Maybe the years of grinding poverty are getting to Bill Clinton. Or maybe it’s the pressure of always having to hide so much. Shopping for $550 watches to give away as party favors takes a toll on a guy. But at least Bill Clinton knows his Shinola watches from…not Shinola watches.
The old president’s memory may be getting faulty. In an interview with NBC’s David Gregory, Clinton weighed in on the current crisis in Iraq. Gregory set Clinton up by citing former Vice President Dick Cheney’s recent op-ed on the crisis, in which Cheney blames President Barack Obama’s decision to pull all American troops from Iraq without obtaining a status of forces agreement, or SOFA. Such an agreement would have left a residual US force in Iraq to deal with contingencies in the fledgling democracy, such as the march of hyper-violent terrorist group ISIS across Iraqi territory. That crisis threatens to destroy the state of Iraq itself, and replace it with a radical Islamist caliphate.
After citing the Cheney op-ed, Gregory asked Clinton, “Do you believe Cheney is a credible critic on these matters?”
That’s the wrong question. The question isn’t whether Cheney is “credible,” it’s whether the facts on the ground render Cheney right or wrong right now. Gregory’s question is an open invitation to attack the person, not deal with the facts.
Clinton responded to Gregory’s question as Gregory wanted him to. He chuckled, then said: “You know, I believe, if they hadn’t gone to war in Iraq, none of this would be happening.” He tossed Gregory a smug look, the audience ate it up.
The “they” who went to war in Iraq includes two people who are not stepping up to take any share of whatever blame ought to be meted out now. They are Bill and Hillary Clinton.
The first part of that clip is from Clinton’s presidency, the second part is from then Sen. Hillary Clinton’s speech announcing her vote to support the invasion of Iraq in 2002.
The Clintons were by no means the only Democrats to have argued over the years that Saddam was a threat, that Iraq had to be dealt with.
In 2004, Bill Clinton was still out there arguing that the war had been the right thing to do. So he was with VP Cheney then. Bill Clinton was part of the “they” who went to war.