Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The Bush Legacy, Pt. 2: Iraq

It's that time of a lame-duck presidency... when you sit down with a friendly reporter and attempt to present your own version of history. George W. Bush got that opportunity this week with ABC's Charlie Gibson-
Looking back on his eight years in the White House, President George W. Bush pinpointed incorrect intelligence that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction as "biggest regret of all the presidency."

"I think I was unprepared for war," Bush told ABC News' Charlie Gibson in an interview airing today on "World News."...

..."In other words, I didn't anticipate war. Presidents -- one of the things about the modern presidency is that the unexpected will happen."

Yes, the war in Iraq just happened to President Bush. He didn't start it or anything. He just woke up one day, and holy cow! There it was.

One of President Bush's M.O.s for years now has been to pretend that invading Iraq was a) not his doing, and b) something he strongly tried to avoid. This even began before the war. As his administration was banging the drums, in December of '02, he said to reporters, "You said we're headed to war in Iraq -I don't know why you say that. I hope we're not headed to war in Iraq. I'm the person who gets to decide, not you" (the implication being that it was the media who were hyped for war). The reality is, of course, that his foreign policy team had been planning the war since the late '90s, and Bush himself worked overtime after 9/11 to ensure they got their way.

Regarding the way the war itself was sold, Bush said to Gibson that-
"A lot of people put their reputations on the line and said the weapons of mass destruction is a reason to remove Saddam Hussein," Bush said. "It wasn't just people in my administration. A lot of members in Congress, prior to my arrival in Washington, D.C., during the debate on Iraq, a lot of leaders of nations around the world were all looking at the same intelligence."

Ignoring the fact that there was a lot of intelligence disproving the WMD case (ignored by the administration), and that most of the intelligence which bolstered their case was provided through unreliable torture or by con artists like Ahmed Chalabi, let's look at who the aforementioned 'people' were and what they said.

(You can stop the video at about 4:15... the rest is just commentary)

But hey, some other people bought into the same lies, so he's off the hook, I guess. I mean, he was only the leader of the free world, he just couldn't help but be swept up into this wild new 'invade Iraq' fad. I'm sure history will understand.


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