February 22, 2015

It is a testimony to right-wing persistence that they continue to field pundits who are willing to say (over and over again) that the Iraq war was a wise policy decision when anyone with half a brain knows it's largely the reason the entire Middle East is in meltdown mode now.

No one carries that water better than "Bloody" Bill Kristol, who is more than willing to inform viewers with a straight face that the invasion of Iraq was just a terrific policy decision.

Watch Keith Ellison smack that down without batting an eye.

They did try to drag Hillary Clinton into it toward the end, and yes, she should be accountable for that vote. But at this point, the issue is whether she recognizes the grave error of authorizing an invasion of Iraq and whether she would repeat it. For Jeb Bush, Iraq seems to be one of those questions he can delegate to his brother's foreign policy advisors, while claiming he's his own man.

Transcript follows, courtesy of ABC This Week.

ELLISON: You know, I think the biggest reason that Jeb Bush wants to be his own man is because of the complete debacle of the Bush Iraq policy. I mean, we cannot forget that we are in the space we're in now because of that invasion that was based on falsehoods in every single conceivable way. And the tremendous loss of money and treasure and blood. And of course he wants to try to escape that legacy.

CHOZICK: But then he laid out a policy, a very muscular policy agenda that sounded a lot like his brother's.

ELLISON: I'm not like him, but I am kind of like him.

CHOZICK: He supported NSA surveillance. He called for increased funding in the Pentagon. I mean here he is saying I am my own man, and then he laid out a speech that sounded you know a lot like his brother.

KRISTOL: Well, those are good policies.

I mean, this is silly the whole...

ELLISON: Iraq is a good policy?

KRISTOL: The Iraq war -- more spending on defense and defending the NSA program I think is a good policy. And that's what the campaign is going to be about, you know, let Jeb Bush defend the NSA. Let Rand Paul attack it. And let's see what people think.

But all this talk about is he more like his father, is he more like his brother, I think that stuff is going to disappear.

ELLISON: No, I think we cannot escape how much damage that Iraq policy of George W. Bush did to this country. And of course...

KRISTOL: When George W. Bush left office, Iraq was safe and peaceful thanks to the surge.

ELLISON: No, no. Actually, there was always rumblings and danger in that place. It was a...

KLEIN: Well, thanks to Maliki, the Sunnis were being alienated. And that's nothing that we had anything to do with.

CHOZICK: But that's also shadowing Hillary Clinton again and her Iraq War vote.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And we are going to get to that after this break.

CHOZICK: Always backing Hillary.

One final thought. The throwaway line that we had nothing to do with Maliki is just nonsense. Maliki was Dubya's hand-picked man to lead the newly-liberated Iraq.

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