread as thinly
as they are. When General Eric Shineski, a veteran of
extended peacekeeping missions, said we would need several
hundred thousand troops in occupied Iraq, Wolfowitz
countered "It's hard to conceive that it would
take more forces to provide stability in post-Saddam
Iraq than it would take to conduct the war itself. .
. Hard to imagine."
do not have enough troops in Iraq today to even guard
all the ammunition depots Saddam constructed, and the
unguarded ones offer many weapons to those who would
attack and kill American troops. This should have come
as no surprise. The Washington Post reports that
before the invasion "U.S. intelligence agencies
were persistent and unified in warning the Defense department
that Iraqis would resort to 'armed opposition' after
the war was over." The CIA in particular, argued
"that reconstruction rather than war would be the
most problematic segment of overthrowing Saddam"
according to a senior administration official in the
The Washington Post
failure of imagination may be due to his lack of any
real experience with genuine defense issues more complicated
than back room politicking and academic conferences.
Ignorance combined with disdain for generals and intelligence
agencies who saw things differently opened the door
to errors that in retrospect seem obvious - because
they were obvious to competent experienced people. Like
so many other neoconservative leaders, like Cheney,
he had the opportunity to defend his country in uniform,
Wolfowitz found he had far more pressing commitments.
But this particular chicken
hawk makes up for his absence then by being
among the most enthusiastic for others to defend their
country in uniform now. He reportedly pushed for attacking
Iraq within days of 9-11.
orders in a war is so much more exciting than taking
them. Unfortunately, the orders were often incompetent.
apparently also hates intelligence data that didn't
fit his preconceptions. Because the CIA didn't tell
him what he wanted to hear. So, in October 2001, Wolfowitz,
Rumsfeld, and Undersecretary
of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith set up a special
operation in the Pentagon to "think through how
the various terrorist organizations relate to each other
and ... state sponsors," in Feith's words.
had plenty of previous experience pressuring intelligence
agencies to tell him what he wanted to hear, facts be
damned. In1976, he helped criticize and intimidate the
CIA over its supposedly too low estimates of Soviet
military strength. Shortly afterwards the Soviet Union
collapsed. But this didn't deter Wolfowitz's confidence
in his own brilliance and other people's lack of it.
the months leading up to our attack on Iraq, Wolfowitz
and the other hawks were outraged at Hans Blix's failure
to uncover Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. After
all, they knew they were there, so anyone failing to
find them had to be incompetent. According to The Washington
Post, in early 2002 Wolfowitz ordered a CIA report on
Blix. The report didn't contain any damning details,
causing Wolfowitz reportedly "hit the ceiling."
Again, reality was inferior to Wolfowitz's brilliance,
at least in his own eyes.
hobbyist's love of things military perhaps caused him
to argue as long ago as 1992 for pre-emptive strikes
and military domination of the world. (Harper's Magazine,
October, 2002). He backed our pulling out of the Anti-ballistic
missile treaty with Russia in favor of greater defense
spending, supports renewed nuclear testing, and Bush's
refusal to become part of the International Criminal
Court. (New York Times Magazine, 9/22/02) In
other words, by the standards of decency, this many
seems consumed by visions of military glory and bloodlust.
died due to Wolfowitz's combination of belligerency,
ignorance, and error. They are still dying while this
smug arrogant little man enjoys the perks of power and
status. Are we too harsh? Consider the following.
Sept. 2, 2003, Wolfowitz published this little piece
in the Wall Street Journal:
long ago, a woman named Christy Ferer traveled to
Iraq along with the USO. She'd lost her husband Neil
Levin at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, and she
wanted to say thank you to the troops in Baghdad.
She wrote a wonderful piece about her trip, and in
it, she wondered why our soldiers would want to see
her, when they could see the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders,
movie stars and a model. When the soldiers heard that
a trio of Sept. 11 family members were there, she
found out why.
men and women from across America rushed to the trio,
eager to touch them and talk to them. One soldier,
a mother of two, told Christy she'd enlisted because
of Sept. 11. Another soldier displayed the metal bracelet
he wore, engraved with the name of a victim of 9/11.
Others came forward with memorabilia from the World
Trade Center they carried with them into Baghdad.
And when it was Christy's turn to present Gen. Tommy
Franks with a piece of steel recovered from the Trade
Towers, she saw this great soldier's eyes well up
with tears. Then, she watched as they streamed down
his face on center stage before 4,000 troops.
those who think the battle in Iraq is a distraction
from the global war against terrorism . . . tell that
to our troops.
yet, almost one month earlier, on August 6, 2003, Jason
Leopold reported that "in an interview with conservative
radio personality Laura Ingraham, Wolfowitz was asked
when he first came to believe that Iraq was behind the
9-11 terrorist attacks. 'I'm not sure even now that
I would say Iraq had something to do with it,'"
In other words, he never believed Saddam Hussein was
connected to 9-11. Does this mean that he knowingly
lied to Bush when,at the
Sept. 15-16 meeting after 9-11, Wolfowitz argued "that
the real source of all the trouble and terrorism was
probably Hussein" as reported by Bill Woodward
and Dan Balz.
the transcript of his interview with Ingraham, go to:
Ferer and our troops in Iraq are good Americans. By
manipulating her sorrow and our troops' loyalty, Paul
Wolfowitz is not.