Now that the Iraq War — and why it happened — has been put back on the radar thanks to Jeb Bush, we need to keep an important fact in mind about how it happened. The whole “if we knew then what we know now” formulation that various Republicans are trying to flaot is beside the point. Bush and Cheney didn’t care about what they knew. All they cared about was what they wanted. And what they wanted was a war, come hell or high water.
Here’s how David Corn (spread across two paragraphs, edited together for clarity) puts it: “Bush and Cheney did not invade Iraq because they had been hoodwinked by bad intelligence. Bush, Cheney, and their comrades were hell-bent on invading Iraq — not because of inaccurate intelligence, but because of their own assumptions and desires. Asking whether the invasion should have happened knowing what is now known is an irrelevant exercise. For the Bush-Cheney gang, it truly did not matter what the intelligence said.”
I’ve been watching Jeb twist in the wind the last two weeks as he tries to figure out the right thing to say about the Iraq War in retrospect with some glee and a fair bit of sadness.
It’s not sadness for Jeb. I don’t really understand why Jeb is running for president (though he won’t say so, because he would instantly limit his fundraising by doing so); he seems to be running because he can’t think of anything else to do. Ultimately, I don’t care about Jeb one way or the other.
I’m sad for the country and what we all went through the last thirteen years. I’m sad for the lives that were shattered in a stupid, pointless war. I’m sad that those who made it happen have never reckoned with it or expressed remorse. I’m sad that people who dissented were made to feel they were unpatriotic and un-American.
Jeb twisting in the wind is karmic retribution for his brother’s stupid war of choice.