Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Uncontrite Neocons Play the Blame Game

Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Uncontrite Neocons Play the Blame Game

Article excerpt

Four years after mongering for the war in Iraq arid seeing their simplistic fantasies of exporting their version of democracy to Iraq come to nothing, neocon intellectuals are now scorning the Bush team for Mission Unaccomplished--and at the same time absolving themselves of revving for war.

For a model of shamelessness, consider Kenneth Adelman, the former director of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency under Reagan. He is the self-promoting Bush insider who confidently predicted in 2003 that the conquering of Iraq will be "a cakewalk." In multiple forums, Mr. Adelman is now criticizing the Bush-Cheny-Rumsfeld bloc for botching the war. It "didn't have to be managed this bad," he told The Washington Post. "It's just awful."

Indeed. It's awful that Mr. Adelman will not be hailed as a visionary who helped save Iraq via "regime change." It's awful that he suffered the indignity of being booted off the Defense Policy Board by then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. It's awful that Mr. Adelman's cake fell flat. How much pain can one mortal endure?

Pardon the ridicule. But it's a fit response for a shifty character who was long known in Washington for his toadying toil for patrons such as Mr. Rumsfeld and Vice President Dick Cheney. Now he's bailing. Lost in all in his gab about mismanagement are any serious expressions of remorse that the war he promoted has led to unspeakable misery for millions of Iraqis--the daily gore, the exodus of the frightened, the piling of bodies in morgues--and for tens of thousands of American soldiers killed or wounded. No regrets, either, for hailing Bush the cowboy when he said of the insurgents, "Bring 'em on."

The unapologetic Adelman isn't the only one walking away and sticking it to the president. There is Richard Perle, an avid booster of the war when he led the Defense Policy Board, a Pentagon advisory group, and another one who made sure he avoided military combat. …

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