You know, it is always so nice that officials of previous administrations can come out and admit that “there were mistakes”. Of course they can. Now, in hindsight, the American people cannot touch them.
Just to be clear; Saddam Hussein’s Iraq was the same country just before invasion had no navy, no airforce, and a poorly assembled army. There was no al-Qaeda in Iraq before 9/11 or after. They found fighter jets buried in the sand for crying out loud. And it’s not like the Iraqi military put up that much of a fight. What was it; a coalition convoy all the way to Baghdad?
As you can find here on my blog and other places; the government during the 90s wanted to fly a U-2 spy plane over Iraq in hopes that Saddam would shoot it down. The Project for the New American Century wrote many letters to then-President Clinton urging him to invade Iraq.
“I do believe I would take Saddam Hussein out of power again, but of course in the rebuilding of Iraq … I would do things differently,” Rice said. “I think we put too much emphasis on Baghdad and not enough emphasis on the provinces. Perhaps we didn’t fully understand the degree to which the society would start to come apart as a result of being held in tyranny for all those years.”
“Didn’t fully understand the degree to which the society would start to come apart?” What part of common sense did the Bush administration miss? Wasn’t it Dick Cheney in 1994 who said that if we toppled Saddam Hussein; Iraq would become a “quagmire“? But, of course, Dick Cheney was a member of PNAC (Project for the New American Century). Along with Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Jeb Bush, and Bill Kristol.
“Sometimes things that look terrific at the time look pretty bad in retrospect, and vice versa, so ultimately this is a story that will be written in history.”
From where I am sitting; the legitimacy and legality of the Iraq invasion and later “success” looks pretty bleak to me.