War College professor, O'Neill join tin-foil hat brigade on Iraq

The left-wing tin-foil hat wearers' league - you know, the paranoid people who were saying before the war that Iraq had nothing to do with the "war on terror" - is pleased to welcome its two newest members: Army War College professor Jeffrey Record and ex-Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill.

Record's qualifications include saying that the Iraq war was "unnecessary", had nothing to do with fighting Al Qaeda, and questioning the possibility of prosecuting a "war" against a technique:
The Iraq invasion was "an unnecessary preventive war of choice" that has robbed resources and attention from the more critical fight against al Qaeda in a hopeless U.S. quest for absolute security, according to a study recently published by the U.S. Army War College.

The 56-page document written by Jeffrey Record, a veteran defense expert who serves as a visiting research professor at the Strategic Studies Institute of the Army War College, represents a blistering assessment of what President George W. Bush calls the U.S. global war on terrorism.

Record urged U.S. leaders to refocus Bush's broad war to target Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network, blamed for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on America, and its allies. Record said the Iraq war was a detour from real anti-terrorism efforts.

Record criticized the Bush administration for lumping together al Qaeda and President Saddam Hussein's Iraq "as a single, undifferentiated terrorist threat."

"This was a strategic error of the first order because it ignored critical differences between the two in character, threat level and susceptibility to U.S. deterrence and military action," Record wrote.

"The result has been an unnecessary preventive war of choice against a deterred Iraq that has created a new front in the Middle East for Islamic terrorism and diverted attention and resources away from securing the American homeland against further assault by an undeterrable al Qaeda," Record wrote.

Record faulted the administration for fusing disparate enemies such as rogue states, terrorist groups and weapons of mass destruction proliferators into a monolithic threat.

In doing so, he said, the administration "may have set the United States on a course of open-ended and gratuitous conflict with states and non-state entities that pose no serious threat to the United States."

Record said the administration's declared goals "are unrealistic and condemn the United States to a hopeless quest for absolute security," as well as being fiscally, politically and militarily unsustainable.

These goals include destroying al Qaeda and other such transnational groups, making Iraq a stable democracy, bringing democracy to the rest of the autocratic Middle East, ending terrorism as a means of irregular warfare, and stopping proliferation of weapons of mass destruction to real and potential enemies, Record said.

In an interview, Record took issue with the very concept of a war on terrorism.

"Terrorism is a common noun. It's a technique. How do you make war on terrorism as opposed to specific terrorist organizations?" Record asked.

"I don't think that it is within America's power to rid the world of terrorism. ... The idea that you're going to be able to expunge this form of warfare from the world, I think, is really stretching it."
The Pentagon had this to say in response:
"People are publishing stuff all the time. That's the value of kind of having people throw analysis out there. You learn even from analysis you don't agree with. I don't even want to characterize it as something I don't agree with because I just haven't read it," said Di Rita, adding that he does not know if Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld plans to read the document.
Meaning that Recorder's study will probably be assigned to one of the Bush administration's beloved "free speech zones" - which, in this case, most likely will be a trashcan somewhere in the Pentagon.

You certainly already have heard about O'Neill by now. He turned in a strong performance by completing our picture of Bush as a man whose overriding interests in life are executing people, playing golf, and now using national tragedies to launch an unprovoked war of aggression:
The Bush administration started making detailed plans for the invasion of Iraq within days of coming to office, with the President himself anxious to find a pretext to overthrow Saddam Hussein, a high-ranking former cabinet member said yesterday.

Mr O'Neill said invading Iraq was "topic A" at the very first meeting of President George Bush's National Security Council, 10 days after his inauguration on 20 January 2001, and continued to be an abiding theme in follow-up meetings.

"From the very first instance, it was about Iraq," said Mr O'Neill, who was a participant in all the meetings...
The Bush administration, in response, has suddenly developed an acute interest in quick investigations. One can only wonder if it will receive more attention that the Plame case.

In any event, we hope that Recorder and O'Neill will like it in the club. As long as they avoid those microwave radio transmissions into their dental fillings - which I strongly suspect are being sent by that shifty David Brooks - they should be okay.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?