Here's the article they're talking about in Vanity Fair. Excerpts:
I remember sitting with Richard Perle in his suite at London's Grosvenor House hotel and receiving a private lecture on the importance of securing victory in Iraq. "Iraq is a very good candidate for democratic reform," he said. "It won't be Westminster overnight, but the great democracies of the world didn't achieve the full, rich structure of democratic governance overnight. The Iraqis have a decent chance of succeeding." Perle seemed to exude the scent of liberation, as well as a whiff of gunpowder. It was February 2003, and Operation Iraqi Freedom, the culmination of his long campaign on behalf of regime change in Iraq, was less than a month away.Damn. Richard Perle pretty much throws BushCo. under the bus. And just three days before an election! Surely Mr. Perle is an isolated incident. The neocons as a group, as a movement haven't actually abandoned George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, have they?
Three years later, Perle and I meet again at his home outside Washington, D.C. It is October, the worst month for U.S. casualties in Iraq in almost two years, and Republicans are bracing for losses in the upcoming midterm elections. As he looks into my eyes, speaking slowly and with obvious deliberation, Perle is unrecognizable as the confident hawk who, as chairman of the Pentagon's Defense Policy Board Advisory Committee, had invited the exiled Iraqi dissident Ahmad Chalabi to its first meeting after 9/11. "The levels of brutality that we've seen are truly horrifying, and I have to say, I underestimated the depravity," Perle says now, adding that total defeat—an American withdrawal that leaves Iraq as an anarchic "failed state"—is not yet inevitable but is becoming more likely. "And then," says Perle, "you'll get all the mayhem that the world is capable of creating."
According to Perle, who left the Defense Policy Board in 2004, this unfolding catastrophe has a central cause: devastating dysfunction within the administration of President George W. Bush. Perle says, "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.… I don't think he realized the extent of the opposition within his own administration, and the disloyalty."
Perle goes so far as to say that, if he had his time over, he would not have advocated an invasion of Iraq: "I think if I had been delphic, and 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."
Yep. They have. Here's my summary:
David Frum, ex-Presidential Speech Writer who wrote the "Axis of Evil" speech, says that defeat is inevitable because "the insurgency has proven it can kill anyone who cooperates, and the United States and its friends have failed to prove that it can protect them." He blames Bush.David Rose, the author of the Vanity Fair article, tells us that his full findings on the state of the Neoconservative movement will be published in the January issue of VF. This is a bit silly. If the editors at VF had any sense, they'd have had Rose one this story earlier so that it would have mad it into the November issue instead of just giving us a teaser.
Kenneth Adelman, Pentagon insider and Defense Policy Board member said this: "I just presumed that what I considered to be the most competent national-security team since Truman was indeed going to be competent. They 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."
Adelman goes so far to say that the tennets of Neoconservatism, "the idea of a tough foreign policy on behalf of morality, the idea of using our power for moral good in the world" will be radioactive for at least a generation. After Iraq, nobody's going to touch it with a 10 foot pole.
But then again, after watching Cheney and George Stephanopoulos, maybe the teaser was enough.
I leave you with the quote that spoke most clearly to me about the absolute ruination that this administration has brought in Iraq.
David Frum: "I always believed as a speechwriter that if you could persuade the president to commit himself to certain words, he would feel himself committed to the ideas that underlay those words. And the big shock to me has been that although the president said the words, he just did not absorb the ideas. And that is the root of, maybe, everything."
Dick Cheney George W. Bush Neocons Failure War in Iraq