Monday, May 02, 2005

Somebody tell the Professor

In a New Yorker article this week, Doug Feith, The undersecretary of Defense. tries, like so many others have before, to trot out the newest revisionist rationale for the Iraq War: It's an exercise in spreading freedom and democracy everywhere! But he's not able to wriggle through that slime-hole. In the passage below, the writer notes that the Bush team had shifted its reasoning. Feith digs up an old New Yorker article by Nicholas Lemann prior to the war:
Feith was quoted as saying: “When you can think that if we do things right, and if we help the Iraqis, and if the Iraqis show an ability to create a humane representative government for themselves—will that have beneficial spillover effects on the politics of the whole region? The answer, I think, is yes.”

He read this to me and added, “I must say, I’m damn proud of that sentence. That was right on the nose.”

Feith, though, had left out part of what he told Lemann. “Would anybody be thinking about using military power in Iraq in order to do a political experiment in Iraq in the hope that it would have positive political spillover effects throughout the region?” he asked Lemann. “The answer is no.” He continued: “What we would be using military power for, if we have to, would be the goals the President has talked about, particularly the elimination of the chemical and biological weapons, and preventing Iraq from getting nuclear weapons.” [emphasis added]

Clearly, Feith was lying. Of course, everyone knows that this war was about democracy promotion!

UPDATE: Welcome, Washington Monthly readers. You can enjoy more Bloggy goodness here. And thanks again for the link, Kevin.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 3:31 PM

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