You might be interested to compare the remarks in the attached reports
with the essays (on my website) I wrote in 2002 and 2003 /before/ we
lost 2,800 young men and women dead, over 20,000 maimed, another 50,000
suffering life-long results of concussions, about 40,000 or more with
serious psychiatric problems and who knows how many more likely to get
cancer from the use of depleted uranium (which on impact produces a
particularly lethal isotope that locks on to DNA in the bodies of
everyone within range) and were complicit in the deaths of -- I wrote in
my last book 100,000 -- Iraqis for which I was charged with
exaggeration. The best estimate now is /six times that many/, about
600,000. The war will cost us in Congressional outlays alone about $500
billion and, in the whole impact on our country, between $1 and $2
/trillion./ And ran up huge overseas debts: $540 billion in 2004 alone.
Now, it is a little late to begin the "blame game." Who was most
responsible? Perle, Wolfowitz, Feith, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Rice, Bush? Our
most senior and experienced generals have blamed them. Of course, they
are right. But that they are only the top of the pile. It is we who are
ultimately responsible. Truman was wrong. The "buck" does not stop with
the president in democracy. It stops with the citizens. We did not
demand answers to even simple questions, accepted half-truths and lies
at face value. The press let us down, as at least a part of it now
admits, but we did not demand it do better. Congress totally ducked its
responsibility, never calling to question those who were making the
decisions, never trying to educate itself and certainly not the public
with public hearings. Nothing comparable to what Senator Fulbright did
during the Viet Nam war was even thought of in the Senate or House.
We just sat, fat and happy, in "the best of all possible worlds" until
the roof fell in on us. It hasn't finished falling yet. And much that is
ugly and illegal has yet to come out. Billions of dollars were stolen in
Iraq. $9 billion right off the top during the "watch" of Paul Bremer.
That was money turned over to him by the UN on the condition of
accountability. It belonged to Iraq. It was never accounted for and has
disappeared. Hundreds of millions of other dollars "were disappeared" as
they say in another context. One I have just learned about is that when
the two sons of Saddam were killed by our forces, they found nearly $100
million in their hideaway. That money vanished. Who could have taken it?
The only people there were our men. Allegedly, throughout Iraq, where we
were handing out American taxpayers money for a variety of purposes much
-- certainly in the millions of dollars -- was stolen, more was paid in
kickbacks and still more in questionable activities. And, as you have
read in the last few days, a senator slipped a rider in a bill to
abolish the post of inspector general. Better not to know. What a change
for America. If you go back and listen to reports during the Viet Nam
war, we all then believed that at least Americans were incorruptible.
Our people may not have been the smartest but we were sure they were
honest. Now we cannot be so sure. Does anyone care? Apparently not, but
if we allow our own system to be corrupted, we are truly in mortal danger.
William R. Polk
669 Chemin de la Sine
F-06140 Vence France
fax: +33-493 24 08 77
Key early backer of Iraq war says there were alternatives
By Peter Spiegel
Los Angeles Times, Nov. 3
WASHINGTON - Richard Perle, the former Pentagon
adviser regarded as the intellectual godfather of the
Iraq war, said he believes he should not have backed
the U.S.-led invasion and he holds President Bush
responsible for failing to make timely decisions to
stem the rising violence.
Perle, a leading neoconservative thinker who chaired
the Pentagon's defense advisory board for the first
three years of the Bush administration, said in an
interview in January's issue of Vanity Fair magazine
that the United States may have been able to rid
Saddam Hussein of his capabilities to build
unconventional weapons "by means other than a direct
"I think if I had ... seen where we are today, and
people had said, 'Should we go into Iraq,' I think now
I probably would have said, 'No, let's consider other
strategies for dealing with the thing that concerns us
most, which is Saddam supplying weapons of mass
destruction to terrorists,' " Perle said, according to
excerpts of the interview released by the magazine
Perle's about-face is the latest in a series of
recriminations about the war by leading
neoconservatives, many of whom blame the
administration's management of the postwar
stabilization effort for Iraq's spiraling violence.
But Perle's highly visible role in advocating an
invasion after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and his
close relationship with the war's top architects -
particularly Paul Wolfowitz, then the deputy Defense
secretary, and Douglas Feith, the former Pentagon
policy chief - make his reversal particularly
He acknowledged "huge mistakes" were made in the
management of the war and blamed disloyalty among top
Bush administration officials for the failure to get
the policy correct... "At the end of the day, you have to
hold the president responsible."
Adelman told the magazine that while he thinks the
reasons for going to war were right, he now believes
the invasion should not have occurred because the
goals were unachievable.
He also called Bush's national-security advisers
"among the most incompetent teams" in the post-World
War II era, adding he was particularly let down by
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who once asked
Adelman to run his bid for the presidency.
Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, meanwhile, kept
up their defense of the war on terrorism and the war
in Iraq while campaigning Friday.
Ahmad Chalabi Says, 'The Real Culprit is Wolfowitz'_
'NYT' Sunday Preview: Ahmad Chalabi Says, 'The Real Culprit
By E&P Staff, November 03, 2006, NEW YORK
So, Ahmad Chalabi, what went wrong in Iraq in the war you
sell? "The Americans sold us out," he tells longtime Baghdad
Filkins in a lengthy cover story in this coming Sunday's New
Magazine, reviewed by E&P.
Chalabi was the Iraqi exile who worked -- via everyone from
to Judith Miller -- to convince America to topple Saddam in
2003 (not that
many in the administration needed much convincing).
Now, in an interview in his London home, Chalabi, betraying
calls "a touch of bitterness," declares, "The real culprit
in all this is
Wolfowitz," the former assistant secretary of defense, whom
considers a friend. "They chickened out. The Pentagon guys
Americans screwed it up."
Army Times: "Time for Rumsfeld to Go" By Andrew S. Ross
The San Francisco Chronicle, Friday 03 November 2006
An editorial scheduled to appear on Monday in Army Times,
Times, Navy Times and Marine Corps Times, calls for the
of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.[In addition to
now he's got American fighters to worry about]
WASHINGTON - Four US military newspapers catering to
all the branches of the US armed forces will publish
an editorial on the eve of the November 7
congressional election, demanding the resignation of
US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, NBC News
reported..It is scheduled for simultaneous publication Monday
by the Army Times,Air Force Times, Navy Times and Marine Corps
Times, NBC News said.
"Rumsfeld has lost credibility with the uniformed
leadership, with the troops, with Congress and with
the public at large," the advance copy said.
"His strategy has failed, and his ability to lead is
compromised," the editorial continued. "And although
the blame for our failures in Iraq rests with the
secretary, it will be the troops who bear its brunt."