Wolfowitz Spins His Iraq Can Pay For Its Own Reconstruction Statement, Claims He Meant After Conflict Ended
Fareed Zakaria decided to allow former Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz come on GPS for a bit of history revisionism on the Bush administration's decision to invade Iraq. Zakaria pulls a typical Chris Wallace move where he actually calls Wolfowitz out for not telling the truth during the interview but after allowing Wolfowitz to spin for a bit in response, let's the lie stand and moves on to another question. Heaven forbid he wouldn't want to be confrontational with him. Wolfowitz might not come back on his show for another cozy chat and more turd polishing. We couldn't have that, now could we?
After making excuses for their inadequate planning on the number of troops that would have been required to keep Iraq from falling into chaos, Zakaria asks Wolfowitz about his statement that Iraq would be able to pay for its own reconstruction.
ZAKARIA: No - and I think the point you make is fair, but I also think you are a very prominent statesman in a democracy, and there is some sense of accountability. So I - you know, I want to ask you, in a sense, a bottom line question.
You were asked again by - by a Senate committee, will - how much will this cost and you said, Iraq will be able to pay for its own reconstruction relatively easily. In fact, that part didn't work out. That was so - looking back -
WOLFOWITZ: (INAUDIBLE) Fareed. I was asked how much will the war cost. I said we have no idea how much the war will cost. I said Iraq can - unlike Afghanistan, Iraq is not going to be a permanent ward of international -
ZAKARIA: Right. You said we are dealing with a country that can finance its reconstruction and relatively soon. That's the exact (INAUDIBLE).
WOLFOWITZ: After the end of conflict. This war went on. In fact, it's - to some extent, it still goes on today, and at this point, I think Iraq is largely - I don't know the numbers now.
OK, I was somewhat -- the sense was the war wouldn't last for six, seven years, and that this was a country with substantial oil resources.
ZAKARIA: Yes, but what I'm trying to get at is a larger question, which is, looking back from where we are now, in 2010, you know, the United States has spent over a trillion dollars in direct expenditures in Iraq on the - on the war and the post war, however you want to describe it.
Two and a half million Iraqis, by the UN's estimates, have fled the country. Most have not come back. Then there's the number who have been killed. We don't know.
You think it was worth it?
WOLFOWITZ: Look, I - how you answer whether it was worth it, I mean, I don't know how you ask someone who's lost a loved one or who's been seriously maimed whether if it was worth it. That's a - I couldn't answer that for them.
I do think that we're better off and the world is better off without that regime there.
ZAKARIA: And we will be back with Paul Wolfowitz in a moment.
After the conflict which of course is never going to end. I don't think so Wolfowitz. Media Matters has his quote from 2003.
Wolfowitz: "We're dealing with a country that could really finance its own reconstruction." As Think Progress noted, then-Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz testified before Congress on March 27, 2003, that "the oil revenues of that country [Iraq] could bring between 50 and 100 billion dollars over the course of the next two or three years. Now, there are a lot of claims on that money, but that's --- we're not dealing with Afghanistan that's a permanent ward of the international community. We are dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction and relatively soon."
Relatively soon... not relatively soon after the conflict ends. And he thinks it was worth it even after all the money and lives that have been wasted. Of course it's always worth it to chickenhawks like Wolfowitz who are never the ones shouldering the burden for their decisions.