Jeb’s Verbal Misfire and Revising History

 

Jeb Bush seems to be following the plan he laid out months ago, when he mused about how he wanted to win the presidency: By threading the needle between the base and the establishment Republicans to narrowly win the nomination, then running toward the center against a Hillary pulled to the Left by her own base. Agree or disagree with him, by most accounts his speeches have been substantive, and thoughtful. But he had a misstep on Monday, when he responded to a question that he expected to be asked instead of the one that was actually asked:

Asked on Fox News (in an interview to be aired tonight) if he would have authorized the invasion of Iraq, knowing what the world now knows, Jeb Bush replied: “I would have and so would have Hillary Clinton, just to remind everybody. And so would almost everybody that was confronted with the intelligence they got.”

It was clear to me at the time that he had misinterpreted the question, thinking she was asking him if he would have done it with information available at the time. His point was that the real problem with Iraq was not in the decision to invade, but in the failure to secure the new nation in the aftermath, a failure that his brother conceded, and wasn’t rectified until the surge after the loss of Congress in 2006.

Jeb’s political adversaries, both left and right, of course immediately seized on the opportunity to declare him either historically ignorant or foolish. His critics to his right, including Rubio and Paul, didn’t cover themselves in glory. And yesterday (unfortunately) he walked it back. But in criticizing him as creating a “revisionist history” of the war, Andrew Rosenthal is revising history himself (as many have attempted to do over the past decade).

The former president likes to say Congress had the “same intelligence” he had when they voted to authorize the war, which sounds good, but is not exactly true. George Bush decided to invade Iraq long before the National Intelligence Estimate was ever even drafted. Its purpose was not to inform policymaking, but to fool Congress, the United Nations, the American people and the rest of the world into supporting the war.

The world now knows that the document was reverse-engineered to suit a policy that had already been created. The assessments of Saddam Hussein’s weapons programs were wrong, and hotly disputed within the intelligence community at the time; the Bush administration just conveniently forgot to mention that to Congress.

The assumption here is that the sole reason for invading Iraq was WMD. Despite the repeated obfuscation from war opponents on this subject, that is simply untrue. Yes, the Bush policy for Iraq was regime change. But unfortunately for the narrative, so was the Clinton policy, half a decade before the invasion:

Let me be clear on what the U.S. objectives are:

The United States wants Iraq to rejoin the family of nations as a freedom-loving and law-abiding member. This is in our interest and that of our allies within the region.

The United States favors an Iraq that offers its people freedom at home. I categorically reject arguments that this is unattainable due to Iraq’s history or its ethnic or sectarian makeup. Iraqis deserve and desire freedom like everyone else.

The United States looks forward to a democratically supported regime that would permit us to enter into a dialogue leading to the reintegration of Iraq into normal international life.

My Administration has pursued, and will continue to pursue, these objectives through active application of all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions. The evidence is overwhelming that such changes will not happen under the current Iraq leadership.

In the meantime, while the United States continues to look to the Security Council’s efforts to keep the current regime’s behavior in check, we look forward to new leadership in Iraq that has the support of the Iraqi people. The United States is providing support to opposition groups from all sectors of the Iraqi community that could lead to a popularly supported government.

Those are words that could have been said by George W. Bush, but in fact they were from Bill Clinton’s own speech at the signing of the Iraq Liberation Act, in 1998. While Saddam’s continuing violations of the UN resolutions were part of the problem, they were only part. Opponents to removing Saddam during the Bush administration would play a little rhetorical illogic game. They would point to each of the reasons put forth, and then find an example of some other regime that was doing that particular thing, to show some kind of policy inconsistency: North Korea was working on nuclear weapons; the Saudis had been supporting terrorism; Iran was oppressive to its own people. Why pick on poor Saddam Hussein? Such was the media mendacity that I was compelled to write a glossary at the time so that sane people could understand what their code words meant. Examples:

allies“:

Nations that we either defeated or liberated six decades ago, and then paid to rebuild half a century ago, and continued to pay for their defense through the Cold War, which has been over for more than a decade, who now feel that they are thereby entitled to obstruct or dictate our foreign policy, which is driven by our own self defense, in the furtherance of the business interests of their corrupt governments and the brutal dictators that they cynically coddle.

going it alone“:

Meaning 1: Taking action in concert with numerous European and Middle-Eastern nations, and others around the globe, but without France and Germany.

Meaning 2: Using the coalition from (1) to enforce numerous UN Security Council resolutions, including one that was passed within the past three months, which was supposed to be final, without going back to the Security Council, hat in hand, to get yet another “final” resolution…

rush to war“:

Waiting a dozen years after Saddam signed an agreement to relinquish his weapons of mass destruction; waiting almost half a decade after he threw out the arms inspection teams who were there to see that he carried out his commitment; waiting a year and a half after being attacked by Middle Eastern forces that woke us up to the possibility of our vulnerability to people who have been threatening us for years; waiting over a year after declaring Iraq one of the nations that constitute a danger to the planet; carefully crafting and passing yet another UN Security Council resolution reiterating all the previous ones, with the stated intent of being a final one; waiting two months after the submission of a declaration in response to that supposedly final resolution that was 12,000 pages of non-responsiveness, before actually taking any significant military action to see that Saddam’s capability to attack his neighbors and our own nation is eliminated through military force.

The decision to remove Saddam Hussein never rested on any single justification; it was a confluence of several reasons (as seen in Clinton’s own speech on signing the Iraq Liberation Act). In George W. Bush’s State of the Union speech prior to the invasion, he said himself that:

The dictator who is assembling the world’s most dangerous weapons has already used them on whole villages, leaving thousands of his own citizens dead, blind or disfigured.

Iraqi refugees tell us how forced confessions are obtained: by torturing children while their parents are made to watch. International human rights groups have catalogued other methods used in the torture chambers of Iraq: electric shock, burning with hot irons, dripping acid on the skin, mutilation with electric drills, cutting out tongues, and rape.

If this is not evil, then evil has no meaning.

And tonight I have a message for the brave and oppressed people of Iraq: Your enemy is not surrounding your country, your enemy is ruling your country.

And the day he and his regime are removed from power will be the day of your liberation.

WMD became the key issue only because UK Prime Minister Tony Blair insisted on getting approval from the United Nations, which in a sane world shouldn’t have been difficult, given Saddam’s continual flouting of its resolutions, but in the real one, in which it is a club for the coddling of dictators, in fact was. WMD was the only reason that the General Assembly might have found persuasive. And so Colin Powell was compelled to give his speech, based on the best intelligence on the subject available at the time, and it turned out to be in vain, with a failure to get a resolution.

What should Jeb have said? Here’s what I would say:

”There were always numerous reasons to remove Saddam Hussein, even without the WMD justification, as even Bill Clinton stated during his own presidency. Doing so was not a mistake. The mistake was having an inadequate plan to deal with the power vacuum in the aftermath. My brother has acknowledged that, and he partially rectified it with the surge in 2007 that put down Al Qaeda in Iraq. But in his rush to “end,” rather than win the war, Barack Obama abandoned that fledgling nation, squandering all the gains from the sacrifice of our troops, and creating a new vacuum that has been murderously and cruelly filled by ISIS. I think it’s incumbent on those who today claim that removing Saddam was a mistake should describe what they think today’s Middle East would look like if we hadn’t.”

If he wants to take back the narrative from the Left, now would be a good time to start.

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  1. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    I supported the war and still do.

    Thank you for posting this. I am too angry with Jeb Bush today to think straight.

    I have never seen a more stupid wrong harmful action taken by anyone in my entire my life.

    He has already harmed his country and he has not even been nominated. Talk about the shot heard ’round the world.  How excited the editors are today at the New York Times. Vindication at last. Jeb just did what they couldn’t do in the eight years GW was in office. Another chapter for Howard Zinn. Another Vietnam. It WAS Vietnam. We told you so.

    I had a sliver of hope that maybe Jeb was as smart as his brother.

    And he can never take those words back. He has just consigned the Iraq War to the “mistakes we’ve made.”

    Unbelievable.

    GW needs to come out today and say, “I love my brother, but he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.”

    If GW does not respond to Jeb, then GW is letting down all of the people who followed him for eight years down to every enlisted soldier.

    It isn’t about GW. It is about all of them. The people who followed him.

    I always thought GW was a servant leader.

    He needs to fix this out of respect to the people who followed him.

    • #1
  2. user_129539 Member
    user_129539
    @BrianClendinen

    The sad part is how uninformed he his. The simple answer is I would of still invaded but not occupied the nation or ran the occupation vastly differently.

    It is pathetic how simple minded so many people are on the war. You can be for the invasion which was only a few weeks but against everything else that followed. That is my position still invade but don’t disband the Baath party and the army but co-op them and slowly weed out the criminals through close integration of the U.S. military and Allies.

    • #2
  3. Ricochet Member
    Ricochet
    @

    This is all fine and good. I have had my share of debates on this issue arguing most of these points. I did that for about four years almost non-stop. I’ve done my best. Nothing more can be squeezed out of that sponge. History has been revised.

    It matters little if Jeb Bush can make the case better the second go-round. The best he could have hoped for was a successful 40 yard punt. What he did was fumble the ball and the other team scored another touchdown.

    One of the many reasons I find his entrance into the race appaling is that inevitably we will now all have to re-litigate all this Iraq business, which in itself is a loser for Republicans focusing on where they are percieved to have screwed up badly. Everyone’s mind is made up. It’s a waste of air and a distraction. Thanks Jebbie!

    To see, once again, a Bush fail to adequately articulate this worn-out argument, that an unpaid commentor at an obscure web site can make better, makes me question my own sanity.

    It seems the Bushes want to be let looose in the political china shop, break all the dishes and leave it for others to explain all the reasons it was a good idea.

    Wondering now what Bush protege Colin Powell has to say on the subject. Let’s get Don Rumsfeld and the whole gang back to debate again!

    • #3
  4. Tuck Inactive
    Tuck
    @Tuck

    “Jeb’s Verbal Misfire …”

    It runs in the family.  “Read my hips” cost his dad an election, at least he’s getting it out of the way early!

    Nice post.

    • #4
  5. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Rand Simberg:What should Jeb have said? Here’s what I would say:

    ”There were always numerous reasons to remove Saddam Hussein, even without the WMD justification, as even Bill Clinton stated during his own presidency. Doing so was not a mistake. The mistake was having an inadequate plan to deal with the power vacuum in the aftermath. My brother has acknowledged that, and he partially rectified it with the surge in 2007 that put down Al Qaeda in Iraq. But in his rush to “end,” rather than win the war, Barack Obama abandoned that fledgling nation, squandering all the gains from the sacrifice of our troops, and creating a new vacuum that has been murderously and cruelly filled by ISIS. I think it’s incumbent on those who today claim that removing Saddam was a mistake should describe what they think today’s Middle East would look like if we hadn’t.”

    Exactly right. Out of respect for the thousands of people who died and the thousands more who were wounded for life.

    • #5
  6. Ricochet Member
    Ricochet
    @

    It was clear to me at the time that he had misinterpreted the question, thinking she was asking him if he would have done it with information available at the time. His point was …

    Jeb’s political adversaries, both left and right, of course immediately seized on the opportunity to declare him either historically ignorant or foolish. His critics to his right, including Rubio and Paul, didn’t cover themselves in glory.

    Is this about the war or about Jeb? And his political rivals, what are they supposed to do at this point? Do you think Jeb and his team are going to cut other Republicans any slack?

    How many more times do we have to cover for inarticulate Bushies? Is there some kind of DNA marker that runs in this family making them incapable of explaining things to the public?

    Jeb has not impressed me as a candidate in any way. He sounds okay giving a speech, but he looks horrible. Bad posture, conciliatory, supplicating gestures and an air of clueless entitlement. He’s another ‘nice guy’ and he’s trying to prove himself as one. I see no compelling ideas and no approaches to government that will even slightly change direction even if he were King President.

    He is wonky and a non-fighter. We’ve had enough of Republican political pacifists –  happy to send men into combat but give Liberty Medals to their future rivals (who abandoned her war position early) and try not to offend Democrats.

    • #6
  7. iDad Inactive
    iDad
    @iDad

    Very well done, Rand.

    Marci – You are so right about W.  He and his administration let the people who served and sacrificed in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere down by not punching back  and defending their missions.  He owes it to them to do so now, even if it hurts his brother’s ambitions.

    • #7
  8. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    iDad:Very well done, Rand.

    Marci – You are so right about W. He and his administration let the people who served and sacrificed in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere down by not punching back and defending their missions. He owes it to them to do so now, even if it hurts his brother’s ambitions.

    I hope GW speaks up and soon.

    • #8
  9. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    The sad fact is that two things can be and are equally true: (1) invading Iraq and remove Hussein was the right call, and (2) Obama’s actions have put Iraq on a trajectory far different from what was possible in 2003. There will be continuous kinetic conflict in the Middle East for at least another decade and it could well end only with mushroom clouds exchanged by Sunni and Shia.

    This places the US Iraq War of 1990-2011 clearly in an academic and not a current policy setting. That conflict is now of a piece with the League of Nations’ British Mandate of Mesopotamia. When in the far distant future the dust settles, the boundaries and nations are going to look far different from 2011.

    • #9
  10. Petty Boozswha Inactive
    Petty Boozswha
    @PettyBoozswha

    On October 10, 2002 the US Senate passed the House version of The Authorization to Use Military Force in Iraq; I’m pretty sure the vote was 77-23. It listed 26 cassus belli, possession of WMD was not one of them.

    • #10
  11. Ricochet Inactive
    Ricochet
    @bloodthirstyneocon

    Petty Boozswha:On October 10, 2002 the US Senate passed the House version of The Authorization to Use Military Force in Iraq; I’m pretty sure the vote was 77-23. It listed 26 cassus belli, possession of WMD was not one of them.

    This drives me crazy! I watched the coverage of the run-up to war intently. Every time Bush gave a new cassus belli the media would say that he was giving too many different reasons and he should stick to one. Now no one remembers any of the reasons except wmd. Bush lied, people died. No blood for oil Baaaaaaaaaaa!

    • #11
  12. Claire Berlinski Editor
    Claire Berlinski
    @Claire

    Sometimes all the pollsters and spin doctors and analysts–and historians–miss something basic and human. I don’t think Jeb should be running–for a lot of reasons. But I didn’t react to his comment as a “misstep.” First, his meaning was clear. But second–no matter what he in fact believes now, would a man who could casually put a knife in his own brother’s back when it was politically expedient appeal to you? He wouldn’t to me.

    That’s one reason of many excellent reasons to reject dynastic politics. We have a moral instinct about these things–we don’t compel wives to testify against husbands. Whatever the facts, however you feel about the W.’s decision, we deep down know it’s morally unnatural for a brother to betray a brother. I’m sure people feel that instinctively, whatever the pundits say.

    And at some level, people must have a creeped-out feeling about Rand Paul, who has to publicly put the knife in his old man to sound even vaguely electable. Even if they don’t say it, that’s got to be there.

    Some people have too much family baggage to run. It’s just the way it is.

    • #12
  13. Ricochet Member
    Ricochet
    @

    Claire Berlinski:Sometimes all the pollsters and spin doctors and analysts–and historians–miss something basic and human. I don’t think Jeb should be running–for a lot of reasons. But I didn’t react to his comment as a “misstep.” First, his meaning was clear. But second–no matter what he in fact believes now, would a man who could casually put a knife in his own brother’s back when it was politically expedient appeal to you? He wouldn’t to me.

    That’s one reason of many excellent reasons to reject dynastic politics. We have a moral instinct about these things–we don’t compel wives to testify against husbands. Whatever the facts, however you feel about the W.’s decision, we deep down know it’s morally unnatural for a brother to betray a brother. I’m sure people feel that instinctively, whatever the pundits say.

    And at some level, people must have a creeped-out feeling about Rand Paul, who has to publicly put the knife in his old man to sound even vaguely electable. Even if they don’t say it, that’s got to be there.

    Some people have too much family baggage to run. It’s just the way it is.

    Comparing Jeb Bush to Rand Paul is quite a stretch. Nice try.

    • #13
  14. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Claire Berlinski:But second–no matter what he in fact believes now, would a man who could casually put a knife in his own brother’s back when it was politically expedient appeal to you? He wouldn’t to me.

    That’s one reason of many excellent reasons to reject dynastic politics. We have a moral instinct about these things–we don’t compel wives to testify against husbands. Whatever the facts, however you feel about the W.’s decision, we deep down know it’s morally unnatural for a brother to betray a brother. I’m sure people feel that instinctively, whatever the pundits say.

    And at some level, people must have a creeped-out feeling about Rand Paul, who has to publicly put the knife in his old man to sound even vaguely electable. Even if they don’t say it, that’s got to be there.

    Exactly so. And about Rand Paul too. How could anyone ever trust Jeb after that? That was my first thought.

    After I calmed down, I realized the worst of it all is how stupid Jeb has to be to have done this in the first place. Did he think it would garner points with the Left? If so, he is truly deluded.

    Someone who is that unaware shouldn’t be in the White House handling foreign affairs. The president has to be very careful about what he or she says.

    • #14
  15. Claire Berlinski Editor
    Claire Berlinski
    @Claire

    Franco:

    Comparing Jeb Bush to Rand Paul is quite a stretch. Nice try.

    Only in the too-much-family-baggage department. I don’t think that’s a stretch.

    • #15
  16. Ricochet Inactive
    Ricochet
    @KermitHoffpauir

    Seeing that his son, George P., has political aspirations, I didn’t think the Jeb would run.  Afterall, George P. launched Ted Cruz in 2009 by opening doors to major donors for him, via Maverick PAC.

    • #16
  17. Ricochet Inactive
    Ricochet
    @KermitHoffpauir

    Claire Berlinski:Sometimes all the pollsters and spin doctors and analysts–and historians–miss something basic and human. I don’t think Jeb should be running–for a lot of reasons. But I didn’t react to his comment as a “misstep.” First, his meaning was clear. But second–no matter what he in fact believes now, would a man who could casually put a knife in his own brother’s back when it was politically expedient appeal to you? He wouldn’t to me.

    That’s one reason of many excellent reasons to reject dynastic politics. We have a moral instinct about these things–we don’t compel wives to testify against husbands. Whatever the facts, however you feel about the W.’s decision, we deep down know it’s morally unnatural for a brother to betray a brother. I’m sure people feel that instinctively, whatever the pundits say.

    And at some level, people must have a creeped-out feeling about Rand Paul, who has to publicly put the knife in his old man to sound even vaguely electable. Even if they don’t say it, that’s got to be there.

    Some people have too much family baggage to run. It’s just the way it is.

    That final point seems to be the biggest hurdle that Jeb has to win, the “anti-dynasty” sentiment.  Every argument against him seems to end up with “No More Bushes”.

    • #17
  18. liberal jim Inactive
    liberal jim
    @liberaljim

    At the time I did not think GWB’s main reason for invading Iraq was WMDs and while removing it’s dictator from power was a wise goal, as it currently is in several other countries, the method GWB chose was in my opinion not the best.  There were several other ways of accomplishing the same objective which would have involved far fewer lives being loss and far less dollars being spent.  When GWB had his chance to go and fight, he did everything in his power to avoid it, it is too bad he did not exercise the same hesitancy when other’s were being put in harms way.

    • #18
  19. Ricochet Member
    Ricochet
    @

    Claire Berlinski:

    Franco:

    Comparing Jeb Bush to Rand Paul is quite a stretch. Nice try.

    Only in the too-much-family-baggage department. I don’t think that’s a stretch.

    I generally support Paul, if not the man himself for President most of his ideas and the direction America and the GOP should be going. I take it you don’t.

    But it’s almost a non-sequitur in how different these two ‘situations’ are, which leads me to think you are taking a cheap shot, and going off the range with it as well.

    There is nothing wrong with disagreeing with a family member on public policy. Yes, it might not be comfortable, but this isn’t the equivalent of testifying against your spouse in court either. The fact is Jeb’s situation is 100x more problematic since both his father and brother have been the last TWO Republican Presidents and he’s seeking to be the third.

    Rand Paul’s father was a congressman who ran for President, never won, and garnered only 5% of votes in his loss(es). Rand Paul has always had divergent ideas and ideals from his father. Rand Paul is more sane and significantly more hawkish than his father. To imply that he’s changed his views as though the libertarian ideals are passed down geneticlly and he’s posturing now to get elected is pretty low.

    Mice can look like elephants, but they aren’t related.

    • #19
  20. user_370242 Inactive
    user_370242
    @Mikescapes

    Easy to pile on. Give Jeb my sympathy vote. So he screwed up a question, but it was clear what he was trying to say, and he admitted it. Anyone else would have been properly criticized, but gotten a pass. One misstep and he’s not qualified for anything according to his critics. I don’t like the “no-break” school of political science. There’s that inflexible mindset that creep out. The hard right is no better than hard left in this regard.

    Now if you’re down on Bush for Immigration or Common Core fair enough. That wasn’t his bungle on Kelly. He’s getting a death sentence for starting a war he didn’t start. His bad (dumb) response to the easily anticipated Iraq question is being used to hammer him for what really angers the right: Common Core, Immigration and his last name.

    Now that Jeb is on his heels what have you got? Cheers to John Bolton for dropping out of a campaign he was never in. What’s with these others who don’t stand a chance? Bolton has brains and ideas, but he’s practical. I don’t respect the fringies who only clutter up the field. That’s not  a strong Republican bench. Rather, a bunch of egos all saying the same thing. They create an accurate impression of chaos that can only benefit Clinton. Bush, like him or not, is a serious contender.

    • #20
  21. Ricochet Inactive
    Ricochet
    @GilReich

    Excellent post.

    • #21
  22. Ricochet Member
    Ricochet
    @

    Mike Silver:Easy to pile on. ….

    Now that Jeb is on his heels what have you got? Cheers to John Bolton for dropping out of a campaign he was never in. What’s with these others who don’t stand a chance? Bolton has brains and ideas, but he’s practical. I don’t respect the fringies who only clutter up the field. That’s not a strong Republican bench. Rather, a bunch of egos all saying the same thing. They create an accurate impression of chaos that can only benefit Clinton. Bush, like him or not, is a serious contender.

    Walker, Rubio, Paul to name a few. Jeb doesn’t have an ego? I would have believed that if he opted to steer clear of the fray here, but his hat being in the ring is evidence of a spectacular ego. It’s one thing being a nobody who wants attention, it’s another for a guy who has had every advantage and great prospects for the future to decide that, in spite of everything, he should actually be President and is willing (or dumb enough) to re-litigate everything Bush and Bush related. Or we are all supposed to pretend his name is coincidental and predjudice and suspicions should be suspended to give the poor lad a chance at his dream. And newsflash: Jeb stands to lose almost as badly as a Trump or a Carson. Ask me why. I double-dare you.

    • #22
  23. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    It’s over.

    • #23
  24. AIG Inactive
    AIG
    @AIG

    See, here’s the problem:

    1) Bush chose to make WMD the main and only justification for war. Can’t say now, 12 years later “hey why are you guys so obsessed with WMD anyway?”

    2) Blaming Clinton isn’t going to get anyone out of any responsibilities for the miserable failure and mistake that Iraq was.

    Not…even…close.

    3) All other justifications are ex-post reasonings, which are, in fact, unsupported by the facts or actually contradicted by the facts. Iraq is in a far worst shape now: an Iranian proxy state and an AQ insurgency. Sorry, but it is precisely the facts after the invasion that point to the failure, not to it’s “success”.

    4) So let me get this straight: not having a plan for AFTER THE WAR…is just a minor little thing. It’s not the equivalent of “rushing to war”?

    5) So blame Obama is the standard strategy here.

    And the counter-strategy offered here is: we should have staid in longer because 13 years just weren’t enough. And 2 trillion dollars were not enough. And 4,800 dead troops were not enough.

    100 years?

    That will win elections ;)

    I think it’s incumbent on those who today claim that removing Saddam was a mistake should describe what they think today’s Middle East would look like if we hadn’t.

    A much better place. No question about it. This question is the equivalent of shooting yourself in the foot.

    • #24
  25. AIG Inactive
    AIG
    @AIG

    As long as “conservatives” are unwilling or unable to take responsibility for their mistakes and failures…than this only demonstrates that you are no different from the Left in any way.

    And not worthy of governing.

    Of course, it appears that many “conservatives” have taken the side of accepting the miserable failure that was GWB. And for that, they should be commended.

    The ones engaged in fabricating history, as is obvious here, and simply engaging in the usual…and juvenile…”but Clinton did it too! And it’s Obama’s fault!” sort of arguments, certainly don’t deserve to govern.

    More so, because they claim to be basing their arguments in “logic” and “philosophy” and pretending to be the “grown ups” among the competing political camps.

    The Left, at least, makes no such pretenses.

    • #25
  26. AIG Inactive
    AIG
    @AIG

    Rand Simberg: I think it’s incumbent on those who today claim that removing Saddam was a mistake should describe what they think today’s Middle East would look like if we hadn’t.”

    So to answer this question:

    1) No 150-600,000 dead Iraqis. No 2-3 million Iraqi refugees.

    2) 4,400 US soldiers alive today. Tens of thousands of wounded soldiers, not wounded.

    …but those are just the human costs…

    3) No Iranian control of Iraq.

    4) No AQ in Iraq.

    5) No war in Syria.

    6) No war in Libya

    7) No massive flare-up in Islamism and Islamic terrorism

    …but those are just political issues in the ME. Who cares about them?

    8) No massive spike in oil prices for a decade.

    9) No money flowing to Valdimir Putin’s Russia, allowing it to invade other countries and re-emerge as a threat.

    …but those are other geo-political issues elsewhere. Meh.

    10) No 2 trillion dollars of US money wasted on nothing.

    11) Probably a much smaller recession in 2008, or at least one we could have weathered better if we still had that $2 trillion dollars, and we didn’t have to deal with massive oil prices for a decade.

    12) No massive mis-allocation of military funds to fight insurgency wars, and to develop weapons for fighting insurgency wars, while abandoning and cutting back on other weapons programs.

    The real question is: What the HELL did we gain from this war?

    • #26
  27. Ricochet Member
    Ricochet
    @

    I agree with pretty much everything AIG says above except for one thing. I’m not sure it’s accurate to label the Bush defenders on this ‘conservative’ but maybe I’m misinterpreting the quote to mean, not really conservative. I resisted the term neo-con for a long time, it has some negative connotations but it’s safe to assume that everyone at the Barbra Streisand concert is a fan of her music and voice. Everyone who can’t see the folly in these incursions by now is a hardline neocon or we can call them single issue national security hawks if that sounds better.

    The other unintended consequence of the war was…..Obama as President.

    • #27

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