Atlantic Monthly hit piece
WARNING - This will be very long.
Just in time for the election, the Atlantic Monthly magazine published a front page article by Jim Fallows that is a compendium of Kerry talking points. (If you don't have a subscription to Atlantic Monthly, you can also find the article in the Sunday Reader section of the Dallas Morning News.)
Fallows tries hard to make his hit piece believeable by quoting unnamed sources who are "representative of what one hears at the working level." Why should we believe you, Mr. Fallows? Your article provides ample examples of why your opinions are not to be trusted. From the very beginning, your bias is clearly on display.
I was going for an interview with Paul Wolfowitz, the deputy secretary of defense. At the time, Mr. Wolfowitz's name and face were not yet familiar worldwide. He was known in Washington for offering big-picture explanations of foreign-policy goals - a task for which the president was unsuited, the vice president was unavailable, and most other senior administration officials were, for various reasons, inappropriate.The President isn't up to the task of "offering big-picture explanations of foreign-policy goals"? Oh, that's right. He's an idiot who can't dress himself without help. You've lost my vote and you haven't even begun your argument. You're an elitist, liberal snob who doesn't hesitate to insult the President of the United States, a man who holds an MBA from Harvard, one of the most prestigious degrees in the US.
Right away we know where this article is headed, and we haven't even read three paragraphs of a verbose, rambling screed. I'm sure the frothing sycophants will be happy, but for anyone with the capacity to think Fallow is off to a very bad start.
At the start of 2002, fewer than 10,000 U.S. soldiers were deployed overseas as part of the war on terror, and a dozen Americans had died in combat.So "bloodless victory" "epitomizes competence"? We'd better revise history then. Eisenhower lost over 10,000 American lives in one day - D-Day. A number of errors were made that cost lives - floating tanks sank, the naval bombardment missed the German positions completely, leaving them intact to mow through our troops like a grass cutter, paratroopers drowned in the flooded fields because our intelligence wasn't aware the Germans had flooded them, the aerial bombardment was several miles off course, etc., etc., etc. I guess we'll have to re-label Eisenhower as an incompetent idiot who couldn't devise a decent battle plan......except we won.
The United States had not captured Osama bin Laden, but it had routed the Taliban leadership that sheltered him, and seemed to have put al-Qaeda on the run.
Because of the quick and, for Americans, nearly bloodless victory over the Taliban, the Bush national-security team had come to epitomize competence.
Americans are not foolish enough to think they can fight the forces of evil without suffering casualites - sometimes heart-rending, awful casualites. That's the price of freedom, Mr. Fallows, the freedom you so insolently mock. I shouldn't have to point this out, but our leaders are human. They sometimes make mistakes - sometimes awful mistakes. In the end, however, we have been victorious - except for when we listened to your elitist ilk, such as in Vietnam - a mistake I hope we never make again.
In retrospect, the remarkable thing about Mr. Wolfowitz's comment was the assumption – which I then had no reason to challenge – that Mr. Bush's foreign-policy team was like a great business or sporting dynasty, which should be examined for secrets of success.This reveals that, before Mr. Fallows succumbed to the lies of the frothing lunatics on the left, he had to admit that the Bush policy looked pretty good. It was only after others started chanting "Wrong war, wrong time, wrong place" that Mr. Fallows realized the "error" of his ways.
As I listen to the tape of that interview now, something else stands out: how expansive and unhurried even Mr. Wolfowitz sounded. "Even" Mr. Wolfowitz because since then he has become the symbol of an unrelenting drive toward war with Iraq.
This exposes a deep intellectual dishonesty. People who are confident of their positions do not change simply because things are not going well at the present. Either you've thought your position through and have sound reasons to support it or you are blown about by every wind of doctrine, by sleight and cunning and deceit. Mr. Fallows obviously falls into the latter category.
George Bush falls into the former category. For that he is accused of subborness, one of the defining traits of Winston Churchhill. Is this the new "standard" of excellence for America? The ability to change course as soon as the going gets rough? To completely alter your philosophy at the first sign of trouble? Frankly, the idea disgusts me. I have no problem changing my mind when the evidence warrants it, but the evidence needs to be substantial and convincing. You don't run at the first sign of trouble, and you don't question your decisions during the heat of the battle. That is precisely what the left, and Kerry, are doing now.
I also remember the way 2002 ended. By late December, some 200,000 members of the U.S. armed forces were en route to staging areas surrounding Iraq. Hundreds of thousands of people had turned out on the streets of London, Rome, Madrid and other cities to protest the impending war. That it was impending was obvious, despite ongoing negotiations at the United Nations.I suppose Mr. Fallows would have preferred that we did no advance planning for the war in Iraq. Only a fool would not plan ahead for what was obviously the inevitable. If the administration had not planned for the war, you may rest assured people like Mr. Fallows would be pointing that out as a sign of incompetence. In that case he would have been right!
Within weeks of the 9-11 attacks, President Bush and Secretary Rumsfeld had asked to see plans for a possible invasion of Iraq. Congress voted to authorize the war in October. Immediately after the vote, planning bureaus inside the Pentagon were told to be ready for combat at any point between then and the following April. (Operation Iraqi Freedom actually began on March 19.)
Despite the rout of al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, terror attacks, especially against Americans and Europeans, were rising at the end of 2002 and would continue to rise through 2003. Some 400 people worldwide had died in terror attacks in 2000, and some 300 in 2001, apart from the 3,000-plus killed on Sept. 11. In 2002 more than 700 were killed, including 200 when a bomb exploded outside a Bali nightclub in October.This is one of the more outrageous statements Fallows makes. He discounts the loss of over 3000 people on September 11th in an effort to make it appear that terrorism is increasing! I can't think of a more despicable thing to do.
I could write much more. The article is extremely lengthy. The tone doesn't change, however, and I've already exposed enough of Fallows' weak arguments that only a true believer would swallow the rest of his tripe.