In a post yesterday, I listed some of the people who have been so wrong about the decision to invade Iraq in 2003 that they should be completely shunned, even if they were not tried for crimes. But of course, I was dreaming. They are back all over the media, shifting blame away from their own culpability. Back in 2008, the Center for Public Integrity put out a report listing at least 935 false statements about the national security threat that members of the Bush administration made about the threat posed by Saddam Hussein’s Iraq in the two years following September 11, 2001.
Dick Cheney now has the sheer gall to say today: “Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many”. When you realize that he is not referring to George W. Bush but to president Obama, it confirms the fact that these people, and those who still continue to provide them with a platform, have no shame.
Critics are now saying that things were going absolutely swimmingly until president Obama withdrew US troops. Older readers will recall the similarity of that claim to how the US defeat in Vietnam was blamed on supposedly feckless politicians who tied the hands of the US military and prevented them from winning there. These fantasies of how victory was so close but lost due to political bungling seem to follow every military debacle.
Both Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert discussed the avoid-the-blame game that is now in full swing and both make the point that it was George W. Bush who, in the waning days of his presidency, signed the agreement that led to the withdrawal of US forces from Iraq.
Colbert in his astute way observed that because of the mess we have created, the US no longer knows who are its friends and who are its enemies, whom to support and whom to attack. This complicates its preferred strategy of bombing the hell out of people and hoping that solves whatever problem it has.
(These clips aired on June 16, 2014. To get suggestions on how to view clips of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report outside the US, please see this earlier post. If the videos autoplay, please see here for a diagnosis and possible solutions.)