History seems to be settling on some criticisms of the early conduct of the Iraq war. On the theory that America could liberate and leave, force levels were reduced too early, security responsibilities were transferred to Iraqis before they were ready, and planning for future challenges was unrealistic. "Victory in Iraq," one official of the Coalition Provisional Authority told me a couple of years ago, "was defined as decapitating the regime. No one defined victory as creating a sustainable country six months down the road."
And all this for an argument that we cannot leave in any fashion or dimension because it would be a disaster for those who live in the country we have taken from bad to worse.
What Gerson doesn't say is just how much he had to do with this clusterfuck.
Gerson proposed the use of a "smoking gun/mushroom cloud" metaphor during a September 5, 2002 meeting of the White House Iraq Group, in an effort to sell the American public on the supposed nuclear dangers posed by Saddam Hussein. According to Newsweek columnist Michael Isikoff, "The original plan had been to place it in an upcoming presidential speech, but WHIG members fancied it so much that when the Times reporters contacted the White House to talk about their upcoming piece [about aluminum tubes], one of them leaked Gerson's phrase — and the administration would soon make maximum use of it."
This clown shouldn't be giving advice on how to make nice "bunny ears" with your shoestrings; he shouldn't teach classes in "how to use a fork"; he isn't qualified to write a book report on "Breathing for Dummies".
Yet here he is, paid, undoubtedly in excess of six-figures to spew nonsense for the Washington Post as the "George Will...of the Future!". The column is laden with quotes of the "ever so serious" knobs that enabled this disaster, from Fred Kagan to Kenneth Pollack. When you are a war-causing clown, you just come back again and again, like bad salmon. In fact, you make more money than ever. Such events don't occur if you were an expert that was right, after all surely Scott Ritter has had nothing but happiness "inflicted" upon him for being 100% right about this whole thing? I mean other than being accused of all things from treason to pederasty.
Gerson also engages in a right-wing canard about Cambodia. Pol Pot would not have accomplished more than being a dumbfuck in the jungle if we hadn't bombed the shit out of that country and made it the third-party victim of Nixon's Surge of the early 1970s. We managed to never come to grips with the fact that we were the Khmer Rouge's enablers as much as our horrendous Iraq misadventure has been a huge boon for reactionary theocrats that will help drag the middle east down an even lower path. Pot and his group went from being place-holding countryside revolutionaries to being the group that at least stood up to the Americans who had managed to drop more than 100,000 tons of bombs primarily on civilians. It's the kind of thing that can really piss a people off and did. We thus, as seemingly ever, managed to use brute force to create a boon for a lunatic. The thing that ended the Khmer Rouge was...you guessed it, our old enemy Vietnam who invaded that nation and ended it. And you know who AIDED the fucking Khmer Rouge to resist Vietnam (hell, financed the border crossings that led to Vietnam snapping back)...THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA! (That's right under Jimmy Carter, but right-wingers spare me your indignation, your crowd was fully on board at the time).
As usual with the group that insanely pushed and drove this nightmare of a war and its incompetent execution, he stands aside pontificating without even the mildest form of punishment at all, SHAME. Instead he's awarded with cushy no-account punditry and is allowed to revisit his old mistakes as the third-party observer without owning any share of the responsibility.