Iraq War – (more than) 10 years later

With Jeb Bush fumbling an easy question from Meghan Kelly and Marco Rubio doing his Jeb Bush impersonation in front of Fox New’s Chris Wallace… I thought that I would repost this. It is a basic summary of why we went to war and how each one of those assumptions was wrong. 

I will not say anything new in this post. I will not say anything that is outrageous or over the top. The Iraq War was one of the many reasons that caused me to start writing a book and to start a blog.

I think that the Bush Administration had four main reasons for going to war in Iraq. Yellowcake from Nigeraluminum tubes to concentrate uranium, mobile biological labs and the Al Qaeda (Mohamed Atta) – Saddam Hussein connection.  It is now clear that none of these lines of argument were based in fact. I will not go into any of the details of why the above claims were lies. It should be clear to everyone by now. I will point you to Hubris and 500 Days as two very good books that go into detail about what happened and why. Also check out James Risen’s book State of War.

Cost of the War in Iraq

I guess the big question concerns what we gained from the Iraq War. Some will say nothing. Others will argue that we got rid of Saddam Hussein and that was worth it. I would argue that we squandered international good will. We fanned the flames of Muslim extremism. We played into the hands of Bin Laden by invading a country that was no threat to us or our allies. I would say that we turned a very backward nation into a battleground where there seems to always be war.

News Roundup: ISIS, Comets, BB King, Stevie Wonder

American Special Operations mounted an offensive against an ISIS military leader in Syria. Abu Sayyaf, described as a mid-level Islamic State leader in Syria, was targeted by Delta Forces. Exactly why he was targeted is unclear. The Islamic State leader was killed during the raid. There were no American casualties.

 

Here are some cool pictures of a comet developing its tail. These were taken from a satellite which we have orbiting the comet.

The great blues singer BB King died earlier this week. The blues is as American as apple pie and baseball. It is a genre that many of us don’t get. But, if you take some time and immerse yourself in it, you’ll find that BB King was the king of blues.

Here is his signature song, which he didn’t write, but he made it his own: “The Thrill is Gone.”

Artist: BB King
Tune: Lucille

Stevie Wonder had his 65th birthday last week. Here’s Beyonce, Ed Sheeran and Gary Clark, Jr’s tribute to Stevie from a few months back. “Fingertips,” “MasterBlaster,” and “Higher Ground,” which, in my mind, may be Stevie’s best tune.

Artist: Stevie Wonder
Tune: Higher Ground

One of the greatest things about YouTube is that you can find videos that you never knew existed. Sting and Stevie Wonder on the same stage. OMG!!! These are my two favorite artists of all time. Check it out!!!

Artists: Stevie Wonder and Sting
Tune: Higher Ground and Roxanne

Jeb Bush fumbles and stumbles his way through the week

Someone please explain this to me… Jeb Bush? What the hell?

Jeb Bush is a career politician. He has been planning on running for president for years, if not decades. He has been studying. He has advisers. He knew he was going to get the question about Iraq. This was a no-brainer. This was an easy softball down the middle of the plate from someone who throws nothing but softballs to conservatives – Megan Kelly.

I don’t believe for one minute that he misheard the question. But let’s go with that. Let’s assume that Jeb Bush misheard Megan Kelly’s question. Remember, the question was whether he would have gone into Iraq knowing what we know now. So, Jeb Bush calls into Sean Hannity’s radio show the next day. This is another friendly environment. No reason to be nervous. There’s no reason for the misspeak. As a matter fact, because this is radio show, you could have a script in front of you and read from it. Sean Hannity gives him the benefit of the doubt and asks him the exact same question again. Jeb Bush’s brain dead answer, “I don’t know what that decision would’ve been. That’s a hypothetical.”

This has little or nothing to do with the legacy of George W. Bush. Instead, this was a hypothetical question which anyone running for president should’ve anticipated. What Jeb Bush did was worse than fumble the ball. He basically got nervous and messed in his pants – multiple times. The only answer to the Iraq question has to be no. I would not have ordered the invasion. Then you can put whatever spin you want on that answer. Why? We now know every single premise that was put forth to go into Iraq was wrong. We know they were all wrong. Iraq was not developing nuclear weapons. We know that the aluminum tubes were not to be used for centrifuges, but instead were going to be used for missiles. Iraq had but was not currently developing chemical weapons. We also know that Iraq was not working with Al Qaeda. The three premises for the war were wrong. We know that now in 2015. We have the clarity of 20/20 hindsight.

I don’t blame Jeb Bush or any politician for an on the spot error. When you’re in these television or radio interviews, some of the questions can come out of left field. Yet, this was not a question from left field. This was a question that he should have planned for and he should have had a pat answer ready. Even if you give him the benefit of doubt that he screwed up on Fox News with Megan Kelly, what’s the excuse for calling in to Sean Hannity’s show only to do the equivalent of Roberto Durrant’s, “No Mas” (in the title fight versus Sugar Ray Leonard) and then cop out and say it was hypothetical? Of course it’s a hypothetical question.

Here’s how many thoughtful conservative should’ve answered that question – Megan, of course, this is a hypothetical question in which we can use our perfect 20/20 hindsight. We now know there were no weapons of mass destruction. We know there was no meeting in Prague. We know that the aluminum tubes were going to be used for missiles and not centrifuges. We know that there were no mobile chemical weapon stations. Therefore, there was no reason to invade Iraq. Using our perfect vision, we should have continued the UN inspections and expanded the no-fly zones in both northern and southern Iraq. Saddam Hussein was a wildcard. We needed to keep him boxed in.

The good news for Jeb Bush is that he fumbled the ball very early in this campaign. The bad news is no one is going to let him forget it.