The White House had ignored warnings about al Qaeda just before 9/11, so was hyper-alert not to ignore any possible threats from anywhere else. And neocons saw Iraq as a "do-able" war, unlike an attack on Iran, for example.
NBC’s Michael Isikoff and Mother Jones‘ David Corn, co-authors of Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War, joined Hardball Tuesday night on the 10-year anniversary of President George W. Bush’s televised statement to the nation announcing the “early stages of military operations to disarm Iraq.”
The war in Iraq had been in the making years before the invasion began. Bush, Isikoff noted, had ignored many of the warnings pre-9/11 from the intelligence community about the threat from al Qaeda, so it came as no surprise that every threat post-9/11 was taken more seriously than the last. “If there was guilt about anything, it was that we didn’t do what we should’ve done prior to 9/11, so now we’re going to take every threat super-seriously,” Isikoff said.
Corn added that the neocons surrounding the Bush administration had ignored al Qaeda because they were consumed with Iraq, and 9/11 presented them with every opportunity to invade Iraq: “The neocons and others were focused on Iraq because they thought they could get a foothold there,” he said. “You can’t take out Iran, but you might take out Iraq. It was breakable. It was do-able. It was hittable. You can’t do the same operation against Iran. They needed a target, and it seemed the easiest target at the time.”
Watch the full Hardball interview above.