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Jeb Bush ‘Deal’ Breaker

Did you see that Jeb Bush today called overthrowing Saddam Hussein a “pretty good deal” [1] for America? That prompted Daniel Larison to tweet:

Larison added: [3]

Toppling Hussein wasn’t a “good deal” for Americans, and it certainly wasn’t for Iraqis. The Iraq war was an appalling, unnecessary disaster for all concerned, and anyone that doesn’t understand that should never be allowed near the presidency.

Yes. Good grief, yes. This is crackpot stuff from Bush. Any Republican candidate who runs in 2016 on a platform of defending the Iraq War will have his head handed to him, and deserves to.

I remarked flippantly the other day on Jeb!’s foreign policy speech, saying that nobody wants to hear a member of the Bush family lecture Democrats on how they’ve screwed up Iraq. Well, now I’ve read the entire speech [4], and it is substantively terrible. Excerpt:

Only Iraq’s Shiites, Sunnis, and Kurds can decide if they will live together and share power and resources in a way that will serve their interests, assuring the survival of their country. But these partners have to know that while the United States is there in measure, we are also there in earnest and for the long haul. They will come through for their country, but they’ve got to be certain that we have their back.

Is this 2005? We know that the Shiites, the Sunnis, and the Kurds don’t want to live together in the same country. What has the last decade taught us, anyway? Why on earth do we think that American diplomatic pressure can make this happen?

More Jeb!:

Our ultimate goal in Syria is to defeat ISIS and to achieve long-term political stability in that country. Defeating ISIS requires defeating Assad, but we have to make sure that his regime is not replaced by something as bad or worse. The last thing we need in Syria is a repeat of Libya, with its plan-less aftermath, where the end of a dictatorship was only the beginning of more terrorist violence, including the death of 4 Americans in Benghazi. Syria will need a stable government, and a transition free of more sectarian blood-letting will depend on the credible moderate forces we help unite and build up today.

Er … right, so we can make a plan, find the “credible moderates,” empower them, and sort everything out. Just like in Iraq. Again: is this 2005?

It gets worse, if you can imagine it. Anyway, it’s hard to top Larison’s summary judgment on the speech. [5] Excerpt:

The early excerpts from Bush’s speech didn’t fully convey how horrible his foreign policy vision for the region is. It is good that he has made his views known now so that there will be no illusion about the kind of foreign policy he would conduct if he were elected president.

The Middle East, especially Syria, Iraq, and ISIS, is an incredibly difficult problem. It is unreasonable to expect any American president to come up with the solution. But it is absolutely vital that the next American president not repeat the mistakes of the past. A Jeb Bush presidency would mean more war, more state-building, and more of the same old illusions that got us in such trouble there in the first place. If you liked the last Bush’s foreign policy, you’ll love this model.

UPDATE: Jeb! says he’ll not close the door on torture [6], even though the Catholic Church, of which he is a communicant, calls torture an “intrinsic evil.” [7] So there’s that.

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91 Comments To "Jeb Bush ‘Deal’ Breaker"

#1 Comment By Olivia On August 14, 2015 @ 12:25 pm

Mr. Dreher, I obviously disagree with you very passionately on several issues, particularly abortion and (most of all) marriage equality, but I increasingly respect your foreign policy views the more I post here.

And to put it simply: yikes. Not sure why Bush thinks this is a winning argument. A Bush saying that the Iraq War was a good idea? The country will embrace him with open arms, I’m sure.

#2 Comment By Franklin Evans On August 14, 2015 @ 1:14 pm

The following is deliberate sarcasm motivated by intense disrespect.

Well, Jebbie, looks like you really stepped into it (your mouth) with both feet. Your brother’s expedition into Iraq benefitted Haliburton and their suppliers, first and foremost. Follow the money! you stupid twit.

Don’t feel bad or isolated. I fully expect some of your fellow candidates to have saliva-soaked shoes (or socks) at some point. In the meantime, you might want to consider how emphatically you are demonstrating the old cliché How do you know a politician is lying? His lips are moving…

#3 Comment By Kit Stolz On August 14, 2015 @ 1:37 pm

Agreed — but as Sands remarks above, Jeb!’s stance is in line with GOP voter sentiments on Iraq, according to polls.

The real question is: Why is the GOP base so out of touch with reality — and the rest of the country?

#4 Comment By zorro On August 14, 2015 @ 1:52 pm

The more I think about this the more interested I get in who will run for a third (fourth? fifth?) party. Because I really can’t stand either Bush or Clinton.

#5 Comment By steve On August 14, 2015 @ 2:01 pm

Elect Jeb! If you liked Iraq in 2004, you are gonna love Iran in 2018!

Steve

#6 Comment By Tony On August 14, 2015 @ 2:21 pm

I have been wanting to laugh off Trump all along so far but his competition is really making him seem more viable. Bush is dreadful; but Rubio, Walker, Christie, Cruz even Rand Paul has become bellicose on foreign policy. At least Trump’s plan to seize Isis’ oil makes some semblance of sense.

I really think the only way for the Democrats to win in 16 is for the Republicans to fall all over themselves to be just like W and so far when it comes to Iraq, Iran and war in general they are doing just that. What a catastrophe this next election is shaping up to be.

#7 Comment By Kolya Krassotkin On August 14, 2015 @ 2:28 pm

Look at Jeb! and the other “serious” GOP candidates, if you want to understand why so many conservative hoi poloi now support that “silly” man Trump.

If Jeb! is the GOP’s candidate, then I will proudly vote 3rd party. Apparently, political parties the gods would destroy they first drive insane.

#8 Comment By Lord Karth On August 14, 2015 @ 3:40 pm

BT3 (Bush the Third) can prattle on about military action in the Middle East all he likes, but in point of fact he will have to reckon with the Reality that there is no way the country is going to choose to afford it. The manpower and resources simply are not going to be there.

Any new funds that may be found will almost certainly go towards expanding elderly entitlements. Boomer scum still number in the millions, and they vote.

Plus, even if extra $ was to be found, it will take years to build the forces back up to the point where a President could consider any kind of foreign adventurism.

So BT3’s carrying on can be best described as a tale told by an idiot, to a room full of fools, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

Next problem.

Your servant,

Lord Karth

#9 Comment By Glaivester On August 14, 2015 @ 6:02 pm

Ugh. I bet every GOP candidate on the stage last week, save Rand Paul, if asked, would say the Iraq War was a good idea. I hope in the next debate someone actually asks that.

Donald Trump specifically mentioned in the debate that he had said that the invasion was a mistake back in 2004 (whether he meant 2003 or whether he had said this a year after the invasion I do not know). This, despite not having been asked any questions about it, and as a prelude to answering some other question (he wanted to get it in because some other candidate had been asked a question about it).

So there is at least one other candidate who would not only answer that the war was a mistake, but will go out of his way to point it out even if not asked.

#10 Comment By steve On August 14, 2015 @ 6:35 pm

“Barack Obama is responsible for the rise of ISIS. Under his administration, the US sabotaged Assad and weakened Assad to the point that the Syrian government lost control of the territories in east Syria ISIS now controls.”

Nope. We haven’t done anything even remotely effective against Assad. Assad started this by trying to brutally clamp down on his own population. IS, funded and backed by the Gulf Coast states, was the Sunni response. However, IS was nothing much to worry about until Saddam’s old military elite joined their effort. Until then, they were mostly a bunch of head choppers. After they joined they had expertise with logistics, tactics artillery and even armor. If anyone gets primacy in cause for that, it should probably be Maliki.

Steve

#11 Comment By panda On August 14, 2015 @ 6:36 pm

“Actually, Gob Bluth’s name was (i suspect) a sort of parody of Jeb’s. (GOB = George Oscar Bluth, Jeb = John Ellis Bush).

Oh yes- of course, and clearly the dynamic between the “smart” Michael and the “dummy” Gob who becomes company president is a send-off to the famous family dynamic. In general, I feel that if anyone ever writes a panoramic history of the US in the Bush 2 years, Arrested Development should be their guide..

#12 Comment By panda On August 14, 2015 @ 6:38 pm

“I have been wanting to laugh off Trump all along so far but his competition is really making him seem more viable. Bush is dreadful; but Rubio, Walker, Christie, Cruz even Rand Paul has become bellicose on foreign policy. At least Trump’s plan to seize Isis’ oil makes some semblance of sense.

The problem with this plan is of course that ISIS doesn’t have all that much oil- the Kurds control most of the northern Iraqi oil fields, and Syrian oil wells are basically scraping the bottom.

#13 Comment By collin On August 14, 2015 @ 6:48 pm

Now Jeb is Iowa singing the praises of his foreign policy advisor Paul Wolfowitz and they will devise a plan to end the terrorist evil.

At this rate, he is going claim his Brother’s only mistake is he did not invade Iran the same time as Iraq in 2003! And then he claim if elected President he will personally take a chain saw to the Iran nuclear deal and order bombing of Tehran in January 2017.

#14 Comment By hari.seldon On August 14, 2015 @ 6:52 pm

Plus, even if extra $ was to be found, it will take years to build the forces back up to the point where a President could consider any kind of foreign adventurism.

Lord Karth,
You lack of faith in our political elite (particularly the Republican Political Elite) is shocking. If they have to steal from Peter, borrow from from Paul and shaft every single Social Security Recipient and Pensioner to get their hands on the cash needed to all that beautiful black gold the good lord saw fit to put under someone else’s sand, they’ll do it in a heartbeat without thinking about it twice.

As for building the Armed Forces up, we have close to 1.5 million people on active duty, another 800,000 in reserve and an unknown amount of would be mercenaries more than willing to take our coin, we spend close to a trillion dollars a year on our military ($600 billion armed forces, $60 billion Veteran’s Administration, $15 billion Dept of Energy plus miscellaneous military related programs), when you take into account all the personnel available and all the equipment at hand, there is nothing to prevent us from invading any country outside the EU, Israel, China, Russia, India & Pakistan.

#15 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On August 14, 2015 @ 6:59 pm

NFR: Among the born, you mean. (Sorry, it was there.) — RD

I’ll see you and raise you: If the choice is between 100,000 first trimester abortions, or 100,000 dead soldiers, many of whom have wives and children (some would have husbands even), most having parents now living…

…would you really consider those to be equal catastrophes? Really?

How about 100,000 first trimester abortions vs. 100,000 civilians ages 2 to 89 killed in their homes by errant artillery fire?

Narrow choices like this are fallacious, in that nothing ever comes down to a neatly controlled arrangement where mommy has one thing in one hand, and one thing in the other hand, and you can have one or the other but not both. Still, it was there.

This is on the day in which Brent Scowcroft, the last great Republican foreign policy hand, came out in favor of the Iran deal.

Good for him. Its a bad deal, but its better than all the other options available. Life is like that sometimes.

GKC has a great idea: reopen the whole Sykes Picot treaty, and draw new boundaries which reflect the population actually living there, not the convenience of the European colonial powers. It may, however, be too late, and impossible to do without an overwhelming military power moving in to impose the solution. I don’t think the UN is up to it, and I know Britain and France aren’t. Neither is the USA, for reasons Lord Karth succinctly describes.

#16 Comment By Philly guy On August 14, 2015 @ 7:05 pm

M-Young: I disagree with you 99 percent of the time, but nazis do not post videos of Tom Hanks rapping.

#17 Comment By E. Potson On August 14, 2015 @ 7:44 pm

Olivia: “And to put it simply: yikes. Not sure why Bush thinks this is a winning argument.”

Math. Republicans have never nominated a crazy person to be president. Within the past 70 years, the most “extreme” candidates the GOP nominated were Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan, respectively, a U.S. Senator and a former two-term governor of the largest state in the country. That part of the Republican party that supports Donald Trump* just isn’t that large (probably less than 25%).

The rest of the party supports a candidate that believes the very things that Jeb believes about the Iraq War. There’s more political upside for Jeb in the primaries by appealing to the voters who aren’t upset over the war than there is by going after those who are upset over it.

What this tells us is that Jeb has real concerns about not winning the nomination. His campaign used to talk about avoiding the mistake Romney made: running so far to the Right in the primaries that he became too extreme for the general election. By embracing positions now that he knows are toxic in the general election he’s showing that he’s genuinely worried about not winning the nomination. Or, he’s just a horrible politician.

*I don’t think Trump is actually crazy; that’s just the common perception of him. I think his candidacy in the GOP primaries is very rational for all the reasons Glaivester and Noah have laid out in previous comments.

#18 Comment By Glaivester On August 14, 2015 @ 8:05 pm

The worst part is that you’re going to vote for [Jeb].

I voted for Howard Phillips in 2000, Michael Peroutka in 2004, and Chuck Baldwin in 2008 (heck, I tried to get him on the ballot, and when I could not, I went through the paperwork to make him an official write-in candidate in Maine). I voted GOP once, for Romney, because Obama’s immigration policies were so destructive.

So, no, I won’t vote for Jeb.

That is, I think, what Trump is talking about when he talks about a third-party run. If the nominee is some loser like Bush, he is going to run against him.

#19 Comment By Glaivester On August 14, 2015 @ 8:07 pm

I hypothesize that this speech was not for the Republican base, but rather was to signal to his donors that he will keep the defense contract gravy train flowing if elected.

BINGO.

#20 Comment By Charlieford On August 14, 2015 @ 9:03 pm

“… a majority of Americans now support sending ground troops into Iraq to fight ISIS . . .”

A majority of Republicans, but not of Americans, it would appear.

#21 Comment By DeepSouthPopulist On August 14, 2015 @ 9:18 pm

You’d think that someone who has actually served in the armed forces of an ethnostate — one conducting an occupation– would be more careful about calling folks ‘Nazis’.

What was his role? Was it direct combat or a supporting role in resolving the Palestinian problem?

Those are rhetorical of course. Between the contributors here who live in all white or white Asian middle or upper middle class bubbles and those who served in the armed forces of nationalists state I’m beginning to wonder if there is even one credible critic of the far right in these comments.

And for the record, there are exactly zero Nazis here.

#22 Comment By Sands On August 14, 2015 @ 9:32 pm

“Is it the GOP base that wants this or the GOP donors? There is a difference between the two.”

Ok, the base that’s been brainwashed by the propaganda of the big money donors wants to hear it. I live in the most red part of super duper red Texas, and I can assure you that the base believes that the Iraq war was a good thing,but Obama screwed things up when withdrew the troops. And what’s even better is,they are not even aware that Bush was the one who agreed to the time line for that withdrawal. Just look at the polling or turn on Fox News sometime.

#23 Comment By panda On August 14, 2015 @ 10:07 pm

“And for the record, there are exactly zero Nazis here.

I should have been careful with my language regarding Nazis and use the more neutral term white nationalits, but the guy ranting about violent revolutions, solving the Black problem, and “fumigating” cultural liberals is on rather thin ice when debating terminology, no?

And for the record: yes, Israel is an ethnostate, as, is for example, Germany or Greece or Turkey or the Czech republic, and to get there all those states did horrifying things (and horrifying thngs were done to them). All of which makes your advocacy of America turning into an ethnostate even more grotesque, doesn’t it?

#24 Comment By Reinhold On August 15, 2015 @ 1:19 am

“And for the record, there are exactly zero Nazis here.”
“I should have been careful with my language regarding Nazis and use the more neutral term white nationalists….”
DSP is a Strasserite, whether he owns it or not. [8]. I don’t say that as an epithet, I really think it’s accurate.

#25 Comment By German_reader On August 15, 2015 @ 10:15 am

@panda:

“And for the record: yes, Israel is an ethnostate, as, is for example, Germany”

This statement is bloody ridiculous. You might have been somewhwat right back in the 1980s or the early 1990s when naturalization procedures were much more restrictive, and when “ethnic Germans” from the former Soviet Union (who in many cases were heavily russified however) were encouraged to immigrate to Germany. But even back then, it would have been an overstatement to call Germany an “ethnostate”, and it certainly isn’t one today. Dual-citizenship has been introduced (mainly for the Turkish community), there’s significant immigration from the poorer Eastern European EU members like Bulgaria and Romania, a record number of asylum seekers is coming to the country (about 500 000 to 600 000 this year), and the entire media and political establishment is unanimous in pro-immigration sentiment.
I’m not against Israel and regard its attempt to keep the country as a Jewish nation state as mostly legitimate…but seriously, when you’re claiming that today’s Germany is an “ethnostate”, you’re either being disingenuous or you just don’t know what you’re talking about.

#26 Comment By Uncle Billy On August 15, 2015 @ 12:51 pm

“Jeb!” is “W” without the cowboy boots. More Neocon sewage. No thanks.

#27 Comment By Johnny F. Ive On August 15, 2015 @ 1:37 pm

We have a huge problem with the military industrial surveillance complex. Jeb was speaking to them and said Iraq was a good war (good for them obviously): [9]

Seriously, can we pay them to do something that can benefit the country if they must get a hold of public funds?

#28 Comment By panda On August 15, 2015 @ 2:54 pm

“This statement is bloody ridiculous. You might have been somewhwat right back in the 1980s or the early 1990s when naturalization procedures were much more restrictive, and when “ethnic Germans” from the former Soviet Union (who in many cases were heavily russified however) were encouraged to immigrate to Germany. But even back then, it would have been an overstatement to call Germany an “ethnostate”, and it certainly isn’t one today. Dual-citizenship has been introduced (mainly for the Turkish community), there’s significant immigration from the poorer Eastern European EU members like Bulgaria and Romania, a record number of asylum seekers is coming to the country (about 500 000 to 600 000 this year), and the entire media and political establishment is unanimous in pro-immigration sentiment.”

To be honest, I didn’t know about the dual citizenship: all I knew about the German emigration policy is that ethnic Germans could emigrate to Germany from Russia, but that Turks could not become German citizens. If that had been changed, then mea culpa. Again: my point is simple: the fact that the same people who dream about America as ethnostate of white folk (and of course, American whites are not an etnicity under most definitions of the word) are using Israel as hand waiving and distraction device.

#29 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On August 15, 2015 @ 3:28 pm

To the extent that any analogy sharpens the focus of a discussion, I think there is some merit to comparing DSP with the Strasser brothers. We should of course remember how Hitler disposed of the Strasser brothers, and who he cut deals with when he did so.

We also should remember that analogy is proof of nothing, although it can illustrate a point, when it is thoughtfully constructed.

#30 Comment By DeepSouthPopulist On August 15, 2015 @ 4:59 pm

Reinhold,

There is a lot in Nazism I reject in total such as German supremacism, belief in racial hierarchies, belief on interior races, the so-called leadership principle, and the notion that seeking lebensraum and genocide are valid. Strasserism put more emphasis on the socialism than the nationalism, but, ultimately, Strasserism is still a species or variant of Nazism bringing along with it everything that comes with that package. So, no, I don’t identify with Strasserism, or any form of Nazism. Far-right movements in the 21st century if they ever appear will have to be for these times not the 20s-30s.

#31 Comment By JonF On August 15, 2015 @ 6:11 pm

Re: BT3 (Bush the Third) can prattle on about military action in the Middle East all he likes, but in point of fact he will have to reckon with the Reality that there is no way the country is going to choose to afford it.

While you are probably right that the country will not choose to afford it, it’s not like we couldn’t. History is full of examples of “broke” nations that nonetheless found ways to conduct wars when need (or desire) arose. France– at least its government– was very broke in the early 1790s, and in fact its main rivals were in bad financial shape too. yet the French Revolutionary Wars still happened.

#32 Comment By DeepSouthPopulist On August 15, 2015 @ 11:41 pm

Trump went after Citizens United. I honestly think it’s to put matters of style aside and listen to what the man has to say.

[10]

#33 Comment By antodav On August 16, 2015 @ 12:47 am

He is a carbon-copy of his brother. No difference at all.

#34 Comment By Lord Karth On August 16, 2015 @ 3:50 am

JonF writes: “While you are probably right that the country will not choose to afford it, it’s not like we couldn’t. History is full of examples of “broke” nations that nonetheless found ways to conduct wars when need (or desire) arose. France– at least its government– was very broke in the early 1790s, and in fact its main rivals were in bad financial shape too. yet the French Revolutionary Wars still happened.”

I doubt that the US could, even if the central government found a way to borrow/print the needed money. Modern military forces require complex and expensive munitions and equipment, not to mention the infrastructure to build them.
The infrastructure itself has to be built, workers trained, soldiers recruited and trained. Those things take time. Years, at a minimum.

In addition, bear in mind that the US military is much reduced in numbers from what it was after WW2 and even at the height of VietNam. We don’t have the capability at the present time to muster more than 430,000 combat troops. To launch, for example, another Iraqi Conquest War would require an occupation force of (minimum) 500,000 to hold down the entire country to the point where insurgent activity could be kept down to a minor roar. That was the central government’s main mistake the first time—insufficient forces to dominate the country, not just occupy the most strategic points. Want to wage conventional war against Iran ?
Rotsa rotsa ruck, Jebbie. It can’t be done with the conventional resources available.

Besides, any such conventional invasion of Iran would be resisted quite strongly by the Iranians themselves—and I flatly refuse to bet against Teheran receiving MUCH help from Beijing and Moscow in that event. One hopes that the Joint Chiefs of Staff have come up with a way to tell whoever the Commander-in-Chief is that an invasion of Iran is a lousy idea.

But remember this: under carefully controlled conditions of temperature, pressure, heat and humidity, the Chief Executive does as he (or she) damn well pleases in such matters.

You’ve been warned.

Your servant,

Lord Karth

I stand by my earlier statements. Now I’m going to eat all the food in the Captcha pics; it’s time for my late-night snack….

#35 Comment By MH – Secular Misanthropist On August 16, 2015 @ 6:51 am

@DeepSouthPopulist, if I recall correctly from your previous writing you dislike the Republicans, and I would imagine the Democrats as well. The US uses first past the post system which inevitably results in a two party system.

Who could you vote for, or do you view voting as worthless? If the latter how do you think you can effect the changes you seem to desire?

#36 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On August 16, 2015 @ 10:43 am

Want to wage conventional war against Iran ? Rotsa rotsa ruck, Jebbie. It can’t be done with the conventional resources available.

Lord Karth is the most effective spokesperson for the weapons agreement with Iran. Its the least bad deal available.

#37 Comment By panda On August 16, 2015 @ 11:18 am

Re: the people that think that Bush only speaks to neo-cons and donors. This morning, Trump announced that a) America should annex the Iraqi oil fields and b) he is getting advice from John Bolton.

Please, tell me more that Trump is all about the base’s disgust with the bush years..

#38 Comment By Hector_St_Clare On August 16, 2015 @ 3:45 pm

Israel and Greece are ethnostates in somewhat of different way than most European countries I think, because in Israel and Greece the definition of ethnicity spans both descent and religion. If I moved to Greece, converted to Orthodoxy and started speaking Greek as my mother tongue I would be constitutionally defined as a Greek, and likewise if I moved to Israel and became Jewish.

#39 Comment By Reinhold On August 16, 2015 @ 3:58 pm

“Barack Obama is responsible for the rise of ISIS. Under his administration, the US sabotaged Assad and weakened Assad to the point that the Syrian government lost control of the territories in east Syria ISIS now controls.”
Actually, one of the major events leading to the establishment of Daesh was Assad deliberately opening a Syrian prison which housed hundreds of al-Qaeda and other top Islamist soldiers, as a means of unleashing Islamist militias on the FSA and creating an internal Islamist war with al-Nusra Front. So Assad is very much personally responsible for the rise of Daesh, and very cynically so; it has certainly bitten him in the ass, though.
“Strasserism put more emphasis on the socialism than the nationalism, but, ultimately, Strasserism is still a species or variant of Nazism bringing along with it everything that comes with that package. So, no, I don’t identify with Strasserism, or any form of Nazism.”
Fair enough. I just thought it was the nearest precedent for your working class variant on––excuse the term––’fascism.’ What then do you think of George Sorel and national syndicalism?

#40 Comment By leonard page On August 17, 2015 @ 10:07 pm

Jeb Bush strikes again. Understand that Bush III represents the nearly extinct, compassionate-conservative, moderate wing of the Republican party. Last month, he said he wanted to “phase out Medicare”; more recently he said “I’m not sure we need half a billion dollars for women’s health issues”; now he tells a group of military contractors that our Iraq war “turned out to be a pretty good deal”.

Just image the Bush II team truthfully telling us in 2003: “Here’s the plan: To make Iran more powerful, we’ll take out Iran’s avowed enemy, the secular Saddam. We have no reliable evidence that he was involved in 9/11 or has wmds. Still, he is a bad man with lotsa oil and we only support nice, friendly dictators. Military contractors will make billions.. It’ll only cost us over 4,000 American lives, thousands more Americans gravely wounded in body and spirit, and around $2 trillion. Our country will be forever vilified for twisting and massaging intelligence, lying,violating the just war doctrine, torture, destroying Iraq and killing several hundred thousand Iraqis. We will fuel our own fundamentalist religious bigots against the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims. Our invasion and occupation will trigger a worldwide surge in anti-Americanism and years of chaos in the Middle East.

The argument that Iraq “turned out to be a pretty good deal” is as absurd as the current spin for scuttling the pending Iran treaty – because it will somehow trigger more negotiations and a better settlement – rather than either war or resumption of Iran’s A Bomb program.

The same neo-cons, who gave us this mess in Mesopotamia, now say the mess is really Obama’s fault – for withdrawing troops “prematurely”. No matter that Bush II signed an agreement with Iraq on December 14, 2008 promising to remove all US troops by the end of 2011. Who can forget that famous Baghdad press conference – with W dodging flying shoes?

Leonard Page
Cheboygan

#41 Comment By Big Ram On August 18, 2015 @ 8:13 pm

@leonard page “Understand that Bush III represents the nearly extinct, compassionate-conservative, moderate wing of the Republican party.”

Not at all. Bush III has morphed into a pretty scary Big Government type. He has actually called on Congress to reverse itself on NSA domestic spying. He wants MORE surveillance of Americans, not less. Combine that with his globalism, his waffling on the decision to invade Iraq and his fervent interventionism in other areas and it’s obvious that he has “evolved” toward the extreme right.