Snow Shrugs Off Post-War Failures: ‘Everybody Gets It Wrong At The Beginning Of A War’

On Friday, former White House spokesperson Tony Snow was interviewed on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher.

Maher discussed how woefully unprepared the Bush administration was for post-invasion Iraq. “People paid in blood for him to learn” that more troops were needed for post-Saddam Iraq, Maher said to applause and cheers from the audience. “Even if this did work,” he said, referring to the surge.

Snow tried to shrug off Maher’s statements, declaring that “everybody gets it wrong at the beginning of war”:

MAHER: In fact, the smarter people in his administration said to do just that. “We need more boots on the ground. We need more security.” But because he’s stubborn and stupid, he said, “No, let’s do it Rumsfeld’s way. Let’s do it the light way.” So it took him five years to come around to what should have been done five years ago. And — and while he was learning on the job, people paid for that in blood. […]

SNOW: Well, wait a minute. Look, I don’t know where to start, but I’ll start at the beginning. Number one, when it comes to the war, everybody — it’s great to be a backseat general, and everybody gets it wrong at the beginning of a war. But there were plenty of — no, it’s true.

Watch a portion of the show here:

Snow added, “I think it’s impossible for anybody to get their arms around the whole thing. Anybody.” “Including the administration?” responded Mark Cuban. “Including you, me, yeah,” said Snow.


Snow seems to believe that no one could have predicted that fallout from the invasion, an attempt to exonerate the administration’s rosy view of post-invasion Iraq. Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi responded, “I didn’t get it wrong. We shouldn’t have gone.”

Not everyone got it wrong — just everyone in the Bush administration did.