Standing By Your NRO and AEI
by Karen Kwiatkowski
Michael Rubin is moaning, lamenting and harmonizing about how criticism of neoconservative war planning and occupation strategies in Iraq is part of a vast all-powerful conspiracy. It would make a great country song.
Rubin didn't say the conspiracy was great or right-wing. But he poignantly captures the pain and panic of the neoconservatives these days. Like a poor wife standing by her man, Michael Rubin sings Tammy Wynette.
His article in the National Review Online is mostly about me. Interestingly, in the fourth paragraph, he writes that he never met me. He sure knows a lot about me, though! Well, Mike Rubin knows a lot about a lot of things.
According to his AEI C.V., he is an Iran and Iraq expert who spent two years with the Office of Secretary of Defense working Iran and Iraq issues. He also advised Mr. Jerry Bremer and the Coalition Provisional Authority. Let me get this straight. He was the advisor to the guy who invaded Iraq on false premises, and to the other guy who is running Iraq more than a year later. If it were I, I'm not sure I'd include that information on my résumé. Of course, it's not his fault; he's just a consultant.
When Rubin was part of the Office of Special Plans, many of us, especially in uniform, saw the pooch get prepped for screwing, and then the actual screwing of the pooch. It wasn't pretty. We saws guys like Rubin running around promoting a war because Saddam had a lot of viable WMDs. I'm sure it wasn't Michael Rubin pushing that claim, and that these fantasy WMDs only existed in the minds of the OTHER Iraq war über-strategists. Not Michael.
We saw intelligence get watered down when it didn't prove the über-strategists' preconceived notions about Iraq, and we watched while Kool-Aid was added to the weak bits of unsubstantiated data that seemed to. I'm sure Rubin never drank that particular Kool-Aid. Although in his Tammy Wynette role, he may have served it up.
We saw a guy named Doug Feith, a lobbyist for Israel in his law firm who espoused extremely pro-Likud views, be confirmed by the Congress as the Under Secretary for Defense Policy with his like-minded consultants. We watch as Feith then focused his attention on developing a Middle East war/policy. We observed as he made a huge mess of it.
But of course, Michael had nothing to do with that. He was just standing by his man.
When Jon Stewart at the Comedy Channel comments on the Giant Mess-o-Potamia, he's not kidding. Somehow, I see a sweaty Michael Rubin back in the kitchen wiping his hands on his stained apron. No, Michael, the damned spot won't come out. Trust me.
Rubin's NRO tirade thematically centers on the presumed "Kwiatkowski-LaRouche-grand-conspiracy-to-pick-on-neoconservatives-and-make- them-look-like-really-foolish-blunderers-by-getting-us-into-an-unnecessary-war-killing-more-than-750-American-soldiers- and-suggesting-the horror!-that-some-neoconservatives-are-even-war-criminals." His article is in key ways factually incorrect, wrong, and in some ways, a little bit stupid. But smears usually are, aren't they?
Some key mistakes include the old AEI charge that I have something to do with LaRouche, that I didn't know where the OSP offices were located, that I left the Pentagon because I felt others had gotten promotions and I didn't, that I said Larry Franklin used his wheelchair-bound wife as a cover for gallivanting around the world on secret missions, and that I have a fringe ideology, among others. For the record, no on LaRouche, yes on the location of the OSP spaces, no on the promotion question (I never even stayed long enough to meet my first O-6 board), no on Larry Franklin and his wife and secret missions, and I'm not sure on the "fringe ideology." Rubin never really explains what fringe ideology he's talking about.
I can only say with a high confidence that it isn't the same fringe ideology embraced by the National Review and the American Enterprise Institute these days.
When Michael Rubin says he knows something about something, it seems he really doesn't know much. The little he knows appears not to be supported by either facts or evidence, and is somewhat hope-based. Whether he is advising the Pentagon on Iraq and Iran, or trying to smear me, Rubin gets it wrong, again and again.
Like Tammy Wynette's heroine, he's going on faith in and love for the neocon agenda, and loyalty to his neocon friends. Faith and love and loyalty are wonderful things, but Michael, dear, it's hard sometimes, isn't it? All that abuse, and people giving you a hard time, saying you made bad choices, all those reasons to leave but you just can't do it. I think Tammy says it best:
Sometimes it's hard to be a woman
Givin' all your love to just one man
You'll have bad times and he'll have good times
Doin' things that you don't understand
But if you love him, you'll forgive him
Even though he's hard to understand
And if you love him, oh be proud of him
'Cause after all he's just a man
May 19, 2004
Karen Kwiatkowski [send her mail] is a retired USAF lieutenant colonel, who spent her final four and a half years in uniform working at the Pentagon. She now lives with her freedom-loving family in the Shenandoah Valley, and writes a bi-weekly column on defense issues with a libertarian perspective for militaryweek.com.
Copyright © 2004 LewRockwell.com