Political Animal


March 19, 2013 3:28 PM This Day in History: “Our Nation Enters This Conflict Reluctantly”

By Ed Kilgore

Though it seems like we’ve all been talking about it for weeks, today is the actual tenth anniversary of the military invasion of Iraq by U.S. and “Coalition” forces.

I hadn’t re-watched George W. Bush’s speech announcing the invasion until today, and it’s pretty amazing, not only in its false assertion of an imminent threat to America and the world from weapons of mass destruction, but its bogus tone of force used as a last resort. “We have no ambitions in Iraq,” he said, and most laughable in terms of what we now know about the long, long buildup to the war, and the sustained effort to make it possible: “Our nation enters this conflict reluctantly.” If you can stand it, relive the moment:

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • Peter C on March 19, 2013 3:37 PM:

    Nope, I can't stand it. He should have been impeached; he crossed the line.

  • Domage on March 19, 2013 3:44 PM:

    No thanks. Made me ill at the time.

    And he not only should have been impeached, he should be hauled before the Hague to answer for crimes against humanity.

  • Quaker in a Basement on March 19, 2013 3:48 PM:

    Can't watch it. But I am curious--did you get just the public version, or did you also get the part with the fist pump and "Feels good!" on it?

  • c u n d gulag on March 19, 2013 3:50 PM:

    "Reluctantly," my fat Russian/Ukrainian @$$!!!

    This was planned the moment his Daddies and Uncle Ronnies SCOTUS made its worst decision in about a century, and made this arrogant simpelton our President.

    Powerful, POWEFUL, anti-war letter written to Bush and Cheney by a dying vet:


    Today is the 10th anniversary of “Bush’s Worst Folly,” when he and his band of arrogant, greedy incompetent imbeciles, got us involved in a needless war and occupation of a country that had as much to do with 9/11/01, as China did to 12/7/41.

    This vet will bel be dead soon.

    The miasmatic collection of morons who are responsible for his death, and the death of thousands of American troops, scores of thousands of American troops crippled, both physically and mentally, with who knows how many hundreds of thousands of Iraqi’s dead, and how many millions displaced, will continue to enjoy life.

    In a just world, they’d be spending the rest of their days either at the Hague, or, better yet, caring for all of the wounded – but sadly, their only skill is in creating dead and wounded people, not caring for them.

    So, The Hague, it should be – at hard labor – until the second they die.

    And then, buried in unmarked graves – or preferrably, cremated – with their ashes mixed with molten glass, cooled, and then buried deep in the earth, so that their toxic remains won’t pollute anything near them.

  • low-tech cyclist on March 19, 2013 4:04 PM:

    What Domage and c u n d said.

    Bush said the war was all about the WMDs. As Barton Gellman's reporting in the WaPo showed, our soldiers weren't told to make any effort to secure the major WMD sites as we liberated them from Saddam. As a result, those sites were thoroughly plundered - if there had been WMDs in Iraq, they would have fallen into the hands of terrorists, for real.

    And of course Bush also justified the war as a humanitarian mission, to rescue the people of Iraq from an evil dictator. And the Bush Administration demonstrated this by keeping essentially no metrics on how well the Iraqis were doing, post-Saddam. They didn't even try to count how many Iraqis were killed after our invasion 'succeeded,' which was why private outfits had to do the counting in various ways.

    Yeah, we should have impeached the little twerp, and handed him over to the Hague.

  • schtick on March 19, 2013 4:13 PM:

    Sorry, once was more than enough. And that speech he made to Congress about the yellow-cake, I swear, I said it then and I say it again, he had an orgasm when he said Iraq was trying to get nuke materials from Africa.

  • boatboy_srq on March 19, 2013 4:17 PM:

    I was out for an after-work pint when that first aired. I wasn't anything like intoxicated when it came on, but I was stone-cold sober in a nanosecond once I started paying attention. Once was enough.

    @CUND: Tomas Young nails it: "I have, like many other disabled veterans, suffered from the inadequate and often inept care provided by the Veterans Administration. I have, like many other disabled veterans, come to realize that our mental and physical wounds are of no interest to you, perhaps of no interest to any politician. We were used. We were betrayed. And we have been abandoned." Had Shrub given the least thought to the scope of fighting a war, and the costs - monetary and otherwise - involved, Young would never have had to write this. I hold the abject failure of the VA up as proof that the GWoT was marketing sold the US to justify sacrificing rights to privacy, to peacable assembly, to free speech, and to countless other infringements of those fundamental principles the Founding Fathers enumerated and implied when they drafted the documents the GOTea holds up as Scripture - and as proof to the rest of the planet that the GWoT was never about Terror™, and always about Mammon and Control.

  • T-Rex on March 19, 2013 5:55 PM:

    Remember when Helen Thomas asked him, after the WMD failed to show up, why he had really wanted to go to war, and he replied "I didn't want to go to war. I did everything I did to prevent it."? The lie was outrageous enough, but what was truly sickening was that not a single "journalist" in that room called him out on it. Stephen Colbert let those guys off way too easy.

  • TomParmenter on March 19, 2013 6:26 PM:

    Bush gave plenty of thought to not going to war . . . when he went AWOL from the Air Force and hid himself in plain sight in Alabama, chasing tail and white powder.

    No, I didn't watch the video and felt no obligation to force myself to do so.

    The war crimes trial, now, I'd watch that.

  • T2 on March 19, 2013 6:36 PM:

    Too bad so many Democrats went along with this crime. They were afraid they'd lose their office...funny how that mentality hasn't changed much.

  • Celui on March 19, 2013 8:07 PM:

    Bush as a 'war president' is comical, especially since he did everything in his daddy's power to escape the war in Nam. 'Champagne Unit', my foot! Now, what isn't mentioned here is the insatiable drive by the business-backed theocrats then and now to go to war at the expense of our own young men, justifying such actions by any kind of argument necessary so long as God is included somewhere in the argument. How did the Cheney-Bush administration fail to know up front that the middle east is not a collection of 'natural boundary' nations made up of like peoples, but rather nations created by the western powers after their war(s) in 1914 and 1940, and held together by the will of various middle east's warlords. Remember, 'the enemy of my enemy is my friend' was the byword for that region for ages. Saddam, for all the evil he was made out to be, did manage to maintain power in a diverse, unnatural nation such as Iraq, but maintain that power at the end of a gun for the benefit of oil production and sales to the West. All this crap about WMDs highlights its true meaning: "Weapons of Mass Distraction". A tragedy engineered by the insulated theocons, and perpetrated on the American people for the pleasure of international business. What a tragedy.

  • Josef K on March 19, 2013 8:19 PM:

    The defining imagery of Vietnam:
    *the dead students at Kent State
    *Buddhist monks setting themselves aflame
    *a Viet Cong prisoner being shot in the head by a South Vietnamese officer (prisoner still being handcuffed)
    *children running from a napalm bombing

    The defining image of the Iraq War:
    *W strutting about in an aviator's suit (with an outsized codpiece)

    I've stopped wondering how W and his 'war cabinet' sleep at night, never mind look at themselves in the mirror. Some things are just beyond human understanding.

  • Eric Wilde on March 19, 2013 11:13 PM:

    When W has a grave, I shall do might best to desecrate it.

  • Marc on March 20, 2013 8:32 AM:

    And, of course, we have learned nothing. The next time, just like the last time, the propaganda machine will work, people will get worked up, and we will go to war. Iran is the focus of the Neo-Cons, the Repub right is ready for any war, anywhere, at any time. My money is on them. If not this year, soon.

  • pcfarm on March 20, 2013 9:24 AM:

    I wonder exactly how much input #2 had in that decision. I mean really, just look at that pathetic expression.

  • boatboy_srq on March 20, 2013 9:36 AM:


    How did the Cheney-Bush administration fail to know up front that the middle east is not a collection of 'natural boundary' nations made up of like peoples, but rather nations created by the western powers after their war(s) in 1914 and 1940, and held together by the will of various middle east's warlords.

    When your concept of national unity is driven by your ancestors' (recent) immigration, your whiteness, and your connections to a particular "faith-based organisation", your understanding of the ancient ethnic foundations of most other nations' origins doesn't register.

    @Josef K: You can sleep very well when you have no conscience.