Every issue is the same. The public needs the facts, and our leaders and would-be leaders have the responsibility to know and communicate the facts to the public. On every issue of importance there is an abundance of information available for free with a point and a click, and you would think presidential candidates and their staffs would give the gathering of facts due diligence. Here’s Rachel Alexander writing in a post just yesterday:
Only our bumbling Republicans could take the number one issue we have against Obama, losing to Islamic terrorism, and turn it into George W. Bush’s fault. Beginning with Jeb Bush, several Republican presidential candidates said recently they would not have gone into Iraq militarily had they known what we know now. The others are Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Ben Carson, Rick Santorum, Carly Fiorina, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
Iraq has fallen apart under Obama — not George W. Bush — and so it is absurd that Republican presidential candidates are scrambling to distance themselves not from Obama, but Bush. Islamic terrorism has become far worse under Obama.
Republicans had better go to school on the ABC’s ASAP. As I wrote almost eight years ago, if you can’t lead on the issue of Iraq you can’t lead on other isssues. Good information is so easy to find, even this website has linked enough information (see here, here, and here) for would-be presidents to get up to speed about what has happened in Iraq since 2003. Here’s a simple statement from Daniel John Sobieski over at American Thinker that even GOP presidential candidates should be able to grasp:
Ramadi is a defeat, the result of the precipitous withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq by President Obama against the advice of military minds who know better about these things than the former community organizer from Illinois.
So, were we right to take out Saddam? Both Victor Davis Hanson and Bruce S. Thornton posted an article last week that answers the question. Hanson reviewed history:
1. Who authorized the war?
The war was pushed by the Bush administration, but it was authorized by both Houses of Congress, with a majority of Democrats (29 to 21) joining Republicans in the Senate (49 to 1).
2. Just WMD?
The war was not just about WMD. Congress was on record as supporting 23 writs for the removal of Saddam Hussein by force, and at least 20 of them had little if anything to do with WMD.
3. Why 2002–03?
What immediately prompted the invasion plans of 2003 was not just the nation-building hopes of neoconservatives, but a number of recent developments in a post-9/11 climate.
There’s more — Hanson’s article should be read and absorbed by each presidential candidate and every staff member that covers foreign policy issues. Then those same people should read Bruce S. Thornton’s article:
We’re Still Dumbing Down the Iraq War
The truth about the danger of Saddam Hussein and why we went into Iraq.
Here is Thorton’s opening:
Jeb Bush tangled himself up recently when he tried to answer a dumb question on the intelligence failures about Iraq’s WMDs and their role in going to war with Saddam Hussein in 2003. I’m not interested in the media’s usual pointless chatter about the incident, or in the other Republican hopefuls who circled to plunge a spear in Jeb like the Greeks jabbing the dead Hector. More troubling is the continuing dumbing down of the context and circumstances that surrounded the decision to go to war.
There is no excuse for ignorance. Not any more. Scholars like Hanson, Thornton and many others have obliterated it.
ADDED POST SCRIPT: Also recommended reading is this article from today by David Patten:
Presidential Candidates Should Support The Iraq Invasion
We have every reason to believe the past 12 years would have been significantly worse with Saddam Hussein still in control of Iraq.
Image credit: americasmightywarriors.org — photo of Navy SEAL Marc Alan Lee, who fell at Ramadi.