by Anwaar Hussain
Crashing on the rocks of hubris, the ship Neocon is finally going down and small little furry creatures, commonly known as rats but which once acted onboard like Goliaths, are falling over each other in their mad scurry to jump the ship.
The Neocon propped Bush Administration is preparing to cut and run from Iraq. The most convincing sign of this came when it emerged that Bechtel Corp, one of the biggest construction firms in the world, was leaving the country for good with no new contract to continue the job.
As America prepares to slink out of Iraq, leaving behind legions of demons let lose on Iraqi streets and more than half a million corpses, the discredited Neocons too are jumping the ship taking along with them their myopic vision of U.S. foreign policy that they had used to steer not just America but the whole world into perilous waters.
The stampede was started by William F. Buckley, Jr., that diehard conservative and the pied piper for the American establishments. In a February 2006 piece in his Right wingâ€™s mouth piece journal, National Review, he conceded;
"One can't doubt that the American objective in Iraq has failed. â€¦ Our mission has failed because Iraqi animosities have proved uncontainable by an invading army of 130,000 Americans."
But the real impetus came from Francis Fukuyama, a diehard Neocon himself, who wrote the fateful obituary on Neocons in his book â€˜After the Neocons: America at the Crossroadsâ€™ in March of this year. Fukuyama was once at the core of a pro-war cabal that had among its members people like Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, Robert Kagan, Richard Perle and Bill Kristol.
Fukuyama did a complete U-turn by openly condemning the ideology of the very people that he once supped with. He declared neo-conservatism to have "evolved into something I can no longer support" and that the doctrine, which has demonstrated "the danger of good intentions carried to extremes ... is now in shambles," and needs to be replaced by a more realistic foreign policy. He wanted the Neocon dream to be consigned to the dustbin of history. Those who promoted that dream, he said, are Leninists of a kind:
â€œThey believed that history can be pushed along with the right application of power and will. Leninism was a tragedy in its Bolshevik version and it has returned as farce when practiced by the U.S.â€
He warned that history will not look sympathetically on the Iraq war or its consequences;
"â€¦..it seems very unlikely that history will judge either the intervention itself or the ideas animating it kindly. By invading Iraq, the Bush administration created a self-fulfilling prophecy: Iraq has now replaced Afghanistan as a magnet, a training ground and an operational base for jihadist terrorists, with plenty of American targets to shoot at. "
In the face of a looming disaster, however, the stampede is only now getting to a feverish pitch in the Neoconsâ€™ pack. Several other high-flying neoconservatives have now turned on George Bush days before the decisive midterm elections, attacking his administration for ineptitude in the handling of Iraq war and questioning the very invasion they were rather helpful in sponsoring.
Just three days before the Tuesdayâ€™s battle for the control of congress in which Iraq war is an essential issue, Richard Perle, Kenneth Adelman, Michael Rubin and David Frum have all disavowed their earlier stances on Iraq war, according to early excerpts of an article in Vanity Fair magazine. One recalls that the first two gentlemen were both Pentagon advisers before the war, while Michael Rubin is a former senior official in the Pentagon's Office of Special Plans, and David Frum a former Bush speechwriter.
In an ironic turnabout, Richard Perle, a hawkish member of the influential Defense Policy Board that advised the defense secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, in the run-up to Iraq war, has bluntly condemned the conduct of the war and blamed "dysfunction" in the Bush administration for the present predicament.
"The decisions did not get made that should have been. They didn't get made in a timely fashion, and the differences were argued out endlessly," said Perle. "At the end of the day, you have to hold the president responsible", he twists the knife further.
Asked if he would still have pressed for war knowing what he knows now, Perle said: "I think if I had been Delphic, and had seen where we are today, and people had said, 'Should we go into Iraq?', I think now I probably would have said, 'No, let's consider other strategies for dealing with the thing that concerns us most, which is Saddam supplying weapons of mass destruction to terrorists'."
Kenneth Adelman of the â€œcakewalk warâ€ fame now says he enormously overestimated the abilities of the Bush team. "I just presumed that what I considered to be the most competent national security team since Truman was indeed going to be competent". "They turned out to be among the most incompetent teams in the postwar era. Not only did each of them, individually, have enormous flaws, but together they were deadly, dysfunctional." Adelman adds.
He too recants his public urging for military action, in light of the administration's performance. "I guess that's what I would have said: that Bush's arguments are absolutely right, but you know what, you just have to put them in the drawer marked 'can't do'. And that's very different from 'let's go'."
Adelman also stated his particular dissatisfaction of Donald Rumsfeld. "I'm crushed by his performance," he said. "Did he change, or were we wrong in the past? Or is it that he was never really challenged before? I don't know. He certainly fooled me." More ominously, Kenneth Adelman said the guiding principle behind neo-conservatism, "the idea of using our power for moral good in the world", had been killed off for a generation at least. After Iraq, he told Vanity Fair, "it's not going to sell".
Likewise, Michael Rubin accused President George Bush of giving up on Iraqi reformers. The president's actions, Rubin said, had been "not much different from what his father did on February 15 1991, when he called the Iraqi people to rise up and then had second thoughts and didn't do anything once they did".
Not to be left behind is David Frum who as a White House speechwriter helped coin the phrase "axis of evil" in 2002. He said failure in Iraq might be inescapable, because "the insurgency has proven it can kill anyone who cooperates, and the United States and its friends have failed to prove that it can protect them". The blame, according to Frum, lies with "failure at the centre", beginning with the president.
As the ship Neocon goes down and the blame game heats up further, not only will we witness further shameless renouncements from more furry creatures emerging from the vaults but also the enormity of the smallness of these pseudo giants whom we had allowed to grow larger than life.
While it is up to the Americans what they want done with these apparitions that blew into smithereens the shrine of American idealism at the altar of their twisted egos, the scribe cannot help but end the piece with a stanza from Rudyard Kipling;
And the end of the fight,
Is a tombstone white,
With the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear,
â€˜A fool lies here
Who tried to hustle the Eastâ€™.