Michikio Kakutani has a review in today’s NYT of a new book about the Iraq war entitled Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq. The author is Thomas Ricks, senior Pentagon correspondent of the Washington Post. He suggests that “George Bush’s decision to invade Iraq in 2003 ultimately may come to be seen as one of the most profligate actions in the history of American foreign policy.”
It’s hard to argue with that assessment. One might go even further and say that
One of the witnesses at the hearing was Kenneth Pollack, Director of Research at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution (click here for his testimony). Some of you may remember that Pollack was the author of a very important book published during the run-up to the invasion entitled The Threatening Storm, in which he argued that the United States should consider invading Iraq to prevent Saddam Hussein from developing nuclear weapons and possibly initiating another regional war on the scale of the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s.
There is something almost tragic about Pollack. He was the quintessential “liberal hawk.” He clearly had little sympathy with the worldview of the neoconservative intellectuals in the Bush administration. But his reading of the evidence—as he understood it at the time—led him to the conclusion that the choice was between fighting a war now and fighting one later. The tragic part is that despite his intellectual honesty, Pollack turned out to be simply wrong about a great number of things, including the extent of
To be fair to Pollack, the war that Bush fought was not the one Pollack envisioned. Pollack believed that the
Pollack is still deeply committed to making the reconstruction of