Mitt Romney defends invasion of Iraq:
This is the kind of thing that should disqualify you from being president:
Mitt Romney on Fox News Sunday, December 18, 2011
WALLACE: Governor, the final U.S. troops are leaving Iraq over the next two weeks. Couple of questions -- first of all, looking back, and hindsight is always 20/20, should we have invaded? And secondly, big picture -- what should we have done differently over the nine years there?First of all, whether or not we should have invaded Iraq given what we know now is not a tough question, and there's no reason for Mitt Romney to have dodged it. Anything short of an automatic "no, and it was a mistake" reflects an appalling lack of judgment.
ROMNEY: Oh, boy. That's a big question. And going back and trying to say given what we know now, what would we have done? Would we have invaded or not?
At that time, we didn't have the knowledge that we have now. At that time, Saddam Hussein was hiding. He was not letting the inspectors from the United Nations into the various places that they wanted to go. The IAEA was blocked from going into the palaces and so forth. And the intelligence in our nation and other nations was that this tyrant had weapons of mass destruction.
And in the light of that -- that belief, we took action which was appropriate at the time.
Second, Romney's defense of the decision to invade Iraq given what we knew then is deeply troubling. Ali Gharib points out at Think Progress, the "facts" cited by Romney were known to be wrong before the decision to invade. Weapons inspectors and the IAEA did in fact have access to Iraq and were in fact making progress.
Lots of people mistakenly supported the Iraq war. But not only was that a mistake given what we know now, it was also a mistake given what we knew then. If you don't understand that, you shouldn't be anywhere near the Oval Office. Fortunately, the current occupant does understand.
During the campaign we'll hear a lot about the killing of Osama bin Laden and ending the war in Iraq and nuclear nonproliferation—justifiably so—but we shouldn't lose sight of what is arguably President Obama's most impressive foreign policy credential: the fact that he was against the war in Iraq from the very beginning.