Nate Jackson / February 16, 2016

Donald vs. Trump, Iraq Edition

Voters are so fed up with business-as-usual that none of this even matters.

Saturday night in South Carolina, Donald Trump said, “I’m the only one on this stage that said, ‘Do not go into Iraq. Do not attack Iraq.’ Nobody else on this stage said that. And I said it loud and strong. And I was in the private sector. I wasn’t a politician, fortunately. But I said it, and I said it loud and clear, ‘You’ll destabilize the Middle East.’ That’s exactly what happened. I also said, by the way, four years ago, three years ago, attack the oil, take the wealth away, attack the oil and keep the oil. They didn’t listen. They just started that a few months ago.”

Don’t go into Iraq. Do take the oil. Whatever. It’ll be great. Trust him.

He also blamed George W. Bush for lying about the intel and starting an unnecessary war: “Because look, the weapons of mass destruction, they said they existed, and they didn’t exist. Now it was his group that said, ‘There are weapons of mass destruction. That’s why we went in.’ That’s why so many people got hoodwinked into going into Iraq. Then they go in there, they searched high and dry, they looked all over, there were no weapons of mass destruction. It turned out that there were absolutely not. There were no weapons of mass destruction.”

Yes, there were, but he’s certainly welcome to repeat far-leftist talking points at a GOP debate.

The very next day, he insisted he didn’t call anyone a liar at the debate, despite calling Ted Cruz “the single biggest liar.”

In 2000, Trump told a different story about WMD: “Six years of tough talk and U.S. fireworks in Baghdad have done little to slow Iraq’s crash program to become a nuclear power. They’ve got missiles capable of flying nine hundred kilometers — more than enough to reach Tel Aviv. They’ve got enriched uranium. … [I]f we decide a strike against Iraq is necessary, it is madness not to carry the mission to its conclusion.”

On Sept. 11, 2002, radio shock-jock Howard Stern asked Trump, “Are you for invading Iraq?”

“Yeah I guess so,” Trump responded. “I wish the first time it was done correctly.”

And in January 2003, Trump said, “Well, [George W. Bush] has either got to do something or not do something, perhaps, because perhaps shouldn’t be doing it yet and perhaps we should be waiting for the United Nations, you know. He’s under a lot of pressure. I think he’s doing a very good job.”

We’re not sure how to parse that, but it’s not actually strong opposition to going into Iraq. The truth is that anything Trump says may or may not reflect his opinion five minutes from now. Trying to map out his thoughts — not to mention diagraming one of his sentences — is a fool’s errand. But perhaps voters are so fed up with business-as-usual that none of this even matters to them, so long as Trump will bash some heads together.

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