Wednesday, May 28, 2008

McClellan: Bush Misled U.S. on War

Scott McClellan, Bush's former White House Press Secretary confirms what critics of the Bush administration have been saying since 2002.

"What I do know is that war should only be waged when necessary, and the Iraq war was not necessary," he wrote in the preface.


Bush's real motivation for war

In Iraq, McClellan added, Bush saw "his opportunity to create a legacy of greatness," something McClellan said Bush has said he believes is only available to wartime presidents.

The president's real motivation for the war, he said, was to transform the Middle East to ensure an enduring peace in the region. But the White House effort to sell the war as necessary due to the stated threat posed by Saddam Hussein was needed because "Bush and his advisers knew that the American people would almost certainly not support a war launched primarily for the ambitions purpose of transforming the Middle East," McClellan wrote.

"Rather than open this Pandora's Box, the administration chose a different path — not employing out-and-out deception, but shading the truth," he wrote of the effort to convince the world that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction, an effort he said used "innuendo and implication" and "intentional ignoring of intelligence to the contrary."

"President Bush managed the crisis in a way that almost guaranteed that the use of force would become the only feasible option," McClellan concluded, noting, "The lack of candor underlying the campaign for war would severely undermine the president's entire second term in office."

Via Andrew Sullivan.


Peter L. Winkler said...

Yawn. Old, old "news". Plus, how does McClellan know what Bush's actual motivations for invading Iraq were? Did Bush have deep thought exchanges wih McClellan behind closed doors? I seriously doubt it. Or is McClellan clairvoyant?

asher said...


How could you say such a thing. McClellan said he saw two people go into a room and they must have had a conversation. He wasn't there but he's in a much better position to guess at it than you or I.

The concept is that his book is very much like the Seinfeld show, all about nothing.

tommy said...

Wait, I thought the war was all about oil and Haliburton! You mean it was about foolish Wilsonian ideals?

What annoys me about the opposition to this war from so many of your fellow leftists, JA, is that, even after several years of war, they haven't learned the most important lesson: you can't bring democracy to tribal, Islamic societies like Iraq. That is, you can't do it through war and you can't do it through flattery, appeasement, sweet talk, etc. It can't be done. Instead, they've learned the lesson they've always wanted to learn: American imperialism is bad and America is fundamentally evil. No serious doubts seem to have formed in the minds of leftists and neoconservatives about the cultural malleability of Mideastern Muslims -- the very root of most opposition to this war from paleoconservatives like me. Leftists just know that those Muslims aren't likely to be changed by waging war against their undemocratic rulers when the Great Satan is the one doing the fighting. That assumes, of course, leftists even buy the war was about bringing democracy to the Mideast, which seems a pretty questionable assumption when it comes to most to whom I speak.

I guess I'm still waiting for the ranks of race and cultural realist liberals to swell.

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