News reports have described Iraq war architect Douglas Feith’s new book “War and Decision” as a score-settling account in which Feith “assails” his former colleagues for mishandling the run-up to the invasion of Iraq.
But during a discussion of the book at the conservative Hudson Institute today, Feith argued that the book is not a “blame-laying and finger-pointing book”:
FEITH: I was conscious of that when I wrote the book. And I went out of my way to write a book that I do not believe that anybody who actually bothers to read even just substantial piece of it, would find is a blame-laying and finger-pointing book.
In fact, in the book and while promoting it, Feith has done nothing but blame others for the war’s failures. Indeed, at a similar event recently, the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank got the impression that according to Feith, the “Iraq war is everyone else’s fault.” Some examples from the book:
— Feith blamed former Secretary of State Colin Powell for not strongly opposing the war within the administration before the initial invasion, despite “downplay[ing]” the supposed Iraqi threat. But Feith also attacked Powell for not “wholeheartedly support[ing] it” once the war started.
— Feith accused the CIA of “politicizing” intelligence by ignoring Saddam’s ties to international terrorists despite the fact that the Pentagon’s inspector general called Feith’s own efforts to conjure up such a link — through his “Office of Special Plans” — “inapropriate.”
Bremer noted recently that the Iraq war architects are “running away from their building” and as Milbank said of Feith’s version of Iraq war history: “It must have been very difficult being Doug Feith: correct all the time, and surrounded by idiots.”