On Al-Jazeera television, a moderator with a thick accent is asking Why the U.S. invaded Iraq and then pitting John Mearsheimer and Norman Finkelstein on the question. They debate Israel’s security as a motivation for the neocons who helped plan this war, yes or no.
On NPR this morning, a moderator with a soft sophisticated American accent, I believe Steve Inskeep, pitted George Packer and Douglas Feith on the question of whether the U.S. did the right thing by trying to bring in exiled Iraqis to run Iraq once we had conquered it five years ago. Feith said that by failing in this regard, we became occupiers not liberators. George Packer said that the U.S. erred by insisting on the installation of goofball Ahmed Chalabi.
The discussion on NPR is a waste of time. It indulges and sustains the claim, shared by Packer and Feith and many other influential Americans and now utterly discredited in the eyes of 70 percent of the public, that we should have invaded. The real question is Why Feith was so religious on the issue of invading Iraq? Why did he turn his back on the peace process in Israel/Palestine? Why did he support Netanyahu? Why did he dismiss the issue of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank as a cause across the Arab world? Why did he believe that the road to peace in Jerusalem ran through Baghdad? Why was he writing letters at age 15 to the New York Times to justify yet another occupation of Arab land on security grounds (Israel in the Sinai)? In short, to what degree were his own attachments as a Jew to Israel a factor in his decisionmaking?
I guess I’ll have to wait till Feith goes on Al-Jazeera…