Donald Trump has long insisted that he opposed the Iraq War from the start of hostilities. Andrew Kaczynski’s article questions Mr. Trump’s veracity on the timing of Mr. Trump’s opposition to the Iraq War. In his article, Mr. Kaczynski quoted Mr. Trump from Mr. Trump’s book.
In 2000, Mr. Trump wrote “Consider Iraq. After each pounding from U.S . warplanes, Iraq has dusted itself off and gone right back to work developing a nuclear arsenal. 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. All they need is the material for nuclear fission to complete the job, and, according to the Rumsfeld report, we don’t even know for sure if they’ve laid their hands on that yet. That’s what our last aerial assault on Iraq in 1999 was about. Saddam Hussein wouldn’t let UN weapons inspectors examine certain sites where that material might be stored. The result when our bombing was over? We still don’t know what Iraq is up to or whether it has the material to build nuclear weapons. I’m no warmonger. But the fact is, if we decide a strike against Iraq is necessary, it is madness not to carry the mission to its conclusion. When we don’t, we have the worst of all worlds: Iraq remains a threat, and now has more incentive than ever to attack us.”
This raises a host of questions for Mr. Trump. During last Saturday night’s debate, Mr. Trump insisted that “They lied. They said there were weapons of mass destruction. There were none. They knew there were none. There were no weapons of mass destruction.”
In 2000, Mr. Trump didn’t just think that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Mr. Trump was convinced that Iraq had “missiles capable of flying nine hundred kilometers, more than enough to reach Tel Aviv. They’ve got enriched uranium.” Mr. Trump thought that Iraq was on its way to becoming a nuclear power. That’s a pretty provocative statement. That’s just the start of Mr. Trump’s problems.
According to Mr. Trump’s Esquire interview in August, 2004, Trump “turned loud and vocally against the war in an interview with Esquire.” By August, 2004, Iraq was riddled with sectarian violence. Things were going poorly. Lots of people were opposing the war by then. That Mr. Trump opposed the war in August, 2004 doesn’t make Mr. Trump a great prognosticator. It might indicate that he was just another joiner.
The important question that Mr. Trump hasn’t been asked is when he shifted from thinking Iraq had a nuclear weapons program that had to be stopped to opposing the war. Another thing that Mr. Trump hasn’t said was what convinced him that Iraq didn’t have WMDs. It’s important to know the answers to these questions because Mr. Trump accused President Bush of knowing that Iraq didn’t have WMDs. Did Mr. Trump make that accusation without proof? If Mr. Trump made that accusation without proof, why did he do such a provocative thing?
That doesn’t mean this article will cause Mr. Trump’s most loyal supporters to abandon him. Mr. Trump’s most loyal supporters could find out that he’d done something heinous and it wouldn’t affect Mr. Trump’s support.
What it likely means is that Mr. Trump would be the Democrats’ dream come true. Mr. Trump gets crushed by Sen. Rubio (57%-41%) and Sen. Cruz (56%-40%) in a head to head match-up. While 40% in a 5-way race is a big percentage, getting 40% in a 2-man race is called defeat.
As the week comes to a close, Mr. Trump has a credibility problem and a reality problem. It isn’t a stretch to think that Hillary Clinton will be the president in 2017 if Mr. Trump is the GOP nominee.