Let the rewrites begin! And who better to lead the charge into revisionism than Donald Rumsfeld himself.
President George W. Bush was wrong to try to build democracy in Iraq, former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said in a recent interview, marking a striking admission from a key player behind the 2003 U.S. invasion.
In an interview with British newspaper The Times, Rumsfeld said that efforts to oust Saddam Hussein and replace his tyrannical regime with democracy were unworkable, and that he had concerns about the plan from the beginning.
“I’m not one who thinks that our particular template of democracy is appropriate for other countries at every moment of their histories,” Rumsfeld told The Times. “The idea that we could fashion a democracy in Iraq seemed to me unrealistic. I was concerned about it when I first heard those words.”
Oh pulease. Rumsfeld, the chief proponent of "Iraq has weapons of mass destruction," said that?
Rumsfeld was one of the chief advocates for the invasion of Iraq. If he didn't believe building democracy post-invasion was the answer, what did he want? To annex Iraq as a territory?
I would almost believe that was his goal, which is why Rumsfeld is quick to spin that outcome, too.
The former defense secretary suggested that world leaders needed to mount a broad offense, one that could last for decades.
“You begin to look at this thing not like a war but more like the Cold War … you’re not going to win this with bullets, you’re in a competition of ideas,” Rumsfeld told The Times.
Oh yes, of course. Ideas. Because a country that has been invaded, bombed, and then left to languish in an unending civil war is most certainly open to ideas. I'm sure those people subjected to torture would just sit right down and discuss ideas now, aren't you?
This is all intended to give cover to the 2016 field as they wrestle with the question of how to deal with the long-term implications of the crimes Rumsfeld and his ilk committed. I really hope they try this approach in the campaign, because it will guarantee their irrelevance come Election Day.