10/23/2005

Daily Kos: Scowcroft 's Scathing Critique of the Iraq Debacle

Scowcroft 's Scathing Critique of the Iraq Debacle
by Armando
Sun Oct 23, 2005 at 06:11:21 PM CDT

Via Steve Clemons:

I learned from people who know Scowcroft that he finds it painful to be seen as critical of his best friend's son, but in the course of several interviews prudence several times gave way to impatience. "This is exactly where we are now," he said of Iraq, with no apparent satisfaction. "We own it. And we can't let go. We're getting sniped at. Now, will we win? I think there's a fairchance we'll win. But look at the cost."

The first Gulf War was a success, Scowcroft said, because the President knew better than to set unachievable goals. "I'm not a pacifist," he said. "I believe in the use of force. But there has to be a good reason for using force. And you have to know when to stop using force." Scowcroft does not believe that the promotion of American-style democracy abroad is a sufficiently good reason to use force.

"I thought we ought to make it our duty to help make the world friendlier for the growth of liberal regimes," he said. "You encourage democracy over time, with assistance, and aid, the traditional way. Not how the neocons do it."

I am tempted to say Duh, but first I need to recommend it to George Packer.

Update [2005-10-23 20:4:31 by Armando]: Matt Yglesias, apparently bucking for an Yglesias Award, takes an unfair shot at Scowcroft, saying "Everything they say could have been said 12-18 months ago when it would have made a difference for the future of the country." Excuse me Matt, Scowcroft did say it, in August 2002:

In August of 2002, seven months before George W. Bush launched the invasion of Iraq, Scowcroft upset the White House with an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal. The headline read, "DON'T ATTACK SADDAM." Scowcroft would have preferred something more nuanced, he told me, but the words accurately reflected his message.

Daily Kos: Scowcroft 's Scathing Critique of the Iraq Debacle

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