Saturday, March 08, 2008
i can't believe what you're saying to me, you got some attitude:
Jamie Rubin, shortly after Samantha Power's resignation, lit into the Obama team, calling it "amateur hour on making foreign policy." That was pretty ill-considered on his part. See, back in mid-2002, Rubin hosted a breathless PBS documentary on the threat posed by Saddam Hussein called Saddam's Ultimate Solution. In it, he taped a fawning, stenographic interview with Richard Perle, in which he practically competed with Perle to out-demagogue Saddam. For instance, Rubin said:
And in that window between now and when you overthrow Saddam Hussein, he will decide to lash out and use these very weapons that we are trying to prevent him from using.

Is there a danger that during the time between our decision and its implementation that he will use chemical and biological weapons that you're worried about against the American people here at home perhaps by some of these terrorists he's been training?
Among the things that Rubin doesn't question -- but that the "amateur hour" crowd around Obama did, and does -- was whether, you know, it was in the national interest to overthrow Saddam Hussein. He does, however, do a great job of agreeing with all of Perle's assumptions and pushing Perle to use a bigger military to commit a strategic disaster. Ah, maturity.

Here's perhaps my favorite exchange:
Richard Perle: It's partly because Saddam controls and manipulates the flow of money. This idea that the sanctions have been killing women and children - there are billions of unexpended dollars that could be going for food and medicine. Saddam has an iron grip today. Once that's gone I think we will see the very talented Iraqis re-build their country and use the resources available to them. So I don't think we need the Europeans and their bank accounts.

James P. Rubin: But would it be preferable? And certainly it would be preferable to have support from our allies in a post-Saddam environment where there may be some reconstruction, there may be some terrible damage done in this war. And there may be a need for a long-term Western presence to help this kind of regime you want in power to be in power. It would be preferable, wouldn't it?
Yes, wouldn't it, indeed!
--Spencer Ackerman