"an eventuality nobody could have foreseen unless they knew how to add and subtract"

“…the [Weekly] Standard enthusiastically boosted the tax cuts. Neoconservative defense hawk Frank Gaffney concurred in a fawning open letter to Bush. ‘Those of us who look forward to helping you succeed in your efforts to rebuild our defense posture appreciate that your success in reducing taxes is a first and highly synergistic step toward that goal,’ he wrote. ‘Consequently, you can count on us in the national security community to support you in both of these important endeavors.’

Whoops. It turned out there wasn’t any money left over for a big troop increase, an eventuality nobody could have foreseen unless they knew how to add and subtract. Enraged at the lack of a defense hike, the Standard published an editorial calling on then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, and his deputy, Paul Wolfowitz, to resign in protest of ‘the impending evisceration of the military.’

The Standard lamented its own gullibility. ‘Those of us who expressed concern about the Bush administration’s shorting of the military were told not to worry,” the editors wrote. “Bush had to pass his tax cut first. Then the damage would be repaired in the [fiscal year] 2002 and FY 2003 budgets. But that’s not the way things have turned out.’

Let me translate this passage: We thought Bush was just lying to the American public, but now we discover he was lying to us also!

Let me quote one more passage from that editorial, because it’s really incredible. The Standard warned that Bush’s budget would make an invasion of Iraq all but impossible: ‘In practice, assembling a heavy armored force of even four divisions to defeat Saddam’s army and then occupy Iraq would require every heavy unit based in Korea, Europe and the United States.’ Yet, just a few months later, the neocons demanded the very war that they said would be impossible, to be waged by that same eviscerated military.”

Read more of Jonathan Chait’s article at The New Republic online.

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