Drum on What Bushies Did and Didn’t Do Wrong in Selling the War

In light of the conversation currently going on in the comments between Enkidu and TeacherVet and others, here’s a piece by Kevin Drum that I can pretty much agree with: Marketing the war.

Was there a widespread belief in September 2002 that Iraq had an active WMD program? Yes. Did the Bush administration nonetheless lie, exaggerate, and dissemble repeatedly about that program? Yes. Should conservatives be concerned about that? Yes. After all, the next president to market a war this way might not be a Republican. They should be as interested in learning the truth about this — and preventing it from happening again — as the rest of us.

This was the key fact that, to me at the time, removed any credibility the Bush team might have previously had in calling for the invasion of Iraq: In the early months of 2003, as the case for war was clearly beginning to unravel, they rushed ahead and invaded anyway. In fact, you could argue that they rushed ahead and invaded precisely because the case was unravelling, because they recognized that waiting any longer was going to lose them their chance to go to war.

One Response to “Drum on What Bushies Did and Didn’t Do Wrong in Selling the War”

  1. ethan-p Says:

    Interesting read. What’s also interesting is the article linked from Marketing the War. Check it out (use bugmenot.com for login).

    At this point, I don’t think that it will take much convincing for most lies.com readers to believe that the war in Iraq was not undertaken for any of hte reasons originally given. However, this well-written account goes over the fact that the (faulty) intelligence was not universally believed, and was even questioned by our own sources. In any case, it wasn’t just a case of bad intelligence. It was a case of taking bad intelligence, intentionally overplaying it, squashing any dissenting opinion, and throwing some deliberate imbellishment into the mix (aka: lying).

    I do not believe that this is an impeachable offense. However. I’m beginning to wonder again if we actually would have been better off with a President Kerry. Perhaps his incompetence would prove equal to Bush’s. I’m still left with a feeling that at least we wouldn’t have re-elected a guy who’s lies have cost tens of thousands of lives.

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