Iraq: just because you were fooled doesn’t mean I was

The Daily Show showed an interesting pair of film clips last night. They showed President Bush during his first term stating that the Middle East would immediately be safer and more stable once Saddam was toppled from power. During his second term he justified the Iraq occupation as an operation to stabilize Iraq and the region due to the vacuum of power left by the toppling of Saddam.

We also have the interesting new estimate coming from the Democrats about the hidden costs of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. The Republicans charge that the Democrats are playing politics. First of all, politicians are playing politics. Golly, that’s not fair But that’s not the main point.

We continue hear the tired and inaccurate lament that everyone–yes, some people say everyone– was fooled about WMD, the political aftermath of the invasion, and the costs of the war. No, everyone was not fooled. Weapons inspectors found no evidence of WMD in Iraq. They were not fooled. Many intelligence experts doubted the claims made by the the Bush Administration, yet their voices were stifled by the Bush Administration. No, they were not fooled. Highly respected economists, including at least one Nobel Laureate, estimated, both before and after the invasion, the costs of the Iraq conflict would be over $1 trillion if the war turned into a protracted conflict. No, they were not fooled. Many experts on the region predicted the destabilization of the region in the absence of a strong effective Iraqi government. No, they were not fooled.

To those of you who say everyone was fooled about Iraq, I say, no, you were fooled. Not everyone.

Published in: on November 14, 2007 at 9:23 am  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I think one of the important things to remember about the (false) claim that everyone was fooled by WMD is that Bush & Co. exploited the good name of the American presidency in a way unthinkable in prior years. Truth is that you simply weren’t supposed to doubt a president so sharply. Despite the hard rhetoric of the right wing during the Clinton years, it was not an easy thing to look at a president making a call to war and say, “Yeah, but you’re full of ….” Our international neighbors thought there were WMDs? Well, they were relying in large part on what we were giving them. The Bush administration has cost the nation so much prestige, has so grotesquely besmirched the Oval Office that we may well have lost a certain credibility for decades. As long as we inched about on both sides of the line, people believed we were well-intended. It’s going to take a tremendous demonstration of good faith on our part to recover even that dubious perch. Frankly, I am skeptical that Americans are willing to put out that much, especially when so many believe we should simply reach out and take whatever we decide is ours.

  2. B. D.,

    You make many good points.

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