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Bush and the neocons: rats leave sinking ship

This article is over 17 years, 5 months old
The architects of the invasion of Iraq are deserting the war they launched and blaming George Bush for the disaster.
Issue 2026

The architects of the invasion of Iraq are deserting the war they launched and blaming George Bush for the disaster.

Richerd Perle, Kenneth Adelman, Michael Rubin and David Frum were the leading lights of the US neoconservative movement. Today they admit that the defeat in Iraq has meant “the idea of using our power for moral good in the world is not going to sell”.

In an interview for Vanity Fair magazine, Richard Perle, the Pentagon adviser known as the “prince of darkness”, said, “The decisions did not get made that should have been.

“They didn’t get made in a timely fashion, and the differences were argued out endlessly. At the end of the day, you have to hold the president responsible.”

Kenneth Adelman, a former adviser for the defence policy board, originally said the invasion would be a “cakewalk”. Now he blames the three years of bloody morass on the “dysfunctional” president.

“[The Bush administration] turned out to be among the most incompetent teams in the post?war era. Not only did each of them, individually, have enormous flaws, but together they were deadly, dysfunctional.”

Michael Rubin was a former senior official in the Pentagon’s office of special plans, the committee that planned the war.

He said Bush’s actions are “not much different from what his father did on 15 February 1991, when he called the Iraqi people to rise up and then had second thoughts and didn’t do anything once they did”.

David Frum, the speechwriter who coined the phrase “axis of evil”, stated that the defeat lay with a “failure at the centre”.

“The insurgency has proven it can kill anyone who cooperates, and the US and its friends have failed to prove that it can protect them,” he told Vanity Fair.

Yet the idea that if the “right” decisions had been made the occupation would have been successful was punctured by a recently leaked study conducted four years before the invasion.

In 1999, US general Anthony Zinni conducted a series of secret war games, codenamed Desert Crossing.

The games, which simulated the invasion and occupation of Iraq, discovered that even with 400,000 troops – three times the numbers currently in Iraq – the country would dissolve into chaos.

The documents were recently uncovered by George Washington University’s National Security Archive.

After his objections on the eve of the war were dismissed, Zinni declared, “I’m not sure which planet [the neocons] live on, because it isn’t the one I travel.”

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