Jun
27
2014

This Sunday, a Different Kind of Iraq War Booster: Bill Clinton

clinton-mtpIt's hard not to notice that some of the most hawkish supporters of the Iraq War have been dominating the debate over what to do next in Iraq. Last week, ABC's This Week (6/22/14) had Dick Cheney on  so viewers could hear Jonathan Karl ask: "What is your solution, your plan right now, for Iraq? What would you be doing?"

And NBC's Meet the Press (6/22/14; FAIR Blog, 6/23/14) tapped Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu , a week after noted Iraq expert Mitt Romney weighed in (6/15/14).

But this week, Meet the Press is evidently doing something different. They're putting the Iraq question to former President Bill Clinton. There's an excerpt up at the Meet the Press website, which they're headlining this way:

Clinton on Cheney: 'If They Hadn't Gone to War in Iraq None of This Would Be Happening'

It's a good line. But history will recall Bill Clinton as someone who supported the Bush administration's drive to war in 2003–even though Clinton has at times tried to claim otherwise. As FAIR noted in 2007 (Action Alert, 11/29/07), Clinton said he'd been against the war "from the beginning." But he had a funny way of showing it–writing a column for the Guardian (3/18/03) the day before the invasion headlined "Trust Tony's Judgment" (as in former British Prime Minister Tony Blair), explaining on 60 Minutes (3/30/03) that "I support our troops in Iraq and the president," and telling Time magazine (6/28/04) that he had "repeatedly defended President Bush against the left on Iraq."

And this is to say nothing of Clinton's own Iraq policies, which included bombings and devastating sanctions that took a tremendous toll on Iraqi civilians, particularly children.

Is Clinton trying to pull this trick all over again? Who knows. But what's clear is that proponents of the Iraq War are still the kinds of people that corporate media are seeking out as experts now. Getting pro-war Democrats to balance out the pro-war Republicans isn't exactly a broad debate.

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.