Donald Trump said a lot last night that’s put him in hot water with voters. Along with the creepy lefty accusation that George W. Bush lied about Iraq’s WMDs that predictably went along with the his assertion that the Iraq War was a mistake, came Trump’s claim that he’d been against it all along.
The leftward leaning media has been robust in its coverage of Trump’s claims. Here’s James Fallows in The Atlantic and Michael Calderon for The Huffington Post. A conservative writer, Jeff Dunetz of the The Lid does too, and offers this from BuzzFeed‘s Andrew Kaczynski:
The week the war started Trump was quoted as saying it was turning into a “mess” but also said the war would positively impact the stock market, causing it “to go up like a rocket.”
Similarly his 2000 book, The America We Deserve Trump noted Iraq was developing weapons of mass destruction and targeted Iraq strikes had little impact on their overall capabilities. The Donald said the best course might be against Iraq to “carry the mission to its conclusion.”
Consider Iraq. After each pounding from U.S . warplanes, Iraq has dusted itself off and gone right back to work developing a nuclear arsenal. Six years of tough talk and U.S. fireworks in Baghdad have done little to slow Iraq’s crash program to become a nuclear power. They’ve got missiles capable of flying nine hundred kilometers—more than enough to reach Tel Aviv. They’ve got enriched uranium. All they need is the material for nuclear fission to complete the job, and, according to the Rumsfeld report, we don’t even know for sure if they’ve laid their hands on that yet. That’s what our last aerial assault on Iraq in 1999 was about. Saddam Hussein wouldn’t let UN weapons inspectors examine certain sites where that material might be stored. The result when our bombing was over? We still don’t know what Iraq is up to or whether it has the material to build nuclear weapons. I’m no warmonger. But the fact is, if we decide a strike against Iraq is necessary, it is madness not to carry the mission to its conclusion. When we don’t, we have the worst of all worlds: Iraq remains a threat, and now has more incentive than ever to attack us.
Trump’s paper trail doesn’t match his claims. For someone who so easily calls someone a liar, he should be more careful. At best, he can channel John Kerry and say that he was for the Iraq War before he was against it.