Democrats & Liberals Archives

Was Iraq the First Time?

There’s a kind of camera trick, where you zoom in on a subject while dollying out. The effect is one of having the background shift eerily, while the character remains pretty much the same size in frame. The trick was used in Vertigo, Jaws, ET, Apollo 13, GoodFellas, and a number of other films.

I got that same kind of disquieting feeling reading the essay “Mimic Men” in Molly Ivin’s book Molly Ivins Can’t Say That, Can She? when I came across a disturbing passage.

But the real damage done during Bush's tenure as the spook spokesman was in policy. That was the era of the "B Team," the crowd of neconservative defense experts headed by Richard Perle, who were called in by Bush and allowed to override the CIA's own top Sovietologists and military analysts. The immense defense buildup of the Reagan years was based on the B Team's erroneous analysis of the Soviet threat. Its intention was to force the Soviets to "spend themselves into the grave." Both CIA and DIA analysts now agree that the Soviets didn't bite; that they never tried to match our Reagan-era buildup because their economy was already collapsing- while we spent our country into social disintegration all by ourselves.

This is from an article originally published fourteen years ago in 1990. The book itself was published in 1991. The recurrence of this same kind of situation, of military buildup and agression based on erroneous analysis and evidence would be disturbing enough as it is, but to hear mention of Richard Perle and the Neo-Cons again, in such a similar context, just makes me feel an sick sort of deja vu.

We still carry the debt from those years, and are now set to carry all the more debt from the Neo-Con's latest venture. After reading this, I have to doubt that it's a good idea to let these people have another turn at screwing up this country.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at February 17, 2004 2:47 PM