On Wednesday, Sir John Chilcot, the head of the United Kingdom’s Iraq war inquiry, delivered a damning, 2.6-million-word report on Britain’s decision to join the United States invasion of Iraq in 2003. “We have concluded that the UK chose to join the invasion of Iraq before the peaceful options for disarmament had been exhausted,” Chilcot said in a statement. “Military action at that time was not a last resort.”
Responding quickly to BuzzFeed’s newly uncovered interview in which Donald Trump advocates for invading Iraq, Anderson Cooper asked the man himself if he remembered answering in the affirmative. In response, Trump comes as close to breaking character as we’ve seen him yet. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
Ahmed Chalabi, a con artist who spent a decade convincing America’s foreign policy establishment to topple a dictator so the Chalabi family could resume extracting their home nation’s wealth, died of a heart attack today, about 15 years too late. If you haven’t read it in a while (or at all), now is a good time to revisit Jane Mayer’s 2004 account of how long and how hard Chalabi worked to make regime change in Iraq the main foreign policy priority of a bunch of deeply stupid but powerful people, who grew to believe, despite of the overwhelming amount of evidence to the contrary, that the deeply unscrupulous exile could be a credible leader of a secular and democratic Iraq.
According to a statement from the Pentagon, the U.S. launched airstrikes in Iraq this morning, targeting ISIS militants. President Obama authorized the strikes just hours before. The U.S. has also reportedly banned U.S. airlines from flying in Iraq's airspace because of a "hazardous situation created by armed conflict."
George W. Bush's presidential center will be dedicated today in Dallas, Texas. It's the biggest and most expensive presidential center yet—at 226,560 square feet and a price tag of $250 million. All five living U.S. presidents were there to honor number 43; Bill Clinton even went so far as to mention in his speech that he wanted Bush to paint his portrait.
In an interview with ABC News to promote his new game-filled library, George W. Bush spoke about the most important moment of his presidency: the decision to go to war with Iraq. That war, which led to the deaths of at least 123,000-134,000 Iraqi civilians and over 4,400 U.S. troops, was in large part fought because of the incorrect information that Saddam Hussein was in possession of weapons of mass destruction. But don't worry, Bush is still “very comfortable” with his decision to invade.
Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi, an Iraqi defector under Saddam Hussein whose claims about the former dictator's mobile biological weapons programs were used heavily in the Bush Administration's public case for war, has an interesting story to tell everyone. The source, who, under the alias "Curveball" in intelligence reports, provided a foundation for Secretary of State Colin Powell's famous speech to the United Nations a month before the Iraq invasion, admits that he just made it up to get Hussein out of power.