Ever since last night’s debate, Donald Trump has been running about frothing about his prescience in opposing the war in Iraq and claiming that the war was wrong (really? was he even conscious when the UN voted on the subject?) and that is was poorly run (a case can be made here that wishful thinking was an essential element in planning for the post-hostilities environment).
He is also gabbling about there being no WMD — weapons of mass destruction, i.e. chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons — in Iraq, This is simply wrong. It is documented as wrong and it demonstrates that Trump’s political philosophy is actually a hodgepodge of far-left talking points that he imbibed when he was sucking up to the Clintons, their friends, and the other progressives he rubbed shoulders with in New York.
First, let’s go back to the casus belli from President Bush’s ultimatum to Donald Trump’s new found hero, the terrorist killer Saddam Hussein.
Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal [italics mine] some of the most lethal weapons ever devised. This regime has already used weapons of mass destruction against Iraq’s neighbors and against Iraq’s people.
let’s go to what the US government actually knew. Wikileaks revealed that US troops regularly encountered chemical weapons in Iraq.
Last year, the New York Times reported that the CIA had purchased chemical weapons in Iraq.
The Central Intelligence Agency, working with American troops during the occupation of Iraq, repeatedly purchased nerve-agent rockets from a secretive Iraqi seller, part of a previously undisclosed effort to ensure that old chemical weapons remaining in Iraq did not fall into the hands of terrorists or militant groups, according to current and former American officials.
The extraordinary arms purchase plan, known as Operation Avarice, began in 2005 and continued into 2006, and the American military deemed it a nonproliferation success. It led to the United States’ acquiring and destroying at least 400 Borak rockets, one of the internationally condemned chemical weapons that Saddam Hussein’s Baathist government manufactured in the 1980s but that were not accounted for by United Nations inspections mandated after the 1991 Persian Gulf war.
Not only did the CIA buy some. We found actually thousands of weapons and some US troops were injured by chemical weapons:
From 2004 to 2011, American and American-trained Iraqi troops repeatedly encountered, and on at least six occasions were wounded by, chemical weapons remaining from years earlier in Saddam Hussein’s rule.
In all, American troops secretly reported finding roughly 5,000 chemical warheads, shells or aviation bombs, according to interviews with dozens of participants, Iraqi and American officials, and heavily redacted intelligence documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.
There you have it. Thousands of chemical weapons were found in Iraq. US soldiers, the ‘wounded warriors’ Trump is so sympathetic to that he has to raise money for his foundation by using them as a prop, were injured from Iraqi chemical weapons. He is free to have his own counterfactual and misguided opinions about the war but he is not free to blithely ignore the historical record.
Donald Trump is simply wrong on his view of the Iraq war. Not a little wrong, but grotesquely wrong. And his utter wrongness is not the product of considered study or briefings or anything. His views are totally the product of his background as a liberal Democrat in a liberal Democrat city sucking up to liberal Democrat politicians.