Doug Feith, a key neo-con architect of the miserable bloodbath in Iraq, appeared on "The Daily Show" with Jon Stewart to hawk his fabricated revision of the run-up to the invasion of Iraq. Stewart did a superb job challenging the legendarily arrogant con artist on his lies and deceit that helped produce one of the worst foreign policy disasters in American history.
Feith, the former Don Rumsfeld/Paul Wolfowitz toady, tried to pawn off his role in propagandizing the American people into going to war as if it were a benign effort laced with the best of intentions.
It was nothing of the sort.
Feith told Stewart's youthful audience that "errors are not lies," and that the Iraq debacle turned out to be "bloodier," "costlier," and "lengthier" than he or any of his neo-con friends had "hoped." He also claimed his clique of fanatic warmongers who comprised the "Office of Special Plans" had given "serious consideration" to the "risks" of occupying Iraq, and that people "misremember a lot" about the lead up to the war.
I would have liked to see Feith respond to questions relating to the recently exposed Pentagon-directed program that sent out dozens of former military officers to appear on television as "message force multipliers" to pretend to be "neutral" war commentators while regurgitating Bush Administration talking points that led the nation to war. Media Matters has compiled a list of over 4,500 television appearances by the Pentagon's "message force multipliers" who functioned as paid propagandists selling the war to the American people. (Feith claims the Pentagon's P.R. efforts to build support for the war were innocently aimed at educating the public about the "threat" posed by Iraq. However, this elaborate program was illegal because during the Korean War, in 1951, Congress passed legislation forbidding appropriated funds from ever being used to propagandize the American people.)
I also would have liked to see Feith respond to questions relating to the fact that the Arab League, the United Nations, the Islamic Conference, the Organization of African Unity, the Organization of American States, Turkey, Russia, Germany, China, France, Pope John Paul, and 15 million protestors worldwide all opposed a U.S. attack on Iraq. If Feith really understood the "risks" involved in invading and occupying Iraq -- as he claimed -- then why didn't he take into consideration the sentiments of multilateral organizations, a large chunk of the world's population, and some of America's most important allies in the Middle East and throughout the world?
Feith could have picked up the phone and talked to just about any specialist in Middle Eastern affairs at any university in the world and learned that the only likely outcome of ousting the Sunni Baathist regime in Baghdad would be to strengthen Iran's influence in the region and Shia power in the Arab world. (Remember the Iran-Iraq War of 1980-88? The Reagan Administration "tilted" toward Saddam primarily because he was a useful wedge against Iranian power.)
And those specialists Professor Feith didn't bother to call also might have told him that Iraq would likely splinter into a tapestry of competing militias, religious sects, and criminal syndicates of varying sizes and power once the central authority in Baghdad was overthrown.
Oh, yeah, and there'd be certainly some form of a nationalistic resistance to foreign occupation (especially to an occupier that is aligned with Israel and England). The Iraqis have a long history of resistance to the British, ousting the puppet monarchy in 1958 in a nationalistic coup.
And one more thing, the U.S. occupation of Iraq would probably fuel radical Islam and swell the number of "terrorists" just like the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan did in the 1980s. There was no "Al Qaeda in Iraq" until after the U.S. invaded.
And Feith might have been told that aggressive war would alienate our allies and unite our enemies, not only in the region but in the world.
And it would cost a lot of American money and American lives.
And there'd be a humanitarian crisis given the fact that Iraq was on the brink of starvation even before the U.S. invaded.
And the aggressive war doctrine would signal China and Russia and other powers that if they had problems with a small country, well then, they might as well use their military power and go ahead and invade it, overthrow its government, and occupy its land, because -- after all -- the United States did it to Iraq. And they might as well torture people under occupation too because the Americans did at Abu Ghraib.
Good work Dougie-Boy!
Lieutenant Colonel Karen Kwiatkowski, who worked for Feith's outfit over at the "Office of Special Plans" and resigned in protest after seeing how the nation was being lied to about the war, said Feith was "very arrogant" and he did not "utilize a wide variety of inputs." Feith, according to Col. Kwiatkowski, "seeks information that confirms what he already thinks."
But Stewart raised the key point at the end of the interview: Feith and his buddies, through misrepresenting what a war in Iraq would look like, in effect, removed the ability of the American people to make an informed decision about the wisdom of going to war.
Douglas Feith played a pivotal role in creating the current humanitarian disaster in Iraq. He should be in the dock somewhere awaiting a war crimes trial, not shamelessly promoting a self-serving and whitewashed "memoir" on Comedy Central.