Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Bush to Baghdad?

This post is actually a serious proposal, although it may come off as tongue-in-cheek.

March 2013 marked the 10th anniversary of the start of the war in Iraq.

There have been many, many retrospectives and analyses over whether the Bush administration lied about the real reasons for the war, whether that war was a good idea, how it was managed, etc. 

But by and large, 10 years later, most senior Bush administration officials remain unapologetic over the war, even while most Americans now view it as a mistake.

However, I have heard relatively little from the Iraqis themselves.  I'm sure their commentary is out there, but not making it into U.S. consciousness.  Perhaps here they have not been afforded much of a venue for making public comments.

So that is one of the reasons I am asking President Obama to tap former president George W. Bush to head up a special diplomatic mission...to Iraq.  Think of it as a listening tour or a series of town hall meetings, across the length and breadth of Iraq, to explain our justifications for going to war in 2003 and to listen firsthand to the Iraqi feedback.

After all, if you are going to throw this nation's blood and treasure into something like a large scale war, doesn't it deserve a full accounting to flesh out all the lessons learned to avoid repeats of any errors?

Of course, former president Bush could not refuse, for when a sitting president asks a former president for help, the answer is always, "Yes, Mr. President."

To assist Bush in his diplomatic mission, an entourage of experts would be required who were instrumental in war planning and management: Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleeza Rice, Alberto Gonzales, George Tenet, Colin Powell, John Yoo, Paul Wolfowitz, and John Brennan, just to name a few.  Oh, and some generals, and the key cheerleaders in Congress at the time.  Plus there would be other individuals and disciplines not named here whose expertise should be represented as well. 

The press corps must, of course, include Judith Miller and Thomas Freidman of the New York Times as the senior correspondents.

Security would be provided by Haliburton or X-something.

It would be an interesting mission.


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