Monday, November 06, 2006

Like Yesterday

Having recently commented at length about the tendency on the part of neoconservatives to dissemble and conceal their true positions, agendas and advocacy (even, for David Brooks, their existence), one might reasonably assume that I would be inured to the effects caused by the revelation of more examples of the same.

Well, Michael Ledeen deserves credit for bringing mendacity to such levels that it shocks even the jaded, cynical and suspicious. Seriously, this is beyond the beyonds. Ledeen has actually just written that - get this - he was an anti-Iraq war activist. I kid you not [emph. mine]:

I do not feel "remorseful," [about Iraq] since I had and have no involvement with our Iraq policy. I opposed the military invasion of Iraq before it took place and I advocated—as I still do—support for political revolution in Iran as the logical and necessary first step in the war against the terror masters.

As I have demonstrated, Ledeen is notorious for his mixed messages on Iran: at times advocating for an invasion (perhaps limited?) and other forms of military confrontation with Iran, and at other times eschewing direct confrontation, instead advocating for supporting dissident groups in their efforts to topple the Iranian regime. But this is the first I have seen him try to hoodwink the naive into believing that not only was he a tepid supporter of the invasion of Iraq, but that he actively opposed it. This neocon compulsion for double-speak is a pathology that is reaching new extremes.

Glenn Greenwald (with the assistance of Greg Djerejian, Jonathan Schwarz and others) has compiled a pretty damning catalogue of evidence making the not-so-surprising case that in reality Michael Ledeen did, in fact, favor the invasion of Iraq. Actually, he was pretty vocal and forceful about it. Unequivocal even. Some personal favorites - this from an article attacking Brent Scowcroft's actual opposition to the war [emph. Glenn's]:

It's always reassuring to hear Brent Scowcroft attack one's cherished convictions; it makes one cherish them all the more. . . .

So it's good news when Scowcroft comes out against the desperately-needed and long overdue war against Saddam Hussein and the rest of the terror masters.

Cherished conviction? Desperately needed? Long overdue? Interesting. How overdue is long overdue you might ask. Michael Ledeen would answer:

Question #2: Okay, well if we are all so certain about the dire need to invade Iraq, then when do we do so?

Ledeen: Yesterday.

And this:

...if President Bush is to be faulted for anything in this so far, it's that he's taken much too long to get on with it, much too long.

Here is Ledeen seemingly rooting on massive, widespread chaos and violence in the region:

However, nobody is perfect, and Scowcroft has managed to get one thing half right, even though he misdescribes it. He fears that if we attack Iraq "I think we could have an explosion in the Middle East. It could turn the whole region into a caldron and destroy the War on Terror."

One can only hope that we turn the region into a cauldron, and faster, please. If ever there were a region that richly deserved being cauldronized, it is the Middle East today.

And more of Ledeen's benign, peace-like vision for the region (again, not advocating military intervention in Iran):

If we come to Baghdad, Damascus and Tehran as liberators, we can expect overwhelming popular support. They will join us if they believe we are serious, and they will only believe we are serious when they see us winning.

Greenwald and Schwarz have many more examples for the curious.

In response to my previous post on the neocon preoccupation with dishonesty and concealment, one of the contributors on American Footprints attempted to take me to task, calling my allegations "nonsense." As evidence, he argued:

Before the Iraq war for six years neocons made clear their objections to dual containment and advocated regime change. They did this quite openly in letters to President Clinton, WSJ editorials, the Weekly Standard etc... The credulosphere used to make a really big deal about these publicly stated positions. But I suppose you think the Project for a new american century papers were written in Sanskrit.

Unlike Iraq, on Iran, neoconservatives disagree.

Well, as Ledeen's recent episode indicates, neocons would have us believe that they were also in substantial disagreement on the issue of invading Iraq. Just as with policy advocacy vis-a-vis Iran, though, much of the disagreement actually pits one pundit against himself. So who do you believe, Michael Ledeen or Michael Ledeen? I'll go with option C: neither. Then again, I'm a member of the "credulosphere" and I don't read Sanskrit.

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