Maureen Dowd: George HW Bush agreed that Iraq War was mistake

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New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd said Wednesday that former President George H.W. Bush privately agreed with her that the Iraq War was a mistake.

“I think he agreed with my analysis of the Iraq War, that it was a mistake to go into Baghdad and trump up this reason for war because he had decided not to do that,” Dowd said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

“But he couldn’t say that, except to his closest friends,” she added.

{mosads}Dowd said that the former president, who died Friday at the age of 94, often sent notes to her over the years as the two developed a close relationship.

She added that the elder Bush also believed that the presidency of his son, George W. Bush, was “hijacked” by neoconservatives.

“He also agreed with me that Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld and the neocons hijacked W’s presidency,” she said. “And finally in the end he told that to Jon Meacham. He said they … had sort of ruined his son’s presidency.”

Cheney was George W. Bush’s vice president and Rumsfeld was his Defense secretary from 2001 to 2006. 

In Meacham’s 2015 book “Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush,” Bush is quoted calling Cheney an “iron-ass.”

“He just became very hard-line and very different from the Dick Cheney I knew and worked with,” Bush said of his Defense secretary. “Just iron-ass. His seeming knuckling under to the real hard-charging guys who want to fight about everything, use force to get our way in the Middle East.”

Bush also slammed Rumsfeld, who briefly flirted with a presidential bid in 1988, as an “arrogant fellow” in the book.

“I think he served the president badly,” Bush said.

Bush’s son Jeb Bush later said he believed his father was trying to “create a different narrative” by criticizing Cheney and Rumsfeld.

“My brother is a big boy, his administration was shaped by his thinking, his reaction to the attack on 9/11. I think my dad, like a lot of people that love George [W. Bush], want to try to create a different narrative, perhaps, just because that’s natural to do,” the former Florida governor told NBC News in 2015.


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