The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Monday, November 20, 2006

Iraq hawks starting to desert

When the Iraq Study Group started garnering front-page headlines, there was all manner of speculation about what it all meant. The White House had started backpedaling from its "stay the course" mantra, but without saying there would be any actual policy changes.
Henry Kissinger made big headlines over the weekend, of course, when he declared that we couldn't win in Iraq. Colin Powell is reportedly pretty sick about his role in selling the war. But others are starting to jump ship.

Think Progress cites Condoleezza Rice as a staunch supporter of "the Group," while noting that she opposed a similar project in 2002. But she's been the target of grumbling from some prominent right-wingers (like Newt Gingrich) since at least the violence between Israel and Lebanon.

Harper's notes the conversion of Ken Adelman, another outspoken pitchman for the invasion of Iraq, and gives a rundown of the path he's followed from booster to cynic.

Adelman's hypocrisy is stunning. In 2002 it was he who famously predicted that American forces would enjoy “a cakewalk” in Iraq, and during the run-up to the invasion he derided war critics for their stupidity and naiveté. “There's always the chicken littles, running around and saying 'oh my God, it's terrible,'” he said on Hardball, six days before the war began, when asked about the possibility that things might not go as smoothly as he and his fellow-hawks had predicted.

And now?

Embittered Insiders Turn Against Bush,” was the headline of a front-page Washington Post story yesterday that detailed how former Iraq hawks have broken with the Bush Administration over the war. Exhibit A was Ken Adelman, a former Reagan Administration official and “onetime member of the Iraq war brain trust,” who has fallen out with Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney, and who told the Post that “the President is ultimately responsible” for the “debacle” in Iraq.