The Last Four U.S. Presidents on What to Do with Iraq*
By Peter Suderman
Did last night’s primetime presidential speech announcing expanding authorization for airstrikes in Iraq and Syria feel kind of familiar? Like you’ve heard it before?
That’s probably because you have. You’ve been hearing for more than two decades, from presidents on both sides of political aisle. At this point, bombing Iraq is practically a American presidential tradition.
And, via the magic of YouTube and The Huffington Post‘s Sam Stein, you can watch every president back to the first George Bush announce a new plan to launch military strikes in Iraq.
Here’s George H.W. Bush in January 1991 announcing that “air attacks are already underway against military targets in Iraq.”
Here’s President Bill Clinton in December 1998 announcing a mission, along with British forces, to “strike military and security targets in Iraq.”
Here’s President George Bush (the second one) in March 2003 announcing that American forces, with help from coalition partners, “are in the early stages of military operations to disarm Iraq.”
And here’s President Obama, last night, describing U.S. airstrikes and other military operations designed to “degrade and ultimately destroy” ISIS in Iraq and Syria.