Iraq war doomed from the start

Re “Neocons and Bush deserve each other,” Opinion, Dec. 24

Jonathan Chait gets matters partly right. There was an insurmountable asymmetry between goal and means in President Bush’s policy in Iraq. But to claim this means Bush went to war with “Clinton’s army” is like trying to fix the blame for Watergate on Lyndon B. Johnson. You don’t have to look any further than Bush’s own Department of Defense for the source of the fiasco.

Bush attempted to realize former Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz’s fantasy of an oasis of peace and democracy with Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld’s stripped-down, technocratic military. Why would anyone of any political persuasion go there? Apparently because neocons like Wolfowitz enthusiastically embraced Iraqi exile Ahmad Chalabi’s delusional, self-serving vision of a kinder, gentler postwar Iraq. That, and not Bush’s failure to ratchet up miliary spending, was apparently the biggest con of all.


Long Beach