(This article is published in Salon.)
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has apologized for backing the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, which he admitted led to the rise of ISIS. Expressing reserved regret for what he described as “mistakes” made in the war, Blair conceded that “you can’t say that those of us who removed Saddam in 2003 bear no responsibility for the situation in 2015.”
Meanwhile, in the U.S., leading right-wing politicians are still stuck in denial. Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush has firmly maintained that his brother’s war was a “good deal” because it led to the ouster of Saddam Hussein. He furthermore described the 2007 surge of U.S. troops in Iraq as “courageous.”
Just a few months before, in May, amid inconsistent flip-flopping on the issue, Bush had again insisted that the world was “significantly safer” because the invasion had forced Hussein out of power. Perhaps this is unsurprising when 17 (81 percent) of Jeb Bush’s 21 foreign policy advisers come from the George W. Bush administration. Yet Jeb is by no means alone.