But Norquist hit on an important point. While a majority of Americans — and indeed the rest of the world — know and have recognized that the Iraq war was a complete debacle that never should have taken place, those who dreamed of taking down Saddam Hussein long before 9/11 and cooked up the intelligence to make it happen either refuse to find any fault in the overall decision to invade Iraq in 2003 or their role in it.
The Daily Beast reported yesterday that some of the Iraq war’s boosters are expressing “few regrets.” The American Enterprise Institute foreign and defense policy studies vice president Danielle Pletka laid all the bad stuff that happened in Iraq on Barack Obama: “Had President Obama chosen not to withdraw from Iraq, it would be a different picture there.” Sure, Ms. Pletka.
And today, the war’s top architects seized the 10-year anniversary to play some historical defense. Donald Rumsfeld, George W. Bush’s Defense Secretary famous for painting a rosy picture about the war that bore no relation to reality, patted himself on the back for helping liberate Iraq:
10 yrs ago began the long, difficult work of liberating 25 mil Iraqis. All who played a role in history deserve our respect & appreciation.
— Donald Rumsfeld (@RumsfeldOffice) March 19, 2013
How liberating is it for the tens of thousands of Iraqis, including civilians, who were killed as a result of the war? We also wonder if the millions of Iraqis who are now refugees or internally displaced feel liberated. And as NBC News notes today, Iraq “is considered one of the most corrupt in the world, and many of the improvements promised have not materialized. Sectarian tensions regularly explode into open violence.” Liberation, indeed.
Richard Perle — who was chairman of the Defense Policy Board Advisory Committee during the run-up to the war — wrote in USA Today on Tuesday that it’s “senseless to argue” that because Saddam Hussein didn’t have WMD that “the decision to remove him was wrong.” Actually, Perle himself made that argument In 2009, he saying, “we would not have invaded” if Saddam had no WMD. Nevertheless, Perle says “the decision to remove Saddam was right,” it’s just that “the decision to occupy Iraq was not.”