Do you think the folks who talked big (and profited bigger) from the Iraq war grieve? Do they regret what they did, killing hundreds of thousands innocent people?
Do they, in hindsight, like the commander in chief, who led our sons and daughters to war blame intelligence?
“The biggest regret of all the presidency has to have been the intelligence failure in Iraq,” Bush told Charles Gibson. “A lot of people put their reputations on the line and said the weapons of mass destruction is a reason to remove Saddam Hussein.” Given that Bush previously has acknowledged that there were, in fact, no WMD in Iraq, and that Iraq had no connection with 9/11, the fair inference is that the war was unnecessary.
Like Coni Rice echoeding the sentiments of her boss, saying she wished the intelligence about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction programs had been better.
“I would give anything to be able to go back and to know precisely what we were going to find when we were there,” she said. “But that isn’t the way that these things work.”
Sorry, no do-overs…
Eric Ken Shinseki, the first Asian American in U.S. history to be a four-star general and the first to lead one of the five U.S. military services, has been picked by Obama to be secretary of Veterans Affairs.
Shinseki is famous for publicly clashing with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld during the planning of the war in Iraq over what troop levels would be necessary once the Iraqi regime was defeated. Many believe General Shinseki correctly estimated that far more troops would be needed than in Rumsfeld’s plan. Shinseki testified to the U.S. Senate Armed Services committee that “something in the order of several hundred thousand soldiers” would probably be required for postwar Iraq. Then Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz publicly disagreed with his estimate, Rumsfeld insisting that General Shinseki was “wildly off the mark” Over time, it has become almost universally accepted in U.S. political circles that Shinseki was correct. General Shinseki retired from the military in June 2003, just three months after the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
Obama said the nation must focus on helping troops who have served their country especially during bad economic times.
“We don’t just need to better serve veterans of today’s wars. We also need to build a 21st century VA that will better serve all who have answered our nation’s call,” Obama said. “That means cutting red tape and easing transition into civilian life. And it means eliminating shortfalls, fully funding VA health care, and providing the benefits our veterans have earned.
John Rowan, president of Vietnam Veterans of America, called the reported pick an “interesting choice.”
“I am satisfied with it,” Rowan told CNN on Saturday, adding that the choice seems to be in the Obama transition team’s pattern of “bringing in strong personalities into all the positions who aren’t going to ‘yes’ him to death.”
“When Shinseki had his disagreements with the administration, he wasn’t afraid to speak up,” Rowan said.
That cost him his job then. Thank God America has a new commander in chief.