On this episode of Reaganism, Reagan Institute Director of Scholarly Initiatives, Dr. Anthony Eames sits down with Dr. Melvyn Leffler who is the Edward Stettinius Professor of History Emeritus at the University of Virginia. They discuss Dr. Leffler’s new book entitled, “Confronting Saddam Hussein: George W. Bush and the Invasion of Iraq.”

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  1. Taras Coolidge
    Taras
    @Taras

    Prof. Leffler’s conclusion appears to agree with my own:  that Saddam Hussein was engaged in a double game, simultaneously telling the U.S. that he had no WMDs and, running a bluff, telling Iran that he still had them.

    Unable to understand the kind of considerations that had prevented George H.W. Bush from removing him from power during the first Gulf War, Saddam had concluded that, regardless of whatever bellicose rhetoric he heard, the U.S. actually wanted him to stay in power in Iraq, and would not remove him.

    • #1
  2. Steve Fast Member
    Steve Fast
    @SteveFast

    Taras (View Comment):

    Prof. Leffler’s conclusion appears to agree with my own: that Saddam Hussein was engaged in a double game, simultaneously telling the U.S. that he had no WMDs and, running a bluff, telling Iran that he still had them.

    Unable to understand the kind of considerations that had prevented George H.W. Bush from removing him from power during the first Gulf War, Saddam had concluded that, regardless of whatever bellicose rhetoric he heard, the U.S. actually wanted him to stay in power in Iraq, and would not remove him.

    Dictatorships are especially susceptible to this kind of misunderstanding. They are so cloistered that they don’t understand the motivations of or even basic information about the outside world. I’m sure Sadaam’s flunkies praised him for stopping the US short of Baghdad in 1991, when they should have warned him how easily the US could have taken Baghdad if it had wanted.

    I fear the elites in our government are creating that kind of closed environment today, despite the reasonably free press and elections that we have.

    • #2
  3. Taras Coolidge
    Taras
    @Taras

    Steve Fast (View Comment):

    Taras (View Comment):

    Prof. Leffler’s conclusion appears to agree with my own: that Saddam Hussein was engaged in a double game, simultaneously telling the U.S. that he had no WMDs and, running a bluff, telling Iran that he still had them.

    Unable to understand the kind of considerations that had prevented George H.W. Bush from removing him from power during the first Gulf War, Saddam had concluded that, regardless of whatever bellicose rhetoric he heard, the U.S. actually wanted him to stay in power in Iraq, and would not remove him.

    Dictatorships are especially susceptible to this kind of misunderstanding. They are so cloistered that they don’t understand the motivations of or even basic information about the outside world. I’m sure Sadaam’s flunkies praised him for stopping the US short of Baghdad in 1991, when they should have warned him how easily the US could have taken Baghdad if it had wanted.

    I fear the elites in our government are creating that kind of closed environment today, despite the reasonably free press and elections that we have.

    Democrat elites, anyway.   They’re constantly being told by the media how brilliant they are; which is how you get a Kamala Harris.  

    On the other hand, a Republican has to be always ready to be challenged, fairly or unfairly (e.g., Sen. Tim Scott on The View).

    • #3
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