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‘Yeah, That’s Right. So What?’

My friend Richard Smith at VetVoice has a great catch from George W. Bush’s exit interview with ABC’s Martha Raddatz after getting shoes thrown at him in Baghdad. One of the things that Muntader al-Zaidi, a 28-year Iraqi journalist, yelled at the disgraced outgoing president as he threw his shoes in disrespect was “This is from the widows, the orphans and those killed in Iraq.” And here’s a perfect example of why. Look at what Bush tells Raddatz about Al Qaeda in Iraq:

Bush: This [Iraq] is where Al Qaeda was hoping to take …

Raddatz: But not until after the U.S. invaded.

Bush: Yeah, that’s right. So what?

As they used to say way way back in 2001, that’s my Bush. There’s two so-whats here. The first is the widows, the orphans and those killed in Iraq, just as al-Zaidi said, by a jihadist organization that didn’t exist until George Bush made a miscalculation of epic proportions. The second is that Bush just admitted there was no Al Qaeda presence in Iraq before the invasion, despite endless statements before the war that — just to take one example — in “the war on terror, you can’t distinguish between al Qaeda and Saddam when you talk about the war on terror.” Remember this line from the 2003 State of the Union?

Evidence from intelligence sources, secret communications, and statements by people now in custody reveal that Saddam Hussein aids and protects terrorists, including members of al Qaeda.

I only regret that I will never get to throw my own shoes at this man.

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