6 Of The Iraq War's Biggest Hypocrites

by
Lauren Burgoon
With ISIS a growing threat and Iraq on the edge of destruction, the architects of the U.S. invasion are backpedaling big time.

What a difference a decade of war-mongering makes. 

After beating the drum to invade Iraq, throwing around lofty predictions of a decisive and quick U.S. victory, and all but ensuring George W. Bush's war decision would be hailed by history, some of the biggest hawks are suddenly singing a new tune. 

Iraq is back in turmoil and on the brink. But it's definitely not Bush's fault, cry the men who orchestrated the war back in 2003. Most of them are blaming President Obama, as if these men have no responsibility for Iraq's precarious position today. 

Meet the hypocrites: 

Former Vice President Dick Cheney

No one was calling for war louder than Cheney and arguably no one is more willfully ignorant about so-called successes in Iraq and war's long-term consequences.

What he said then:

What he's saying now: 

  • "President Obama seems determined to leave office ensuring he has taken America down a notch. Indeed, the speed of the terrorists' takeover of territory in Iraq has been matched only by the speed of American decline on his watch."

 

Bill Kristol, "The Weekly Standard" Editor

The ultraconservative Kristol helped drum up public support for invading Iraq, including through a 2003 book that outlined Saddam Hussein's evilness and Bush's plan to "liberate Iraq."

What he said then: 

  • "Whatever else you can say about this war ... George Bush is not fighting it like Vietnam. ... This is going to be a two-month war."

What he's saying now:

 

Former U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld

Known for his nonsensical quotes in general (remember "known unknowns"?), Rumsfeld has stubbornly refused to concede any downsides to the Iraq invasion. He has mostly deflected questions about it, instead attacking Obama on Syria and Afghanistan as conflict in Iraq rages.

What he said then:

  • "We know where they are." They, of course, being the weapons of mass destruction that never materialized. 
  • "Freedom's untidy, and free people are free to make mistakes and commit crimes and do bad things. They're also free to live their lives and do wonderful things. And that's what's going to happen here."

What he's saying now:

 

John Bolton, Former Ambassador to the UN

Bolton was revealed as a proponent of the (fictional) information that Hussein sought uranium in Africa for nuclear weapons. The notion Iraq was secretly planning nuclear weapon development helped push the U.S. into war. 

What he's saying now: 

 

Former President George W. Bush

His decision to invade Iraq took out Hussein, but launched a war that cost untold numbers of allied fighters and Iraqi civilians their lives.

What he said then:

What he's saying now:

  • Very little. Bush has remained mostly silent post-presidency. But sometimes a photo can speak a thousand words.