Ari Fleischer, the White House Press Secretary under President George W. Bush during the early years of the Iraq War. took to Twitter on Friday to help conservatives pin the blame on Obama for the recent surge of violence in Iraq. The Sunni-led extremist group ISIS recently seized Iraq’s second-largest city, Mosul, causing upheaval and disarray in the country. The chances of large-scale sectarian violence in the country are likely. Based on these recent events, Republicans, and specifically neocons, have taken this opportunity to criticize and blame President Obama for the chaos in the country, specifically pointing to the decision to remove all American troops from Iraq in 2011.
Fleischer, who was the Bush Administration’s head cheerleader in the run-up to and early days of the war, sent a number of tweets on Friday, criticizing the current President. Essentially, Fleischer took the same tact that the rest of the warmongering right has taken the past 24 hours, which is to complain that Obama didn’t leave troops in Iraq indefinitely. Fleischer also appeared to complain about the fact that the US hasn’t taken military action against Syria and Iran. Overall, it was typical Monday morning quarterbacking from someone who absolutely knows that Americans have no appetite for large-scale military action across the globe. The reason he should know is that his former boss caused that war fatigue with two open-ended wars of choice.
During the course of Fleischer’s string of Iraq-related tweets, the former White House Press Secretary sent the following one out:
Regardless of what anyone thinks of going into Iraq in 2002, it’s a tragedy that the successes of the 2007 surge have been lost & abandoned.
— Ari Fleischer (@AriFleischer) June 13, 2014
Sigh. The Iraq War actually began in 2003. After Talking Points Memo called him out on this, Fleischer tried to blame it on hitting the ‘wrong key.’ Just like his old boss, Fleischer isn’t really keen on that whole accountability thing.
Even if we take Fleischer at his word, and allow that he made a simple typo, it still takes a lot of brass to criticize this current administration for the issues that were completely created by the actions of the previous administration, especially when you were a key member of that former staff. Fleischer’s job was to sell the public on the Iraq War and tell them that we’d be greeted as liberators, that there would be no residual violence or destabilization of the region due to this conflict, that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction and it was necessary to invade the country and about a million other lies. Now, more than a decade later, Fleischer and the other ghosts of Christmas past decide to speak up and complain that Obama wasn’t able to wave a magic wand and make right all of the chaos they created.
Matt Gertz at Media Matters for America highlighted the media’s unwillingness to hold pundits accountable for their past actions and statements. Someone like Fleischer is willing to fire shots from the peanut gallery. Of course, he isn’t willing to talk about his role in the events, which is why he conveniently states that we should only look at Iraq from the troop surge of 2007 on. Just like Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, John McCain and Condi Rice, his statements should not be given any credence whatsoever. He is part of a group that led this nation into an unnecessary war which is directly responsible for the ongoing violence in that region. His comments, as well as the comments of other neocons, have absolutely no credibility.
Justin Baragona is the Managing Editor at Politicus Sports as well as Senior Editor at PoliticusUSA. He was a political writer for 411Mania.com before joining PoliticusUSA. Politically, Justin considers himself a liberal but also a realist and pragmatist. Currently, Justin lives in St. Louis, MO and is married. Besides writing, he also runs his own business after spending a number of years in the corporate world. You can follow Justin on Twitter either with his personal handle (@justinbaragona) or the Sports site’s (@PoliticusSports).