Skip to comments.Romney changes stance on Iraq invasion
Posted on 12/22/2011 8:23:38 AM PST by TitansAFC
In an appearance on "Fox News Sunday" a few days ago, Mitt Romney was asked whether, given what we know today, the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq was the right thing to do. Romney wouldn't say.
"Oh boy, that's a big question," Romney answered. "And going back and trying to say, given what we know now, what would we have done? Would we have invaded or not? At the time, we didn't have the knowledge that we have now." Romney mentioned intelligence before the war suggesting that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. After the war, U.S. and international inspection teams did not find those weapons, which had been the basis for much of the Bush administration's case for invading Iraq. Still, Romney told Fox's Chris Wallace that the invasion was "appropriate at the time" because the U.S. acted "in light of that belief" -- that is, in intelligence that turned out to be faulty.
Wednesday morning, in an interview on MSNBC, Romney got the question again. This time, his answer was not only different but definitive: No, the U.S. would not have invaded Iraq had officials known there were no weapons of mass destruction there.
"Well, if we knew at the time of our entry into Iraq that there were no weapons of mass destruction -- if somehow we had been given that information, why, obviously we would not have gone in," Romney said.
"You don't think we would have gone in?" asked MSNBC's Chuck Todd.
"Well, of course not," Romney answered. "The president went in based upon intelligence that they had weapons of mass destruction. Had he known that that was not the case, the U.N. would not have put forward resolutions authorizing this type of action. The president would not have been pursuing that course."
Romney's statement on MSNBC is not only a change from what he said on Fox a few days ago. It's also a change from his position during his first run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2007-2008. In a January 2008 GOP debate in Florida, Romney was asked, "Was the war in Iraq a good idea worth the cost in blood and treasure we have spent?" Romney answered: "It was the right decision to go into Iraq. I supported it at the time; I support it now."
Coming just days after the last U.S. troops left Iraq, Romney's answer is likely to cause consternation among Republicans who maintain that going to war was the right decision, even in light of the failure to discover WMD. But Romney's new answer is not terribly different from what even some George W. Bush loyalists have said in recent years. For example, in his memoir, Courage and Consequence, former top Bush aide Karl Rove wrote: "Would the Iraq War have occurred without WMD? I doubt it: Congress was very unlikely to have supported the use-of-force resolution without the threat of WMD. The Bush administration itself would probably have sought other ways to constrain Saddam, bring about regime change, and deal with Iraq's horrendous human rights violations."
Liars always get caught up in their own lies!!!
Flip-flop, heck no, he’s a LIAR! He forgot what he’s previously said!
Let him explain his change in positions 3 days apart!
Romney is a typical blow-with-the-wind politician.
And a blow-hard. Getting a straight, consistent answer out of him is like getting the truth out of Obama.
Romney continued: "What do you guys think? What do you want to hear? Wait, is it okay if we hold that question until I can poll this with the general public and get back to you on that?"
Never misses an opportunity to underwhelm.
Another example of Harvard’s long falling standards, and of the repulsican party’s uncanny ability to pick milquetoast nothings in lieu of someone with an actual talent.
I don’t like Romney, but I don’t see any “gotcha” here.
And he thinks that makes him clever.
Bush’s mistake was listening to Colin Powell in the first place. He’s the one who insisted on spending months convincing the UN about the WMD’s, then nation-building for years in Iraq. The proper way to deal with Saddam would have been to go in, destroy all the big stuff, kill Saddama and his sons, install our own dictator, and leave. Six months to a year, tops. But an eight year occupation? Nuts.
The sad part of the entire saga, was that Saddam did have WMD’s. They were under seal and part of the inventory declared to the UN. The intel back then suggested he had undeclared WMDs. Everyone always focuses on the undeclared WMDs and not the fact that he possessed declared WMDs. In case people don’t realize it, a declared WMD is as lethal as an undeclared WMD when used by an irrational dictator.
Saddam DID have weapons of mass destruction (murder). Just ask the Kurds. OIF vet
Basically Saddam was taking a page from the CIA and set up his facilities to do just-in-time production. That way he could have everything there ready to be processed at a moments notice and hand them off to his in-house terrorist group to have plausible deniability. That pretty much fits with what we’ve found.
There’s also numerous reports of things either being destroyed or carted to somewhere else, such as Syria, who is having their own trouble right now. We may find those weapons yet.
In this case, it’s not a flip-flop. Both times, his meaning was the same: going in was the correct decision based on the intel we had at the time, but if we knew Hussein didn’t have WMDs, we should not have gone in.
I can respect that position, as it is also my own position. I don’t go around advocating the U.S. invade Burma or Congo or any of a number of other human rights disasters. But if a madman is trying to build nukes or bioweapons, well, that’s a different story.
My main reason for not intervening in clear cases of human rights abuses is one of cost. We can’t afford to be the human rights police. However, I would not say our intervention in Iraq was morally wrong. After all, even the New York Times said Hussein killed a million of his own people in his 25 years of rule, and that’s not counting the deaths in the Iran-Iraq war.
Assuming he had kept up the same pace over the last 8 years, that’s another 320,000 dead. That’s way higher than most estimates of total Iraqi casualties because of terrorist responses to the U.S. efforts.
If you are saving lives, you aren’t morally wrong. It may not be the best use of America’s limited resources, but it’s not morally wrong.
They may find us first.
I like Byron York, but these don’t seem mutually exclusive to me. He said on Sunday (paraphrasing) in light of what we knew then, and yesterday, that we knew wrong. If anything, Wednesday seems like an continuation of Sunday’s idea.
"Well, of course not," Romney answered. "The president went in based upon intelligence that they had weapons of mass destruction. Had he known that that was not the case, the U.N. would not have put forward resolutions authorizing this type of action. The president would not have been pursuing that course." ... In a January 2008 GOP debate in Florida, Romney was asked, "Was the war in Iraq a good idea worth the cost in blood and treasure we have spent?" Romney answered: "It was the right decision to go into Iraq. I supported it at the time; I support it now."IOW, no significant change in his position.
...the U.N. would not have put forward resolutions authorizing this type of action.
That’s not an equation on the table and who gives a rats ass about the UN.
Am highly worried about that. I sense destabilization there is going to open up a serious can that will bite us all on the butt. Hope Syria is high on our govt’s list of things to watch because I think we ignore that situation at our own peril.
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