[Ed. – This whole episode suggests Jeb Bush is a shallow thinker on national security policy, starting with his acceptance of the media narrative about what happened in Iraq. I’m hearing Mara Liasson opine that this will be a problem for Jeb in the campaign, and I think she’s right. He looks like he’s being jerked around by a media narrative that much of the GOP base still vigorously disputes.]
After a week of painfully struggling to talk about the war in Iraq started by his brother, Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush stated definitively here Thursday that he would not have invaded that country based on the intelligence failures that now are known.
“Knowing what we now know, what would you have done? I would have not engaged. I would not have gone into Iraq,” Bush said at a campaign stop before a few dozen local business leaders at Four Peaks Brewery in Tempe.
Bush tried to explain his days of difficulty articulating a clear position on Iraq as the result of being reluctant to say anything that might suggest he was ungrateful for the sacrifice of the U.S. armed forces and their families during 12 years of war.
“It’s very hard for me to say that their lives were lost in vain,” Bush said. “In fact, they weren’t. We have the greatest military in the face of the earth.” He added, “Their sacrifice was worth honoring, not depreciating.”