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REVOLT IN WASHINGTON

Prestigious Group of Top Washington
Officials Demands Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld
Go

Washington "Regime Change" Demanded By Many Former Top Officials

"Over nearly half a century we have worked energetically in all regions of
the world, often in very difficult circumstances, to build, piece by piece,
a structure of respect and influence for the United States that has served
our country very well over the last 60 years. Today we see that structure
crumbling under an administration blinded by ideology, and a callous
indifference to the realities of the world around it.
Never before have so many of us felt the need for a major change
in the direction of our foreign policy."

Mid-East Realities - MER - www.MiddleEast.Org - 19 June 2004: They could have titled this "General Hoar goes gunning for the neocons". And he's not just any old General. General Hoar retired with 4-stars and not long ago commanded the forces that today General Abizaid commands that control the greater Middle Eastern region. He now joins another of those rarified top Generals, Anthony Zinni, in quite openly declaring revolt against the current American government and the Pentagon "civilian leadership". One wonders though why there haven't been any significant resignations at the highest levels from the still-serving active ranks of the military, State Department, and CIA. Not very inspiring in so far as contemporary Washington. Yet indeed it was an unprecedented event last week in Washington with such a collection of former top senior officials quite literally calling for 'regime change' against those the current Generals continue to salute 'yes sir' -- Cheney, Wolfowitz, Feith, et. al.


Prestigious Group Demands Regime
Change in Washington

And Interview with 4-star General Hoar

National Security Mandarins Assail Bush and Cheney

Executive Intelligence Review dated 25 June 2004 - by Jeffrey Steinberg:
A prestigious group of several dozen retired American diplomats and military commanders held a standing-room-only press conference in Washington today, to assail the Bush Administration's disastrous foreign and national security policy record, and demand that the Administration be swept out of office in the November elections. The ad hoc group, which calls itself Diplomats and Military Commanders for Change, includes 27 retired generals, admirals and Ambassadors, who have served in both Democratic and Republican administrations over the span of the entire post-World War II era.

Among the leading signators on the group's statement, which was read at today's National Press Club event are: Ambassador Chas. W. Freeman, Jr., former U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia; Admiral William J. Crowe, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, former Chairman of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Committee, and former Ambassador to the Court of Saint James; General Joseph P. Hoar (USMC), former Commander in Chief of the U.S. Central Command; Samuel Lewis, former U.S. Ambassador to Israel; Jack Matlock, former U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union; Donald McHenry, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations; General Merrill McPeak (USAF), former Chief of Staff, U.S. Air Force; Phyllis Oakley, former
Assistant Secretary of States for Intelligence and Research; and Arthur Hartman, former U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union.

In her opening remarks at the Washington press conference, Ambassador Phyllis Oakley explained that ``to be involved in an act that will be seen by many as political if not partisan is for many of us a new experience. As career government officials, we have served loyally both Republican and Democratic administrations.... For many of us, such an overt step is very hard to do and we have made our decisions after deep reflection. We believe we have as good an understanding as any of our citizens, of basic American interests. Over nearly half a century we have worked energetically in all regions of the world, often in very difficult circumstances, to build, piece by piece, a structure of respect and influence for the United States that has served our country very well over the last 60 years. Today we see that structure crumbling under an administration blinded by ideology, and a callous indifference to the realities of the world around it. Never before have so many of us felt the need for a major change in the direction of our foreign policy.... Everything we have heard from friends abroad on every continent suggests to us that the lack of confidence in the present administration in Washington is so profound that a whole new team is needed to repair the damages.''

After reading a brief official statement from the group, Ambassador Oakley opened the press conference to questions, which went for nearly one hour. Some of the most dramatic exchanges came in response to questions from two correspondents for {Executive Intelligence Review} who attended the conference. {EIR} White House correspondent Bill Jones pressed the panelists--a dozen of the signators--to ``name the names'' of the Administration officials who had done so much damage to U.S. national security and prestige worldwide.

Ambassador William Harrop, who served as U.S. ambassador to Israel, Zaire, Kenya and Guinea, before becoming Inspector General of the State Department and Foreign Service, responded. He made it clear that the group holds President Bush personally responsible for taking the advice of the five or six well-known neo-conservatives who have shaped the Administration's disasterous policy course, particularly in Iraq and the larger Southwest Asia region. He characterized Bush as a ``forceful President who is in charge,'' and who listens to the neo-cons ``because he wants to.'' Ambassador Harrop made it clear that, while the group has no formal ties to John Kerry or his Presidential campaign, they are committed to the idea that the Bush Administration must be
swept from office in November.

{EIR} Senior Editor Jeff Steinberg put the issue of the torture at Abu Ghraib on the table, asking for the group's perspective on war crime prosecutions of top Bush Administration officials. Ambassador Robert Oakley, former U.S. ambassador to Pakistan, Somalia and Zaire responded. He said that the legal accountability of Administration officials was, in his view, secondary to the moral accountability, which has created a ``moral disaster'' for the United States. He reminded the audience that the U.S. purportedly went into Iraq to change the regime, because Saddam Hussein had been guilty of atrocious crimes, at places like Abu Ghraib. The invasion, according to Team Bush, was to be a ``transforming event,'' bringing human rights, democracy and other American values to Iraq and to the region as a whole. ``What does it say to the Muslim world when the United States engages in the same kinds of torture and crimes at the same Abu Ghraib? This,'' he concluded, ``is a moral and political disaster.''

Ambassador Chas. W. Freeman, Jr. continued, recounting his experience as U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Storm in 1991. He said that at that time, the U.S. military had impressed him greatly, and he was proud of the caliber of the U.S. armed forces. He then charged that the Bush-Cheney Administration had nearly destroyed the U.S. military through the Iraq war fiasco. He said that the kind of occupation duty and internal security work that has been thrust on a totally untrained and unprepared U.S. military and reserve force has been ``morally corrosive.'' This destruction of the U.S. military, he warned, is the ``great unspoken disaster of this misadventure'' in Iraq.


- Debunking the 9/11 Myth -

Two other speakers--Ambassador Robert Keeley, former U.S. ambassador to Greece and Zimbabwe; and H. Allen Holmes, former U.S. ambassador to Portugal, former Assistant Secretary of State for Politico-Military Affairs and former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations--both debunked the Bush-Cheney myth that ``the world changed irreversibly after 9/11.'' Both men denounced this as a lie and an excuse to permit the President of the United States to ignore international law and do whatever he wishes.

Ambassador Holmes recounted his five years as a member of the Clinton Administration's working group on counter-terrorism, headed by former National Security Council official Richard Clarke. He charged that the Bush Administration used the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001 to pursue an Iraq war that destroyed all of the international support and good will that had been generated by the American action in Afghanistan to unseat the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. He and other speakers charged that the Bush Administration abandoned the Afghanistan mission in order to go to war against an Iraq that posed no ``imminent threat'' to the United States or anyone else; and, as a
result, both Afghanistan and Iraq are near the breaking point.

While the members of the group said that they have no immediate plans to take their harsh critique, and their call for regime change in Washington, directly to the American people through nationwide tours or other activities, the weight of their attack on the Bush Administration's disasterous track-record, is certain to carry considerable weight--both inside and outside the Washington Beltway. It comes at a moment when the United States Congress is showing a long-overdue willingness to directly challenge the Administration's lies and crimes, and when the U.S. intelligence community--both civilian and military--is becoming increasingly more vocal and active in exposing the ``high crimes and misdemeanors'' by top ranking White House officials.




`The Neo-Cons Have Had Their Day;
Now It's Time for a Clean Sweep'


{General Joseph P. Hoar (USMC-ret.), a four-star general, was Commander in Chief, U.S. Central Command (1991-94), commanding the U.S. forces in the Persian Gulf after the 1991 war. He also served in the Vietnam War, as a battalion and brigade advisor with the Vietnamese Marines. He was interviewed by Jeffrey Steinberg on May 6, 2004.}

EIR You were one of the people who had been critical
before the outbreak of fighting, over whether or not the
situation warranted going to war. I believe you also had
some rather accurate warnings about what might happen, as
the war unfolded, especially after the hot phase. What's
your thinking on these issues now, in hindsight, as we're
over a year past the formal fighting phase?

HOAR There's small comfort in realizing that
perhaps you were closer to reality than the elected and
appointed figures in the civilian government. Those of us
that have had some experience in the region over the
years, and don't necessarily have ulterior motivations,
particularly people that know very much about Iraq--and I
don't necessarily put myself in that category;
specifically, I know a fair amount about the
political-military situation in the region, but know
enough about Iraq to know that any military operation and
any subsequent reconstruction efforts, to include the
interjection of democracy, were going to be extremely
difficult, and perhaps impossible.

But, my major concern, Jeff, really was, that while I
was in favor of regime change, I was not in favor of it a
year and a half or two years ago, and certainly not these
means. And the reason, of course, was the much higher
priorities: the protection of the United States through
the development of the Homeland Securities activities; the
completion, successfully, of the Afghanistan campaign; and
the destruction of al-Qaeda; all seem to me to be much
higher priorities than going after Iraq. And you know the
arguments as well as I do: the weapons of mass
destruction, the threat to the United States, the
connection between al-Qaeda, and then finally, the reason
was indicated that this was a rogue regime, that punished
its citizens, and its human rights record was abysmal and
so forth. We all know that story. The fact remains, that
this would have been a very difficult undertaking under
the best of circumstances, and unfortunately, with the
exception of the Phase I military operation, which
terminated essentially with the end of organized
resistance over a year ago, the rest of it has been a
disaster.

EIR I was at an event, where both Gen. [Anthony]
Zinni [USMC-ret.] and Chas Freeman, former U.S. Ambassador
to Saudi Arabia, spoke, and this was about eight months
before the outbreak of fighting, in March 2003, and they
both basically thought that the real troubles would begin
after the ``hot phase'' of combat, when American forces
would be there as an occupying force. And they rejected
the neo-con and Cheney thesis, that this would be a
cakewalk and we'd be greeted as liberators.

What was your sense of the neo-con vision of what was
doing to happen in Iraq?

Hoar Well I think that there were two problems:
The first one was that they created a set of circumstances
that didn't exist on the ground, and they were aided and
abetted in this process by Ahmed Chalabi, who, to this
day, is still on the U.S. government payroll. And Chalabi
is a fraud. He was in the early 1990s, when I first came
across him. Tony Zinni has spoken out against him, and got
in a lot of trouble with [Sen.] Trent Lott [R-Miss.], for
fighting to prevent the Congress from giving Chalabi's
Iraqi Congress $94 million a few years ago.

Chalabi very quickly realized that the neo-cons
wanted to hear certain things, and he obliged them, by
giving them information, including planting erroneous
intelligence. All of the stories, from dancing in the
streets, to the locations of weapons of mass destruction,
were all fabrications. And the people in the government
bought into this, and there's some evidence that they even
cooked the books, with respect to intelligence
information, so that they could cherry-pick unrefined
information that had come to the United States, through
intelligence sources, in order to make the case.

The second piece, of course, is that once they had
made the case--if erroneously--to invade Iraq, they did an
unbelievably poor job in planning for the reconstruction
of the country. And this is evidenced by the fact, that a
year after that phase of the operation began, that
services, jobs, and security, are still woefully lacking
in the country as a whole, and that we have done something
that virtually no ruler of Iraq has been able to
accomplish, in the past: and that's to unite Sunnis and
Shi'as in a common cause, against an external enemy;
namely, the United States.

EIR How do you assess the present situation on
the ground? Word came back a few hours ago, that there's
fairly heavy bombing and fighting in Karbala and Najaf, in
addition to the situation up north, in the Fallujah area.
How serious do you consider the situation on the ground,
in terms of the building resistance against this U.S.
occupation?

Hoar Well, I think, that going back to the
beginning of the reconstruction phase, all activities,
once organized resistance was defeated a year ago, should
have been turned over to political people, under the
supervision of the Department of State. Because all
activities going forward are, in fact, political
activities. The military's responsibility is to provide
security, and the exercise of force, in this circumstance,
is much more useful when it's threatened than when it's
actually used. And we find again and again, particularly
in counterinsurgency operations, that when force is used
amid an uncommitted, or generally hostile population, that
the perpetrator of the force continues to lose political
support.

And this, after all, is what this campaign, this
current campaign, should be all about: Is winning the
willing support of Iraqi citizens for the U.S. program
going forward? And, by conducting large-scale operations
in key cities, like Najaf and Karbala, we risk the popular
support, or even grudging support of the Shi'a population,
which we badly need, in order to bring about any
successful transfer of power and movement toward
democracy.

EIR It seems that there are widely different
approaches being taken in different parts of the country,
and even disagreements on implementation. I'm referring
to Gen. [James] Conway's decision to attempt to bring
stability to Fallujah by putting together a new Iraqi
military force in the city, to take up the primary
security responsibilities. It seemed as if, after he had
taken that move, which seemed to be a pretty smart move in
my view, there was a lot of flak from back in the Pentagon
civilian bureaucracy back in Washington, from [Paul]
Wolfowitz and [Douglas] Feith and people like that. What's
your assessment of what General Conway was doing up there,
in Fallujah?

Hoar Well, I have said it several times, and at
least a couple of times publicly: Paul Wolfowitz is a very
bright guy, but he doesn't know anything about
war-fighting, and I suspect he knows less about
counterinsurgency operations; and that Jim Conway has done
exactly the right thing.

The attempt is to pacify Fallujah. If we get into the
business of trying to conduct punitive operations against
people in Fallujah, without specific actionable
intelligence about who was responsible for the killing and
the atrocities against the four civilian contractors,
we're going to ultimately lose out.

Fallujah is a tribal city. It was a problem for
Saddam Hussein. It has been a problem for virtually every
government that has ruled Iraq, with the exception of a
period prior to Saddam Hussein's rule; there was a
military ruler who came from Fallujah. The solution to
Fallaujah has to be, to work through the tribal leaders in
that city and that area, and that includes security, and
ultimately to gain intelligence about the people that are
in that city that are a problem.

The difficulty, of course, is that there is a larger
disagreement within the U.S. military environment, and it
extends to the uniformed services. The disagreement on how
to conduct counterinsurgency operations, between the Army
and the Marine Corps, goes back to Vietnam. When, in
Vietnam, the Army's view was to meet and destroy main
force Vietnamese units out in the hinterland. And the
Marines' view, was to conduct counterinsurgency
operations, to overcome the Vietcong infrastructure in the
more populated areas. And, it seems to me, that these two
divergent mind-sets have perpetuated themselves into Iraq.
There is evidence that the U.S. Army continues to favor
major operations, although I think a major diversion from
that point of view was the 101st Air Mobile Division,
which conducted very successful counterinsurgency
operations in their area of responsibility, before
rotating back to the States. But, other divisions, for the
most part, favored large military operations, as well.

As I said earlier, these kinds of operations tend to
alienate a population, and most especially those people
that might have had positive attitudes towards the U.S.
occupation, or at least were neutral in their views.

EIR There's another dimension to what's going
on now in Iraq, that I think is a rather new phenomenon in
American experience, and that's the significant role of
private contractors, both fulfilling logistical-type
functions, and also a large number of security functions.
The original idea of this outsourcing and privatization,
as far as I know, emerged during the period when Vice
President Cheney was Secretary of Defense, when he
commissioned the original Halliburton study of which
functions could be outsourced. What's your evaluation of
this added factor of private contractors, including
private security, quasi-mercenary elements on the ground,
there, in Iraq?

Hoar Well, I think, as a concept, the idea really
goes back to the Vietnam War, where there were contractors
that deployed with Air Force, Navy, and Marine aviation
units, in order to help service the aircraft. And to my
knowledge this was the first time that major combat
operations were undertaken with civilians working under
contract to directly assist the military in performing
their functions.

Additionally, there was a great deal of construction
work that was done in Vietnam, by, I believe, American
construction companies, but I'm not sure of that. Cam Ranh
Bay was an example of the large port that was built in
central Vietnam.

So, the concept predates Mr. Cheney's time as the
Secretary of the Defense. Further, in the 1970s, the
United States Army reorganized, to make sure--as I
understand it--that the U.S. Army would never go to war,
again, without activating the Reserves. You'll recall that
in Vietnam, the Reserves were never called up, and the
United States Army had a well-balanced force, in which
virtually everybody that served was in an active-duty
unit.

The change that took place in the '70s took many
combat support activities--for example, medical hospitals,
stevedore battalions that would open ports--in fact, all
the day-to-day requirements for logistic throughput in a
combat zone, from ships to ports, to trucks, and movement
to the front, were accomplished by military units that had
been transferred to the Reserves. And this makes a lot of
sense, because in peacetime operations, there is no
requirement for literally tens of thousands of soldiers,
whose primary responsibility is to run a port operation,
or to drive an 18-wheel truck in a combat zone.

And so, the theory made sense from a practical point
of view, and perhaps from an ideological point of view as
well. I think that the logical extension of this, was in
the '90-91 war, that the Reserves {had} to be called up.
There was no way that we could conduct an operation that
involved 500,000 American forces, without calling on the
Reserves to perform these absolutely essential combat
support missions. And so, I think, that while Halliburton
has done a great deal of work, Halliburton was doing work
for the U.S. government, in places like Yugoslavia and
Somalia, prior to this time. And indeed, if I'm not
mistaken, Halliburton's association with providing
contractual support to the U.S. government goes back to
the time when Mr. Lyndon Johnson was the President.

EIR We talked last week, about a proposal that
Mr. LaRouche has put forward to stabilize the situation,
through a fairly dramatic change in the present concept
underlying the mission there: to keep American forces
there, but under a radically different status of forces
agreement; put much more emphasis on reconstruction, and
turn the whole effort really officially, over to [Lakhdar]
Brahimi and the UN to try to work out some kind of
arrangement, with a more credible interim government,
minus the Chalabi types.

What's your recipe for what can be done now? It's
obviously a year into an insurgency situation; it's more
difficult. But, what kinds of things do you think need to
be done, to both bring stability to the Iraq situation,
and to repair whatever damage has been done to the U.S.
image in the Arab world and more broadly?

Hoar Well, I think--to speak, first of all, about
the image--I think it's imperative that there be some
major changes. The most recent disclosure about the abuse
of Iraqi prisoners is a good example of this. One of the
reasons the Administration has used for the need to go and
invade Iraq, was the abusive nature of the Saddam Hussein
regime. It does us no good, to find ourselves being
abusive to prisoners in the same prison where Saddam
Hussein was abusive to Iraqis!

There is no question that we need to broaden the
international support. And the place to start, is with the
UN. And the place, more specifically, is with the UN
Security Council. We need a UN Security Council resolution
that would authorize a UN Chapter 7 peacekeeping
operation, with the United States as the lead; that would
allow us to continue going forward with the UN operation,
rather than solely a U.S. operation; with the UN taking
the lead on the transition from the occupation force to an
independent Iraqi government, and the conduct of elections
there sometime in the future.

The fact of the matter is, there have never been
enough troops on the ground to provide adequate security,
starting with Day One when the invasion began, up until
the present time. We have tried to get by on the cheap,
with disastrous results. There have never been adequate
resources, directed toward the reconstruction of Iraq. I'm
told that unemployment in the country still remains at
about 80%. [The United States] is a country that, during
the Depression, put people to work on public
transportation, public welfare projects for roads, dams,
buildings, power. It seems to me, that so much more could
be done to enhance the quality of life of Iraqis, more
than just painting schools, and going about some of these
minor programs; but rather, major programs to help
revitalize the Iraqi economy, particularly since the
original estimates about the ability of the oil sector of
the Iraqi government to pay for the most of the expenses
incurred during this reconstruction period, have been
woefully incorrect.

So, there's a great deal of things that need to be
done. Services and jobs and security are the three key
things that the occupying power, whether it is us or the
UN, needs to provide; and that costs a lot of money. And
it costs a lot of people on the ground, in terms of
providing security. And without improving those three
things--services, jobs, and security--we are not going to
have a successful ability to change the attitudes of the
people in Iraq.

EIR What would you see as the consequences,
regionally, of failure to make those policy corrections?

Hoar Well, I think we are certainly at a pivotal
point, in terms of what is going on in Iraq. The first
thing is, that there is no possibility that we can walk
away from Iraq. The consequences of that would be
enormous. Secondly, the success of our efforts is really
dependent on broadening the base of those that are
involved in the operation, namely through the UN and
perhaps ultimately bringing NATO into it, as well.

But, the consequences for the neighbors are quite
large, because, while there's no evidence that al-Qaeda
was present before the invasion, it appears that a
virtually misguided, but perhaps idealistic Muslim, who
feels that the United States has been unfair to Muslim
countries, wants to go to Iraq to fight Americans. And, if
a power vacuum were created there, it would be fertile
ground for terrorists of all stripes; it would be fertile
ground for neighboring countries, particularly Iran, to
attempt to make inroads in the political structure; and it
would be fertile ground for al-Qaeda to enter into a
failed state that was about to implode on itself.

And so, the United States must stay. In order to be
successful, in my judgment, we need to broaden our base of
support through the UN, and spend more money and more
time, and more ambitious programs, and more armed soldiers
on the ground. And if those soldiers don't come from other
countries, we're going to have to provide them ourselves,
in order to make this work. Even at the cost of severely
upsetting the nature of our rotation policy for soldiers
and Marines, we must do this on an emergency basis, until
we gain the upper hand, and gain some modicum of control.
If we can bring other countries in to help us, so much the
better.

EIR How significant a linkage do you see,
between the Israel/Palestine situation, and the challenges
on the ground in Iraq, and throughout the whole region?

Hoar There's enormous significance. And there
are many people in government and elsewhere in the United
States that have attempted to decouple the
inter-connectedness of these two issues. They are
connected, because 1.2 billion Muslims--worldwide, but
largely spread out between the Philippines and all the way
across South Asia and North Africa to Morocco--believe
that the United States has unjustly taken the part of
Israel, in the Palestine/Israel confrontation. Many of our
activities in the region, including the invasion of Iraq,
are connected to our support for Israel.

And, our public diplomacy in this regard, has been
horrendous, in that we have taken the back seat to
Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya, two of the most prominent cable
television stations, which have cameramen and newspeople
on the ground all the time, and are looking for
opportunities to make this case. Now, whether the case is
a good one or not, from our point of view as American
citizens, it's important to point out that there is
linkage in the eyes of Muslims worldwide; and if we don't
deal with that problem, it makes the problem in the
region--and more specifically in Iraq--more difficult.

And so, when the President stands with Mr. Sharon,
and makes statements that are patently not in congruence
with the work of the Quartet and the Road Map that had
been put together by the Quartet--namely, the United
States, the EU, Russia, and Kofi Annan, UN Secretary
General--that that is immediately read as another example
of how the United States unjustly supports Israel. And in
fact, the timing of it could not have been worse, given
the internal unrest that exists right now in Iraq, and
then, on top of that, the events of this maltreatment of
Iraqi prisoners.

So, it's a major part of this. It's a major issue in
terms of public diplomacy. It's a major issue, because
throughout the Arab world and the Muslim world, the larger
Muslim world of 1.2 billion people, we are perceived as an
occupying power, and treating the Palestinian issue
unfairly, while at the same time, our circumstances in
Iraq are not improving.

EIR As someone with a great deal of experience
in the region as a whole, how do you appraise the
situation with the major regimes that have been
historically pro-American: Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan?
Does this combined Iraq problem and the failure to
deal justly with Israel/Palestine create, in
your judgment, serious threats of instability in those
countries, also?

Hoar I think very much so. It's interesting, that in
perhaps more elegant terms, both President Mubarak of
Egypt and King Abdullah of Jordan have said essentially
what I've just said a moment ago, with respect to the
linkage between the Iraqi business and the
Israeli-Palestinian issue. Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia
has carried forward a peace proposal to the Arab League,
and received 25 votes to nothing, unanimously supporting
it, which in large measure looked very much like the Oslo
Accords, with some differences, but certainly, a place
where the negotiations could begin again. It seems to me,
as a representative of a government in the Middle East
said to me some months ago, but after the invasion of
Iraq, that the United States makes it very hard to be
friends with them. And, I think, in the Middle East, the
countries that encircle, or are neighbors of Iraq, which
have historically had close ties to the United States,
find it very difficult to be supportive of U.S. policy in
the region, and at the same time, be responsive to their
own, indigenous populations.

EIR Do you see any evidence, from within the
particularly neo-conservative circles within the Bush
Administration, that there's any sense of lessons learned,
any kind of rethinking, as the result of the mess that
we're in on the ground right now in Iraq?

Hoar Well, the military doesn't always get it
right. But, one of the things that the military has
learned over the years, is that you continually have
reviews about how organizations perform. And you have
after-action reports, you have critical discussions about
what went well, and what went wrong. I see no evidence of
anybody in this government going back and looking back at
the events of the last couple of years, with an effort to
try and determine what went well, and what went wrong.
And, I mean on the ground. I don't mean the 9/11
Commission, and some of these others that are more
narrowly focussed. We have had a Congressional committee
to look at intelligence.

But, what went well with the offensive campaign, that
allowed us to seize Iraq in a relatively short period of
time; what went wrong in that portion of the campaign; and
similarly, what steps had been taken during that period in
planning, and what had taken place in execution in the
post-offensive operation phase of this; without the
ability to go back and be critical of your own actions, it
seems to me that there's very little ability to make
changes in the future.

And I would just point out one example: the manner
in which we handled the Iraqi Army. You will recall,
shortly after the offensive operations terminated, the
decision was made to disband the Iraqi Army. This was
done, at least in part, on the recommendations of Mr.
Chalabi, that these people were all Ba'athists and
couldn't be trusted in the government. But, as I recall,
within a day or two, soldiers came out on the street and
rioted. U.S. Army troops were called out; they fired into
the mob, killed some number of protesting former soldiers
of the Iraq government. The next day, it was decided that
there would be a stipend for soldiers. So, they were all
sent home with their rifles and their rocket-propelled
grenades, with a small stipend. And then, we come full
circle, in almost a year, where we have now decided, that
perhaps we're going to have to hire some of these people
back again, if we're going to establish an effective
force, border patrol, police, and so forth.

And, finally coming to the realization that there
were many people who joined the Ba'athist Party during the
Saddam Hussein regime, only to make a living, and be able
to get by, where any kind of promotion or any kind of
status--whether they were academics or in the government
or in the military--was dependent on their membership in
the Ba'athist Party. And that all of those people were not
necessarily ardent supporters of Saddam Hussein.

So, I think that the neo-conservatives had their day,
by selling to the President the need for invasion of Iraq.
I think it's now time for a clean sweep--and it has been
for some time, in my judgment--to get rid of these people.
And, to see if we can put together a more coherent policy
than has existed for the last couple years.


EIR Any closing comments, you'd care to make?
I very much appreciate your time.

Hoar Well, Jeff, I don't think all is lost. But,
we're getting to the point, where it is becoming
increasingly more difficult to make the case that our
purposes were noble and that the end of this occupation
will be a better day for the Iraqis. We have a lot of
convincing to do, to convince the Iraqis of our nobility
and our honest efforts, with regard to a new Iraq. And,
without their belief in our noble efforts, and without
their active support, the success of this endeavor is
almost certainly doomed to failure.

There are some things that can be done: the UN
multinational effort; a serious increase in resources,
both in terms of troops on the ground, and also money to
help rebuild the country and convince these people that we
have their best interests at heart.

But, I think we're running out of time. If something
is not done soon, I think it may be irretrievable.

EIR With some pretty horrifying consequences,
both for the region as a whole, and also elsewhere around
the planet.

Hoar Well, and for the reputation of the United
States. We are certainly not going to come out of this,
with our reputation as a beacon for democracy intact. In
fact, it's seriously damaged already.

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Source: http://www.middleeast.org/articles/2004/6/974.htm