Iraq: US Occupation force
Former CIA officer Miles Seeley does not swallow Richard Perle's story that he and the neo-cons opposed keeping an occupation force in Iraq: My opinion differs radically from that of Richard Perle (as usual). The opposition forces were in place from the time we attacked Iraq, and began operations against us immediately. I doubt any US- appointed Iraqi government could have survived them. If Mr. Perle means Chalabi and his gang when he speaks of a large Iraqi umbrella organization that could have governed, I think he is doubly wrong. Chalabi was an outsider to most Iraqis, and his exile organization had very little support. Perle does not address the basic divisions in iraq (Sunni, Shia, and Kurd) or the terrorists from other countries who came to cause trouble.
There is another theory about how we might have proceeded after the initial attacks, and that is that we should have really occupied the whole country, with masses of troops and a brutal suppression of opposition forces. That is a most unpleasant idea, and could not have been done without hundreds of thousands more US troops on the ground.
All of this leads me to agree with Professor Hilton that the neo-cons are looking for someone else to blame for the mess they have created in Iraq. They should instead look closely at themselves.
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Ronald Hilton 2004
December 5, 2004