MSNBC host Chris Matthews tore into former President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney on Friday, accusing them of putting Iraq on the road toward its current crisis by invading the country in 2003.
“We were united after 9/11. They were the ones who divided us,” Matthews said. “They were the ones who divided Iraq into the two warring factions we see today battling for control of Baghdad. They were the ones who went into Iraq and took apart the Iraqi army, the Iraqi government, the Iraqi establishment, and replaced it with a sectarian bunch primarily interested in getting even with their fellow Iraqis.”
The current Shia regime, Matthews said earlier on his show, was on the verge of being overrun completely by the Sunni insurgent group calling itself the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which has taken over several large cities and has announced its intentions to advance upon the capital, Baghdad. Matthews described this recent wave of violence as the latest episode in years of strife.
“Just look at the spectacle of Saddam Hussein being hanged [in 2006] to a jeering of a mob of Shiites engaged in something we should’ve had no part of,” Matthews said.
But it was American “neo-cons,” Matthews argued, who instigated that turmoil by rushing the U.S. into war there from a position of aggression that contradicted the country’s ideals.
“I will never understand how a president so limited in his ability or sense of history as George W. Bush, a vice-president as uncharismatic as Dick Cheney, or a band of unelected ideologues could so screw this country to the wall of history as the band that ran things in the early years of this century,” he said.
Watch Matthews’ commentary, as aired on Friday, below.