Finally forced by reality and public opinion to confess what a disaster their invasion of Iraq has been, most neoconservatives are desperately seeking to heap the blame on George Bush, Don Rumsfeld, military leaders, the American media -- anyone but themselves. Others are trying, even more despicably, to blame the Iraqis for the gross failure of the Epic Neoconservative War.
But one of the most vocal warmongers -- Michael Ledeen, the "Freedom Scholar" at the neocon American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and Contributing Editor of National Review -- is desperately attempting, like a good Stalinist, to re-write history by blatantly lying and claiming that he opposed the invasion of Iraq, even though he was a vocal advocate of it. Yesterday, at National Review's Corner, Ledeen wrote:
I do not feel "remorseful," 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.
Ledeen's claim that he "opposed the military invasion of Iraq before it took place" cannot be described in any way other than as an outright lie. As Meteor Blades pointed out yesterday over at Daily Kos, Ledeen gave an August, 2002 interview to Jamie Glazov at David Horowitz's Front Page and repeatedly urged the invasion of Iraq, including:
Question #2: Okay, well if we are all so certain about the dire need to invade Iraq, then when do we do so?
And as Mona of Inactivist discovered yesterday, Ledeen even wrote an August, 2002 article -- in National Review -- devoted to urging what he called "the desperately-needed and long overdue war against Saddam Hussein." In sum, Ledeen was a repeated and vocal advocate for invading Iraq.
Numerous readers of my blog and others have e-mailed National Review Editor Rich Lowry (here) to demand a correction/retraction and ask how Lowry can permit Ledeen to so blatantly lie about his position on the Iraq War, but Lowry has thus far said nothing. Ledeen himself purported to respond to the accusations, but in doing so, did not link to any of the posts documenting his lies (to ensure that NR readers could not review the evidence against him), ignored the evidence compiled against him, and then simply reaffirmed his lie that he was opposed to the invasion of Iraq.
The fact that those who led the U.S. into this war are seeking to blame others for its failure -- or, in Ledeen's case, outright lying about their support for the war -- reveals just what a disaster the war has become. Like rats leaping from a sinking ship, they are desperate to find a way to evade responsibility for what they have done.
But it is vitally important that the guilty parties not be allowed to escape responsibility, because people like Michael Ledeen and his comrades at the AEI and National Review still harbor a lengthy warmongering agenda filled with more regimes that need changing and many more countries that need to be attacked. They intend to use the two years left in the Bush administration to fulfill that agenda -- with or without continued one-party rule (though a change of control of one or both houses of Congress will make that more difficult). Documenting the fundamental dishonesty which motivates them and their utter lack of credibility, judgment and integrity is therefore of the highest importance. It is nothing short of urgent to ensure that our country is never again guided by the likes of Michael Ledeen.