As reported today by Thomas E. Ricks of the Washington Post (Ex-Pentagon Aide Says U.S. Abandoned Quick Iraq Transition), Doug Feith gave a speech last night at the American Enterprise Institute. The article concentrates on the supposed attack he made on the administration of the Coalition Provisional Authority by L. Paul Bremer.
The key point according to Ricks was Feith’s statement that “a lengthy occupation was, I believe, the single biggest mistake the United States made in Iraq”. Ricks further reports-
Bremer, in a brief telephone interview last night, took issue with Feith’s account. “His argument isn’t with me” but with Bush, Bremer said. The career diplomat said that Bush told him in May 2003, before he headed for Baghdad, to “take our time setting up an interim administration.” Even before he left Washington, Bremer added, he thought the U.S. occupation “was going to take a couple of years.” Bremer said Feith’s view that there was a major change in course that summer is incorrect.
Now I’m inclined to go with Bremer on this one since I think the war was all about the oil in the first place. The major bases and the Vatican sized embassy (a monumental edifice complex that reminds me of Germania) are indicators of this as are all the neocon publications of the PNAC pundits that outline the subsequent course of action of this administration as surely as Mein Kampf.
Mid Eastern dominos and this time we win the Vietnam war. They have nowhere to hide. No Triple Canopy to protect them. Sun Tzu knew a guerilla hides in and is hidden by the people.
All this talk about dominos has made me hungry and I haven’t even gotten to the main question which is based on this-
… Many military officers disliked his precise, intellectual approach to making decisions, which they found tangled and time-consuming. Most famously, retired Army Gen. Tommy R. Franks, who led the U.S. invasion force in Iraq, stated in his memoir that Feith had achieved the reputation within the military of being “the dumbest [expletive] guy on the planet.”
But Feith was consistently supported by then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, who in a 2004 interview with the Associated Press called him “without question, one of the most brilliant individuals in government” and “one of the really . . . intellectual leaders in the administration in defense policy.”
So, Feith- “precise, intellectual”, “one of the most brilliant individuals in government” or as brainy as a bag of rags?