It happened again. A Republican Presidential candidate was not prepared to answer this simple question: Knowing what we know now, would you still Invade Iraq? This time it was Marco Rubio on a Sunday talk show who stumbled over his own tongue trying to dance around the question that every Republican candidate should have known they were going to be asked. Are they really that stupid? Really?
What’s interesting about the critiques of both Rubio and Bush’s inept handling of the question is the fact that writer’s keep focusing on the weapons of mass destruction issue, but fail to mention that the original argument for invading Iraq was its supposed ties to al Qaeda and terrorism in the Middle East. When that argument began to weaken (although it was still being peddled by Colin Powell when he addressed the UN) the emphasis was switched to the supposed WMDs that, of course, never materialized.
Even the bumbling Bush administration knew there had to be some kind of tie to terrorism to get support for attacking Iraq, and Bush and Cheney (and Judith miller) enthusiastically championed a number of stories they claimed connected Saddam Hussein to terrorists, all of which turned out to be false. It’s an important part of the “what we know now” question that is getting little attention.
The whole Iraq war question should raise huge red flags for anyone thinking they might vote for a Republican, but it will have little impact on wealthy Republican supporters. They could care less what the candidates say or do, as long as they believe the winner will do their bidding.