The Washington bureau chief of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Ron Kampeas, has posted a screed against neoconservatives on that organization’s web site. “For eight years we in Washington lived in a bizarro world where the most obvious conclusions were not just ignored, but mocked, actively suppressed and made akin to treason,” he said. Now, “neoconservatives are losing,” because of “their failure, or their abject inability, to say ‘I was wrong.’” He writes, “The Bush administration had not merely an aversion but a psychotic fear of saying ‘We wuz wrong.’”
If anything is “bizarro,” it is Mr. Kampeas’s own accusation. There are at least two significant cases where President Bush himself admitted he was wrong. One was his speech on the surge, in which he said, “Where mistakes have been made, the responsibility rests with me. It is clear that we need to change our strategy in Iraq…Our past efforts to secure Baghdad failed.” Oh, and the president also ousted his defense secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, (after such “neoconservatives” such as Max Boot and William Kristol had called for him to do so) to underscore the point.
On Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction, Saddam’s own denials of whose existence appear to be Mr. Kampeas’s jumping-off point as unquestionable fact, Mr. Bush also acknowledged error. “Much of the intelligence turned out to be wrong,” Mr. Bush said. “As president, I am responsible for the decision to go into Iraq. And I’m also responsible for fixing what went wrong by reforming our intelligence capabilities.”
On the WMD question, Mr. Kampeas apparently puts more faith in Saddam’s denials to the FBI under interrogation, as reported by the Washington Post, than in the assertions I reported by Moshe Yaalon and by Ariel Sharon that Saddam’s chemical weapons were transported to Syria before the war. The Jewish Telegraphic Agency’s web site reports that the wire service is funded by some of the largest Jewish charities, including the United Jewish Communities, Hadassah, and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, all of which do much valuable work, as does the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. You have to wonder whether they really want to publish this sort of stuff, or employ a Washington bureau chief who thinks it.