There is an old adage about try, try again until you get it right. Little did we realize that was the motto of the Bush administration in 2003 when it launched the invasion of Iraq in search of the ever elusive WMD. Former Secretary of State under Bush, Condoleezza Rice told an audience at the University of Hong Kong that in the end we got it right. “We didn’t understand how broken Iraq was as a society and we tried to rebuild Iraq from Baghdad out. And we really should have rebuilt Iraq outside Baghdad in.” Ms. Rice said more attention should have been made to work with tribal leaders, but we “finally got it right” in 2006. She also reaffirmed the Bush belief that Saddam Hussein was a threat to the Middle East and the world.
I am confident parents and wives of the 4,000 who died while Condi and George were trying to figure out how to get “it right” are now comforted from this statement. Of course, if Condi and George and Dick and Don had actually listened to Middle Eastern experts they could have gotten it right in 2003 and saved not only time and money, but thousands of lives. Ms. Rice is a former college professor and supposedly a scholar. This statement stinks of politics, not of scholarship.