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Howard Dean Calls Out Dan Senor: Let's Not Revise History On Iraq

Howard Dean called out neocon Dan Senor for his attempt to blame the rise of ISIS at President Obama's feet.
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No matter how wrong these Iraq war cheerleaders like Dan Senor have been, our corporate media keeps having them on over and over and over again for their advice on foreign policy. That was the case again this Thursday on MSNBC's Morning Joe, where Senor is a regular fixture, but this morning he had former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean there to call him out for his attempt to lay the rise of ISIS at President Obama's feet.

We've heard this song before, since it's the same one they're all singing, as John McCain did right after President Obams's speech last night when he was yelling over Jay Carney. This conversation wasn't quite so hostile and Dean actually had a chance to make his points, although he did briefly find himself being talked over by Senor and hosts Brzezinski and Scarborough when they wanted to move onto the next topic instead of letting him finish.

SCARBOROUGH: Dan Senor, let's start with you because Dick Cheney is going around Washington saying he was right all all along, a lot of neocons saying the same thing. You've got Barack Obama back in Iraq. You've got Barack Obama arming the Syrian rebels. You've got Barack Obama now committing to war against the “JV team.” So does that make people like you and Dick Cheney say “I was right”?

SENOR: Well, I don't think only Dick Cheney was right. I also think Sec. Clinton was right. I think David Petraeus was right. I think a whole range of... Leon Panetta was right. A number of officials inside the Obama cabinet and outside, critics from outside like Vice President Cheney and myself and others argued that 2011 was a key moment. We completely withdrew forces from Iraq and we completely disengaged from Syria. And I think those two decisions opened up an enormous vacuum in the region and we are seeing now the consequences of that vacuum.

SCARBOROUGH: Howard Dean?

DEAN: That's a ridiculous revisionist history. First of all, it was Cheney that got us into this in the first place. If we hadn't been into this we wouldn't see ISIS. Secondly we withdrew from Iraq on George Bush's agreement. He was the one that negotiated our departure and the reason we didn't stay in part was because they wouldn't give our troops immunity, and any president would have to do that.

This, what's happening, first of all, I support exactly what the president is doing, and secondly, this is exactly the problem that I predicted in 2000 and 2003, that as a result of our invasion of Iraq, we were going to see a split Iraq into three parts and I said at the time al Qaeda, but really it's of course now ISIS, was going to have a major effort in Iraq. And that's exactly what's happened. Let's not revise history after the fact.

SENOR: Howard, with all due respect, it's Sec. Clinton, David Petraeus, Leon Panetta, that's who your beef is with, because they were actually arguing for some kind of engagement. They wanted to leave thousands of forces in Iraq in 2011 and thought it could be accomplished.

DEAN: They couldn't... they couldn't leave...

SENOR: President Obama did not want to leave forces and in fact he got all our forces out and then he ran in 2012 arguing that he's the guy that got all our forces back. So you can't say now, hey he tried. His hands were tied. That's not what he was saying at the time.

DEAN: Dan, we got our forces out based on the agreement that George Bush made with Maliki, which was that we would withdraw unless Maliki gave us immunity. He did not give us immunity. (crosstalk) No president of either party would ever allow American troops to be in this kind of situation without immunity.


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