Hindsight is Golden


Here's an interesting moment from earlier today at a Cato Institute event on conservatives and foreign policy. Reps. Dana Rohrabacher, Tom McClintock, and Jimmy Duncan are asked how their fellow Republicans in Congress, looking back from 2010, feel about the decision to go to war in Iraq. Rohrabacher and McClintock both claim that virtually all of their colleagues believe the invasion was a mistake:

Kudos to Duncan, meanwhile, for being one of just six House Republicans with the courage and foresight to vote against the authorization of force in the first place.

NEXT: Alex Chilton, R.I.P.

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  1. If Rohrabacher and McClintock are right, then most Republicans are wrong. The invasion wasn’t the mistake, just the occupation. Sadaam should have been removed in the 1st Gulf War (or America should have just stayed out of that better yet). Leaving a psychotic anti-american dictator with a budding relationship with Al-quaeda funding jihadism from Iraq was not feasible. The sanctions regime was falling apart and the no fly zone was getting violated every week. Hell, he gave shelter to the guy who mixed chemicals for the first WTC attack.

    1. “with a budding relationship with Al-quaeda funding jihadism from Iraq was not feasible.”

      {{citation needed}}

    2. +1 Don’t get involved in Gulf War1 or finnish the job

      1. I meant finish as in ‘end it’, ‘complete it’.
        Not ‘Finnish it’ as in do it Finland style.

  2. The problem with that post was that the jihadists hated Saddam. Of course the invasion was a mistake.

    1. Really? Islamic Jihad and Hamas, who Sadaam funded, hated him? Ansar al-Islam, an al-quaeda affiliate, hated Sadaam for providing them shelter to operate in Iraq? Somehow I doubt it.

      1. Ansar Al-Islam operated in the Kurdish regions in northern Iraq. Hussein’s military forces were prevented from entering the Kurdish regions by US military protection of Iraqi Kurdistan since the end of the first Gulf War.

        (the one exception was when the leader of the Kurdish Democratic Party asked for Iraqi forces to aid him in a fight against the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan in the mid 1990s)

      2. Almost every Arab country funds Islamic Jihadists. Saudi Arabia? Syria? Egypt? Iran? And more. By that logic we need to remove all of then too. Saddam was sadistic, but so are the rest. And even when we got him out, there will be another to replace him – thats why we’re still there, 7 years later.

        1. And we support Saudi Arabia, Eygpt…these are our allies. You are bordering on treason and conspiracy mongering to even suggest that they support islamic fundamentalism! Watch your mouth son!

      3. Just because they took his money doesn’t mean they didn’t hate him.

        I’m pretty sure they hate the Shiite mullahs in Iran too. Doesn’t stop them from taking their money either.

        1. We actively protected Ansar Al-Islam and the MEK in their bases in N Iraq, mostly because they were directing their terrorism towards Iraq and Iran. It served its purpose at the time but the truth is that we protected Islamic terrorists (the MEK is also pseudo-Marxist) that both Iraq and Iran wanted to destroy. Eventually we blew them to dust, and I am not sure that the US ever had active contacts with them, but the picture was very complicated, something the Bush Admin could never wrap their brains around.

  3. “budding relationship with Al-quaeda funding jihadism from Iraq was not feasible”

    Really? we’re still on this? The guy was a fucking monster but he also hated Al-quaeda and “jihadism”. Hussein was about as secular as you can get in that part of the world.

    There was no “budding relationship” there was no relationship or connection at all between Hussein and Al Queda or the WTC attacks.

    1. After Gulf War 1, Saddam knew who his friends were. He was not Secular after that. He became outwardly ‘Islamic’, he put the Allahu Akbar in the flag, and put up a facade of being religious.

  4. Since our invasion, William F Buckley has written that had he known in 2002 what he came to know, he would have campaigned against the war. Buckley noted that the Hussein regime posed no “existential threat” to the United States.

    Former House Republican Leader Dick Armey has also stated that it was a mistake to invade Iraq, but when he had the chance to oppose it, he carried the ball for President Bush’s war.

    We all make mistakes. But when Congress makes a mistake, we end up paying for it for generations. And what are Congressman Rohrabacher and Congressman McClintock doing to get us out of Iraq?


      According to Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Barton Gellman, former Vice President Dick Cheney told Armey that Saddam Hussein’s family had direct ties to Al-Qaeda and that Saddam was developing miniature nuclear weapons. Armey then voted for the Iraq War, but after it became clear this was not true, stated that he “deserved better than to be bullshitted by the Vice President.”[11]
      Robert Draper’s Dead Certain: The Presidency of George W. Bush recounts a conversation in late summer 2002 between Armey and Cheney. Armey insisted that American forces would get “mired down” in Iraq if they invaded, but Cheney offered this assurance: “They’re going to welcome us. It’ll be like the American army going through the streets of Paris. They’re sitting there ready to form a new government. The people will be so happy with their freedoms that we’ll probably back ourselves out of there within a month or two.”[12]

      1. It is unbelievable the amount of people who bought into that bullshit.

        1. Sadly there are still people that believe it.

          1. Too true. The worst part is, they will believe it the next time around too.

        2. It would have worked, too, if it hadn’t been for you meddling kids!

      2. I don’t know what’s more reliable, Cheney’s “intelligence” or his pacemaker.

        Anybody who read more than a paragraph a day on the Internet could have figured out that there were NO links between Saddam and al Qaeda. If I figured this out well before the war, any of the clowns who voted for the war should be able to figure this out.

        Try and keep up, Repugs. The “I was duped” Sonatas for the World’s Smallest Violin got really old by early 2004.

        They’re going to welcome us. It’ll be like the American army going through the streets of Paris. They’re sitting there ready to form a new government. The people will be so happy with their freedoms that we’ll probably back ourselves out of there within a month or two.

        Assuming someone supposedly as wily as ol’ Crash Cart would actually say something this inane, was Armey hoping that by revealing he actually bought this, he might garner sympathy? Plan backfired.

        1. You “knew” that there was no connection between Saddam and Al Qaeda because you read too much or something of the sort. If you read a little more Hitchens you might know something else.

          1. Knight-Ridder reporters shot down pretty much every claim.

            How do you know there was one?

      3. What they leave out about the liberation of Paris and of France is that the Allies had an army of millions including a large French army and government under DeGaul who could make sure that anyone who did not welcome the liberation was taken care of. There was no plan on sending in a small army and then almost immediately dropping troop levels down to a mere token level. Those millions of soldiers were able to keep order and to do obvious things like picking up all the abandoned weapons so that they would not fall into the wrong hands

  5. So they knew it was a mistake at first, but just carrying it out to show people, they’re making a mistake.

  6. Yes, Saddam Hussein was great! Yay!

    1. Antiwar libertarians don’t defend Saddam Hussein. In fact antiwar libertarians opposed America’s policy of aiding Hussein’s government during the Iran-Iraq War – which Hussein started.

      The issue is the responsibility of the United States government to defend America. If the USA gets involved in crusades against evil governments which don’t pose a threat to Americans, we will be less prepared to defend against real threats.

      And if we undertake a policy that includes deaths of innocent civilians, we will not make ourselves popular anywhere.

      1. Not to mention we don’t have the money… I think in Gov. Johnsons interview he points out that something like $0.43 on every dollar spent to fight in Afghanistan is borrowed right now?

        1. I think it’s that forty-three cents of every dollar of federal spending is borrowed now.

          That pretty much means that every dollar of spending on Afghanistan is borrowed.

      2. Popularity is vastly over-rated. If it’s all about popularity the Japanese are most likely of any people to have a positive opinion of Americans so we better get busy and nuke everyone else too.

        International relationships should be trade orientated only.

        It’s possible to be popular for all kinds of wrong reasons. I’d prefer any popularity the USA has comes from a reputation for being square dealers in trade and keeping out of other people’s personal business.

  7. They knew the war was a mistake at first, but still carried it out to show people that they’re making a mistake.

  8. They knew the war was a mistake at first, but still carried it out to show people that they’re making a mistake.

  9. They knew the war was a mistake at first, but still carried it out to show people that they’re making a mistake.

  10. They just show people what they did was making a mistake.

  11. How fucking dare anyone out there make fun of Saddam Hussein after all he has been through.!

    He lost his sons, he went through several wars. He had two fuckin kids.

    His army turned out to be useless, pathetic, and then he was hung by his own people after being conviced of violating a law he wrote. All you people care about is?.. readers and making money off of him.

    HE’S A HUMAN! (ah! ooh!) What you don’t realize is that Saddam Hussein is making you all this money and all you do is write a bunch of crap about him.

    He hasn’t performed on the world stage in years. His novel is called “Begone, Demons” for a reason because all you people want is MORE! MORE-MORE, MORE: MORE!.

    LEAVE HIM ALONE! You are lucky he even wrote four novels for you BASTARDS!

    Perez Hilton talked about professionalism and said if Saddam Hussein was a professional he would’ve pulled it off no matter what.

    Speaking of professionalism, when is it professional to publicly bash someone who is going through a hard time.

    Leave Saddam Hussein Alone Please?. !
    Leave Saddam HUssein alone!?right now!?.I mean it.!

    Anyone that has a problem with him you deal with me, because he is not well right now – in fact he is dead.


  12. OK, we have a war which has resulted in at least 100,000 dead Iraqi civilians, more than 5000 Americans, tens of thousands of wounded. and has bankrupted America.

    But we still have people making stupid jokes in an attempt to ridicule the antiwar position! Well, they are entitled to freedom of speech also. What a country!

  13. Given that Iraq led to Obama which led to ObamaCare, I’d call that a failure.

    1. I agree that the Iraq war was a failure but we do not yet, as of this post, have Obamacare. We can still stop it if we keep calling. Call, email, if you have the time and ability visit the local office of your Congresscritter. We can still stop this thing. But we have to act now. This is game. Repealing it will be far more difficult than stopping it now. If your Congresscritter is a committed no vote call to thank him or her for voting no and make sure that person knows that the no vote is apreciated. If your congresscritter is a yes vote or undecided call to tell that person a yes vote will mean you will work your tail off to make sure he or she does not ever see political office again when he is up in November.


      1. Couldn’t Johnny have stopped at Obama and made his point?

        1. True, but even if Obama had never been elected it would still be a failure.

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  15. It will be hindsight when everyone finally agrees that assassination was the best option.

    So far I agree, so it’s one down and only 307,006,549 to go.

    1. I disagree with assassination. In the long run that would cause much more problems than it solves. If another country has a leader that is problematic enough, the whole country pays the price. It is unfair and seems wrong, and indeed it should be avoided at all costs, but in the end is probably better than a policy of assasination. Better for them, and for us, in the long run.

      1. I think what Ratko meant to say is that it would have been better if Saddam was the unfortunate victim an “accident”. You know, the type of accident where someone falls down an elevator shaft onto 40 bullets. Or slipping on a bannana peel, and falling into a cement mixer. In other words, we should have called in the Sicilians.

  16. Can we expect to see a video in 2017 of some Democratic Congressmen revealing that most of their colleagues now think that voting for the Health Care Bill in 2010 was a big mistake?

  17. Rohrabacher and McClintock both claim that virtually all of their colleagues believe the invasion was a mistake:

    Worse still the majority of Americans didn’t want the invasion. Give the people what they don’t want and live to regret it. Sadly, the people in power now learned absolutely nothing.

    There’s obviously a representation problem in our system when programs and policies are being railroaded against the will of the people. The hope and change that people voted for was the expectation that that would end. Instead, they’re getting twice as much of exactly what they don’t want.

    1. “”Rohrabacher and McClintock both claim that virtually all of their colleagues believe the invasion was a mistake:””

      I bet if you question them further, it’s not the invasion that was the mistake, but how it was executed. But they are not going to slam a republican administration on its ability to execute a war. It’s too important for them to keep republicans looking like can do people on national defense.

  18. Come on, most republicans love the war when it was touted as lasting days, or weeks, but not years. Some dems too.

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