These people were wrong, wrong, wrong

Now that the architects of the Iraq invasion are crawling out of the woodwork trying to justify their actions, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont has provided a useful service by compiling a list of some of the most egregious statements made by three of the worst culprits for misleading America back then when they thought that what they had was a glorious little war.

Dick Cheney:

  • “I think they’re in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency.” June 20, 2005 (Source)
    “I think things have gotten so bad inside Iraq, from the standpoint of the Iraqi people, my belief is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators. . . . I think it will go relatively quickly, . . . (in) weeks rather than months.” March 16, 2003 (Source)

  • “Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. There is no doubt he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies, and against us.” (Source)
  • “If we had to do it over again we would do exactly the same thing.” September 13, 2006 (Source)
  • “What we did in Iraq was exactly the right thing to do. If I had it to recommend all over again, I would recommend exactly the same course of action.” October 5, 2004 (Source)

Bill Kristol:

  • “Very few wars in American history were prepared better or more thoroughly than this one by this president.” July 15, 2007 (Source)
  • “This is going to be a two month war, not an eight year war.” March 28, 2003 (Source)
  • “There has been a certain amount of pop sociology… that the Shi’a can’t get along with the Sunni… there’s almost no evidence of that at all.” April 4, 2003 (Fox News w/ Bill O’Reilly)
  • “The first two battles of this new era are now over. The battles of Afghanistan and Iraq have been won decisively and honorably.” April 28, 2003 (Source)
  • “… there are hopeful signs that Iraqis of differing religious, ethnic, and political persuasions can work together. This is a far cry from the predictions made before the war by many, both here and in Europe, that a liberated Iraq would fracture into feuding clans and unleash a bloodbath.” March 22, 2004 (Source)
  • “… the continuing debates over the terms of a final constitution, have in fact demonstrated something remarkable in Iraq: a willingness on the part of the diverse ethnic and religious groups to disagree–peacefully–and then to compromise.” March 22, 2004 (Source)

Paul Wolfowitz:

  • “There’s a lot of money to pay for this. It doesn’t have to be U.S. taxpayer money. We are dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon.” March 27, 2003 (Source)
  • On weapons of mass destruction: “There’s no question in my mind that there was something there. There are just too many pieces of evidence and we’ll get to the bottom of it.” August 1, 2003 (Source)
  • “Some of the higher-end predictions that we have been hearing recently, such as the notion that it will take several hundred thousand U.S. troops to provide stability in post-Saddam (Hussein) Iraq, are wildly off the mark.” February 27, 2003 (Source)
  • “It’s hard to conceive that it would take more forces to provide stability in post-Saddam Iraq than it would take to conduct the war itself and to secure the surrender of Saddam’s security forces and his army. Hard to imagine.” Feb. 27, 2003 (Source)
  • “Peacekeeping requirements in Iraq might be much lower than historical experience in the Balkans suggests. There’s been none of the record in Iraq of ethnic militias fighting one another that produced so much bloodshed and permanent scars in Bosnia along with the requirement for large policing forces to separate those militias.” Feb. 27, 2003 (Source)
  • “These are Arabs, 23 million of the most educated people in the Arab world, who are going to welcome us as liberators.” Feb. 27, 2003 (Source)
  • “The Iraqi people understand what this crisis is about. Like the people of France in the 1940s, they view us as their hoped-for liberator.” March 11, 2003 (Source)
  • “The truth is that for reasons that have a lot to do with the U.S. government bureaucracy, we settled on the one issue that everyone could agree on, which was weapons of mass destruction, as the core reason.” May 28, 2003 (Source)

We have to remember that these people set the tone of the discussions and gave cover to all the war cheerleaders, including the liberal warhawks like Andrew Sullivan, Christopher Hitchens, Peter Beinart, Anne-Marie Slaughter and numerous others, to turn with a vengeance on those of us who opposed the war and accuse us of being clueless, even traitorous, hippies who did not have the sophisticated understanding of geopolitics that they had.

Humorist Andy Borowitz says that the Shiites, Sunnis, and Kurds in Iraq are all agreed on only one thing and that is that Dick Cheney should shut the hell up.


  1. colnago80 says

    It should be noted that Andrew Sullivan has admitted that he was wrong about his support for the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and today is adamantly opposed to further commitment of US forces in that country. By the way, I would hardly call him a liberal as he identifies with the Conservative Party in Great Britain.

  2. anne mariehovgaard says

    “It’s hard to conceive that it would take more forces to provide stability in post-Saddam Iraq than it would take to conduct the war itself and to secure the surrender of Saddam’s security forces and his army. Hard to imagine.”

    Uhh… no it isn’t. In fact, it’s very hard to imagine a situation where this would not be the case – unless you think everyone is automatically going to be on your side.

  3. Mobius says

    Well, you have to give Kristol some credit. Iraq wasn’t an eight year war. It was an eleven year war.

  4. Trebuchet says

    Oh come now, Mano. You know very well that the neo-cons planned and executed the war perfectly but were sabotaged by Barack HUSSEIN Obama who used his time machine to go back and destabilize the situation after ACORN stole the election for him. (/snark)

    Meanwhile, Ahmed Chalabi, who was pretty much Bush’s only source of information on Iraq despite not having been there since he was 14, is apparently being touted to replace Maliki. Probably just by himself, but still…

  5. Ed says

    The neo-cons who don’t change their minds about the war will ironically have to use the excuse trick that hardline communists have always used.

    –Collectivizing agriculture was a miserable failure.
    –No. The failure was caused by allowing a few exceptions.

    –Because we arrested all scientists and skilled workers who disagreed with us, our technology and industry is in shambles.
    –No. It’s because we didn’t arrest more of them sooner that they were able to committed sabotage on such a vast scale.

    –It wasn’t the Bush administration’s stupid and crazy plans that ruined everything, it was the nation’s failure to mindlessly support them. And perhaps Bush should have been a little more crazy/stupid.
    Uh….9/11. I SAID 9. FREAKIN` 11, so shut up, it’s the law.
    Oh yea, and how dare you criticize our brave troops for doing their job!? What do you mean you’re not? They were doing what Bush told If he gave such bad orders why would they obey them?

  6. Les Lane says

    There are those who insist that we should have stayed in Iraq until it was stable. There’s no indication of how long this might be. I suspect not years or decades, but rather centuries.

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