Jeb Bush is being pilloried today from right and left for supposedly saying he would do the Iraq invasion all over again, re-spanking America in true Thank you sir, may I have another fashion.
Only thing is, it’s completely clear, that’s not what he said.
Now, yes, he was asked by Fox News host Megan Kelly whether he would invade Iraq again, knowing what we know now. But that’s not the question he answered. He answered whether he would invade Iraq knowing what we knew then.
So he obviously either misheard or misunderstood Kelly. Here’s the transcript.
KELLY: Obviously, very controversial. Knowing what we know now, would you have authorized the invasion?
BUSH: I would have, and so would have Hillary Clinton, just to remind everybody, and so would have almost everybody that was confronted with the intelligence they got.
KELLY: You don’t think it was a mistake?
BUSH: In retrospect, the intelligence that everybody saw, that the world saw, not just the United States, was faulty. And in retrospect, once we, once we invaded and took out Saddam Hussein, we didn’t focus on security first. And the Iraqis, in this incredibly insecure environment turned on the United States military because there was no security for themselves and their families.
By the way, guess who thinks that those mistakes took place as well? George W. Bush.
KELLY: Your brother.
BUSH: Yes, I mean, so just for the news flash to the world, if they’re trying to find places where there’s big space between me and my brother, this might not be one of those. But it’s important to remind ourselves of lessons learned going forward, the world is different today than it was in 2001. It’s going to be different in 2017 if we allow this president’s foreign policy to continue on. The unraveling isn’t going to stop.
It’s obvious he’s talking about having bad information about Iraq WMD. That is, the invasion was a mistake.
He’s only saying the invasion was justified based on the information we had then. Not based on what we know now. He says “I would have,” and “so would have Hillary.” He’s talking about previous misconceptions, not current understanding.
Gosh, how hard is that for all the pundits and analysts dizzy with fury and ridicule to see?