News Release

Biden and Bloomberg Falsehoods on Iraq Invasion

STEPHEN ZUNES, zunes at usfca.edu, @SZunes
Zunes is a professor of politics and coordinator of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of San Francisco. He is among several prominent analysts featured in a just-released mini-doc narrated by Danny Glover, “WORTH THE PRICE? Joe Biden and the Launch of the Iraq War” and produced by Mark Weisbrot. The documentary traces the central role that Biden — who was then chair of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee — played in ensuring the Iraq invasion was executed in 2003. 

Biden has continued making misleading claims at many of the debates so far with minimal scrutiny. On ABC earlier this month, Biden claimed “I trusted George Bush to keep his word. He said he was not going to go into Iraq. He said he was only using this to unite the United Nations to insist we get inspectors in to see what Saddam was doing.”

Zunes debunked this false narrative, which Biden has repeated over and over, in a piece last year, “Biden Is Doubling Down on Iraq War Lies,” in which he notes: “More than three months after U.N. inspectors returned, Biden defended the imminent launch of the invasion by saying, ‘I support the president. Diplomacy over avoiding war is dead. … I do not see any alternative. It is not as if we can back away now.” He added, ‘Let loose the dogs of war. I’m confident we will win.’ He then co-sponsored a resolution supporting Bush and the invasion.’

For more: Sam Husseini, senior analyst with accuracy.org on Intercepted: “Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, and the Rewriting of Iraq War History” with journalist Jeremy Scahill. Also see Husseini’s piece from last month on Salon: “Joe Biden won’t tell the truth about his Iraq war record — and he hasn’t for years” and relevant past accuracy.org news releases.

Zunes said today: “Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg, the former Republican mayor of New York, was a staunch supporter of the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq. As recently as last month, Bloomberg stated that he has no regrets over supporting the illegal conquest. Though he acknowledges that it was a ‘mistake,’ he insists that Bush, Cheney and others who pushed the country to war based on false claims that Iraq possessed dangerous weapons, weapons programs, and weapons systems ‘did it honestly.’ In the aftermath of the invasion when no such weapons were found, Bloomberg then tried to justify it by making the bizarre claim that the secular Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein was involved in the 9/11 attacks by the Islamist Al-Qaeda network. As the war dragged on four years after the invasion and Congressional Democrats proposed legislation to set up timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. forces, he blasted the proposed legislation as irresponsible and ‘untenable.’ Like Biden, Bloomberg is a dangerous militarist who as president could very well get the United States involved in other illegal, unnecessary, and disastrous wars.”