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Monday, October 24, 2016

The Republican presidential race has officially crossed over into the Twilight Zone: GOP candidates are now saying that the Iraq War was a mistake. And we can thank a major gaffe by Jeb Bush for all of this.

The trouble all started in an interview with Megyn Kelly of Fox News, when she directly asked him: “Knowing what we know now, would you have authorized the invasion?”

Jeb said yes — and, furthermore, that the press won’t find “big space between me and my brother,” former president George W. Bush, on this subject.

As he moved to do some damage control, Jeb said on Sean Hannity’s radio show that he didn’t hear the question correctly: “I was talking about, given what people had known then, would you have done it, rather than knowing what we know now.” And on Wednesday, ABC News reports, Jeb added another twist, when he claimed that even asking the question had been disrespectful to the war dead.

“If we’re going to get into hypotheticals I think it does a disservice for a lot of people that sacrificed a lot,” Bush said after explaining that as governor of Florida he called the family members of service men and women who lost their lives in the war. He added: “Going back in time and talking about hypotheticals — what would have happened, what could have happened — I think, does a disservice for them. What we ought to be focusing on is what are the lessons learned.”

(Of course, a person might wonder if the real “disservice” to the troops was that they were sent to Iraq in the first place.)

But now that Jeb has stepped into this bear trap, the other Republican candidates seem eager to pounce on him — or at least avoid this trap themselves — resulting in the amazing sight of GOP presidential candidates now openly criticizing, in at least some manner, the entire Iraq venture.

Rand Paul declared that the Iraq War shouldn’t have been done at the time — let alone on the basis of all the knowledge that everyone has gained since then. And not only that, but Rand upped the ante by invoking Hillary Clinton and the later conflict in Libya.

Chris Christie said bluntly of the Iraq invasion: “No, it wasn’t” the right decision in retrospect — though he also said that we should all move forward, instead of looking backwards.

Even Ted Cruz, hardly a dove of any kind, got in on the act during an appearance Tuesday night on Fox News. “We now know that intelligence was false,” said Cruz. “And without that predicate, there’s no way we would have gone to war with Iraq, and we know that now.” (The key moment in the video is at about the 5:15 mark.)

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  • Dominick Vila

    What was disrespectful was using false pretenses to invade a country that had nothing to do with 9/11, and was not a threat to us or our interests; causing the death of 4,500 American soldiers, maiming tens of thousands of American soldiers; slaughtering 600,000 Iraqis; forcing 2 million Sunnis to flee their country, after removing them from office and handing their jobs to Shias aligned to Iran; and now answering questions in a way that is insulting to the intelligence of the average American.
    Jeb understood the questions that were being asked, answered honestly, put his foot in his mouth, and gave his opponents an opening they can exploit to their advantage.

  • harviele

    Well, they do only want to look forward except when it comes to things that happened in Benghazi etc. Let’s not dwell on the criminal acts of George W. in sending our sons and daughters to Iraq based on information he knew was false at the time. It is a disservice to our armed forces to not investigate and expose the truth about why they were sent in to fight a war that should not have been fought and which also disrupted the entire region resulting in hundreds of thousands of deaths since as well as over four thousand Americans. The republicans want to complain about the danger of Iran? Then why would they remove a legitimate government and put in a Shiite government in Iraq? Iran is Shiite and the Shiite people, regardless of what country they are in, answer to the Supreme leader of Iran.

  • FT66

    I don’t see how Jeb Bush can survive this debacle of Iraq war. It is like he has touched the dynamite. May be his brother “W” can come out and rescue him by saying it was his mistake. Also people like Condi Rice should also apologise for all her crazy talk “mushroom cloud” she tried to sell to people.

    • charleo1

      I’m dating myself here. But remember that line from the movie, “Love Story.” Where being in love, meant you never had to say you’re sorry? Well, being a Right Wing Neocon, or as they are more commonly referred to, as war mongering idiots, who never miss a chance to be bombing/invading/pillaging/demagoguing, someone, somewhere in the World, for the sole purpose of anticipated financial gains, same thing. They love the troops, and also love America. So no apologies necessary. Heck, they deeply care about National Security, terrorism, Valery Plame, Joe Wilson, and the National debt. Our allies abroad, our standing in the World, the Iraqi people, and most of all the members of the of the Republican Party. Who’s support of Bush, and their belief in the retrospective wisdom of the Iraq War, has been unwavering. And so because of this never having to say you’re sorry for anything, none of these people need expect any apologies to be forthcoming either. Certainly not from Condi Rice, or Donald Rumsfeld. Scooter Libby, (Cheney’s, Chief of Staff,) or George Tenent, (CIA head) Paul Wolfowitz, or “Curve Ball,” (Cheney’s primary slam dunk intel provider,) VP. Cheney, President Bush. Or the long list of profiteers, who, along with Iran, are the only true winners of our now decades long war in Iraq. Halliburton, Black Water, Phillips, BP. and Exxon Petroleum. We should not be holding our breath. Because, saying you’re sorry, means one takes responsibility for their mistakes, and expects to be held accountable for them. It means they aren’t trying blame someone else, or share the blame with others. Being sorry necessarily means, one does a lot of soul searching, and self investigation. And at the end of the day, being willing to let the chips fall where they may. So as to make as certain as possible, they never happen again. And when has the Republican Party ever done any of those things?

  • FireBaron

    Gee, if you ask anyone associated with Dubya’s administration (with the possible exception of Colin Powell), they will tell you the real result as to why the Iraq War was a failure is Haliburton did not end up in control of Iraq’s energy resources, as Former VP Cheney hoped when he initially planned the whole thing.

  • Paul Bass

    Chicken hawks, all of them.

    “Let’s bomb every arab country that looks at us cross-eyed, but NOT Iraq, because we know how that will turn out?” Gimme a break.

    Buncha fu*king weasels, all of them. Tissue paper for backbones, a Yugo coughing by on 3 cylinders would blow them all away…

  • Daniel Jones

    Never look back, don’t ask questions–are these Repugnant flacks actual politicians or attempts to be the next Vernon Dursley?

  • Robert Cruder

    Don’t repeat old accusations about who fell for the neocon’s lies and who did not.

    They made plans as far back as 1998. Did duh-bya name Cheney as VP and allow himself to be conned like all of those others or was duh-bya in on the con?

    Jeb is a conspirator by association if he defends his brother. If he does not defend his brother then he is borderline criticizing the party for making hay from those same lies.

    Either way, those in-party problems are dwarfed by a nationwide “not one more Bush”.