On Tuesday night’s edition of “The Rachel Maddow Show,” host Rachel Maddow discussed how, ten years after the invasion of Iraq, the U.S. and the media are still struggling to come to terms with exactly how the nation was led to war on such flimsy evidence and who to blame for the resulting mess.
As television and print media observe the 10th anniversary of the invasion, Maddow said, “It’s not just a commemoration for history’s sake, it is also its own current, present-day fight of how this story will be written down in history.”
The problem is, she said, that “so many of the people who were wrong about Iraq in the first place, the people who caused that disaster, people who were factually wrong about it, are still around in our politics.”
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) was one of the chief cheerleaders for the invasion, insisting that U.S. troops would be “greeted as liberators” and yet, ten years later, Washington think tank the American Enterprise Institue is hosting McCain for a presentation and panel discussion about the war.
“Hey, you were really terribly wrong about this very important thing,” she quipped, “so, 10 years later, we thought we’d come back to you for more.”
The Republican machine, she said, is in full PR-mode, trying to sell the idea to the public that the Iraq War was a great idea and “not at all the worst foreign policy disaster in maybe a century.”
“You know what?” she continued. “That’s not the history of that war. And there’s not a memory hole deep enough or wide enough to make us forget the real history of what happened.”
She then rolled video of former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld from September of 2002 testifying to Congress that Iraq posed a real and present danger to the U.S. and alluding to “credible evidence” that al Qaeda was working with Saddam Hussein and insisting that, at the longest, the war would take six months.
“Donald Rumsfeld has been running from that history of having said stuff like that,” Maddow said, as have all of the people responsible for the debacle that the war became, and yet none of them seem to be suffering any real political or personal consequences.
“These guys have been trying to run away from what they did ever since they did it,” she said. “It is a revisionist history project to try to make us think they didn’t screw up, that it wasn’t a mistake, that we’re all supposed to keep looking to them as the experts on foreign policy and military intervention.”
“How wrong do you have to be and on how big a scale before we stop listening to you?” she asked. “Don Rumsfeld, I would like to hear your thoughts on light rail or growing mushrooms. Talk to me about acid reflux or banzai gardening or home remedies for boils. But when it comes to the wisdom of invading Iraq? You have expired. All of you have. You have had your time. You have failed. It is over.”
Watch the clip, which aired Tuesday, March 19 and is embedded below via MSNBC: