No, Jeb, Invading Iraq Was Not a Good Deal

Invading Iraq gave Iran a religious ally, al Qaeda a new playground, and the Christian church a new onslaught of persecution.

Jeb Bush wants us to believe that everything wrong in Iraq is the fault of Clinton and Obama while everything done by his father and brother was “a good deal.” This kind of obvious wishful thinking is what could destroy a Republican victory in 2016. A Bloomberg report begins:

Jeb Bush defended some of his brother’s Iraq war decisions as president while also seeking to pivot the conversation toward warmer feelings some Americans had for George W. Bush in the aftermath of the terror attacks of Sept. 11.

The whole framing of the subject is damning. Yes, Iraq was invaded after 9/11, but it was not part of any real “aftermath” because Saddam Hussein and Iraq had zero to do with 9/11. The evidence of their involvement was far less than the evidence of Saudi involvement, including people in relationships with Bush business partners.

The Bush Administration had always wanted to kill more Iraqis, found advisors and experts who came up with a fantasy about how that would be better for us in the Middle East, and executed their plan by killing them on the pretext that Iraq was a direct threat to us so that we had a “preemptive” right to attack. They also lied about what it would cost and punished anyone in the Administration who said the price might be higher (even though we now know that they far underestimated the cost).

Speaking at a national security forum in Davenport, Iowa, on Thursday, the Republican presidential candidate acknowledged that his brother’s record on prosecuting the war and its aftermath wasn’t perfect as he tried to balance his own outlook and reconcile the implicit connection he has to some of his brother’s unpopular decisions.

“I think people have every right to be critical of decisions that were made,” the former Florida governor said. “In 2009, Iraq was fragile, but secure.”

Right, and in 2008 the solar energy industry was in great shape. This is what politicians do: they set up a situation that looks good while they are in office but that is completely unsustainable, and then blame the next guy when it blows up. Yes, Obama is a horrible president so it is easy and somewhat pleasant to hear someone blame him for everything that has gone wrong. But Iraq was never going to make it after we crippled the country. The fact that Republicans are constantly complaining that Obama removed American troops (even though he actually tried to keep them there) is itself a confession that Iraq was never going to be a functioning country. The only way it could nominally survive would have been as a permanent protectorate of the United States.

Since I quoted Pat Buchanan in a post I wrote the other day, let me now quote more of that column:

With the country united behind him after 9/11, Bush called for war on an “axis of evil” – Iraq, Iran and North Korea – that had nothing to do with 9/11. He then persuaded Congress to authorize an invasion of Iraq to strip it of weapons of mass destruction it did not have.

Cost: 4,500 American dead, 35,000 wounded warriors, $1 trillion dollars sunk, 100,000 dead Iraqis, half a million widows and orphans, a country ravaged and a Mideast now awash in war and bloodshed.

Political result: The Republicans lost both houses of Congress in 2006, and the White House in 2008 to an anti-war Democratic senator whose voting record was identical to that of Bernie Sanders.

Yet the leading establishment candidate of the Republican Party elites, in national polls and cash raised, is Jeb Bush, who took five days to concede the war his brother started may have been a mistake.

And the leading candidate of the Democratic Party, Hillary Clinton, voted for the war that proved a disaster and against the surge that staved off the disaster until the Americans departed.

Our Beltway elites are demanding that Trump apologize for his remarks about women. But when have they apologized for having inflicted this disaster upon our nation and the Middle East?

Buchanan is right and Jeb Bush is lying or delusional or both. The same goes for Hillary. The Iraq decision was bipartisan. That, by itself, should make you suspicious.