The Washington Post reports
that Jeb Bush
says that in hindsight, he would not have gone to war with Iraq as his brother did as president:
Knowing what we now know, what would you have done? I would have not engaged. I would not have gone into Iraq.
Bush's statement on the campaign trail came after a week of struggling to come up with a coherent answer to the question.
, Chris Christie
, and Scott Walker
have followed with similar pronouncements: given what we know today, they wouldn't have authorized the Iraq War. A number of commenters are pointing out
that this dodges the big question — how the rush to war (including by some Democratic leaders such as Hillary Clinton
) led to a bad decision to go to war at the time
. After all, many on the left, looking at the same evidence, came to a different conclusion about invading Iraq before it happened. If they were right and Bush and co. were wrong, the issue is less about counterfactuals "knowing what we now know" — it's about avoiding the same mistakes. We won't have the benefit of hindsight the next time there is a big foreign policy decision to make.
If George W. Bush
and Dick Cheney
are feeling lonely these days with GOPs essentially admitting the Iraq War was a mistake, well, there's always Tom Cotton