Saturday, August 18, 2007

Melanie Morgan vs. Naomi Wolf

Crooks and Liars has a video clip of Melanie Morgan and Naomi Wolf appearing on Chris Matthews' Hardball to discuss Cheney's position of 1994 about why invading and occupying Iraq was a bad idea. Morgan immediately descends into dissembling, claiming that 9/11 changed everything, when in fact it changed nothing about Iraq. Naomi Wolf calls her on it, and correctly describes how the Bush administration has engaged in deception and lies to get us into the war and to seize unconstitutional powers for the Executive branch. Morgan's response to Wolf: "You're going to look super in a burqa."

Morgan seems to think that radical Islamic fundamentalists are about to take control of the United States, and that invading Iraq (one of the few countries in the Middle East which actually had a secular government) and turning it into a breeding ground for radical Islamic insurgents is an essential step to prevent it from happening. That's wildly insane.

The Cheney of 1994 was exactly right in his predictions of what would happen if we invaded Iraq, and no one has yet explained what changed his mind. September 11 is not an answer to that question. I think part of the answer can be found in James Mann's Rise of the Vulcans--groupthink from the Project for a New American Century crowd infected him, and he thought he could be at the center of power of a new American empire controlling the Middle East. But they were completely wrong about what would happen.

(Via Talking Points Memo.)


John Lynch said...



Morgan needs to read Imperial Hubris to gain some insight as to what the so-called "Islamofascists" really want. (Hint: It's not an Islamic USA.)

Hume's Ghost said...

Cheney's not the only one who changed his tune.

"A new regime [in Iraq] would have become the United States' responsibility. Conceivably, this would have led the United States into a more or less permanent occupation of a country that could not govern itself, but where the rule of a foreign occupier would be increasingly resented." - Paul Wolfowitz, explaining in 1997 why the U.S. did not seek regime change during the Gulf War

That's also taken from Rise of the Vulcans.

Hume's Ghost said...


I'd have to recheck my copy of Rise of the Vulcans, but I suspect that Cheney (and Wolfowitz) were being a bit disengenuous ... I thought I remembered both of them being in favor of going into Baghdad but getting overruled by the military, which is partly what led to Cheney's resentment of Powell. Or something like that ... I don't know, it's been a good while since I read that book.

shrimplate said...

Morgan also needs to read The Handmaid's Tale because that's what the PNAC has planned for people without Y-chromosomes.

Lippard said...

darwinoid: Thanks for the reference, there's a Wikipedia summary of Imperial Hubris.

Hume's Ghost: Powell even opposed military force to take back Kuwait (Mann, pp. 184-184). Cheney and Wolfowitz developed the plan that was used (p. 187). Wolfowitz did endorse the decision not to go into Baghdad *after the fact* (Mann, pp. 190-191), but he opposed it at the time (p. 191). Powell was the main force in stopping at Kuwait, which Cheney did agree with (or at least not object to) at the time (Mann, p. 192). Wolfowitz wanted *at least* a delay in the announcement of a cease-fire, in hopes of causing an internal regime change in Iraq (Mann, p. 192).

By 1997, Wolfowitz was hot for invasion of Iraq and was publishing articles calling for Saddam Hussein's overthrow by force (Mann, pp. 235-237). On September 11, 2001, Wolfowitz and Scooter Libby (presumably reflecting Cheney's view) wanted to attack Iraq (Mann, pp. 300-302); I've seen elsewhere (but don't see it in Mann at the moment) that Rumsfeld was calling for an attack of Iraq on September 11 as well.

My quick review of Mann's book didn't yield a statement about Cheney resenting Powell and Schwartzkopf stopping the war at Kuwait, though it does say that about Wolfowitz.

Vinny said...

Even if you buy the idea (which I do not) that the world changed in some profound way such that the risks that were not justified in 1994 had become justified in 2003, it is deeply disturbing that Cheney lied about the existence of those risks in 2003 and failed to plan for any of the eventualities that he had so clearly foreseen a decade earlier.

Almost as disturbing is the fact that Melanie Morgan views any American's frustration with such duplicity and incompetence as nothing more than political "gotcha."

Hume's Ghost said...

I'll browse the book when I get a chance to see if I can find anything about the animosity between Cheney and Powell.

I may have been mixing my memory of that discussion from Woodward's books about the Bush administration.

Incidentally, I'm fairly certain that Woodward mentions Rumsfield wanting to attack Iraq after 9/11 in Plan of Attack.

Hume's Ghost said...

I never got around to re-browsing Rise of the Vulcans, but on pg. 182of The Fall of the House of Bush, Craig Unger notes that former Bush 41 speechwriter Victor Gold asserted that Cheney wanted to overthrow Saddam during the Gulf War. The endnote given cites Gold's Invasion of the Party Snatchers which I've been meaning to read.