Prominent Iraq War Backers Say Trump Is ‘Reckless’

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Alex Pfeiffer White House Correspondent
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Prominent backers of the Iraq War inside and outside former President George W. Bush’s administration have come out against Republican nominee Donald Trump.

On Monday, 50 Republican national security officials signed a letter that said Trump would be the “most reckless President in American history.” The signees of the letter are a “who’s who” of Bush officials involved in the Iraq War.

Eliot Cohen, former counselor of the Department of State, is one of the signees declaring Trump as “dangerous.” Cohen in 2001 wrote that U.S should “target” Iraq and called the War on Terror “World War IV.” He later claimed that the U.S had to choose between Saddam Hussein acquiring “weapons of mass destruction” or toppling the dictator.

Another national security official who came out against Trump is Meghan O’Sullivan. She is the former deputy national security adviser for Iraq and Afghanistan under President George W. Bush. A 2006 New York Times article describes her as “instrumental in shaping Mr. Bush’s views.”

Trump has spoken out against the Iraq War this election. In a February debate he said the Bush administration “lied” about weapons of mass destruction. In 2002, Trump said “Yeah, I guess so” when asked whether he supports invading Iraq.

A year later, after the invasion, Trump said, “I guess maybe if I had to do it, I would have fought terrorism but not necessarily Iraq.”

Hillary Clinton voted in favor of the invasion of Iraq as a senator. In 2004, she said she had no regrets about her vote. In 2014, she wrote in her book that she “got it wrong.”

John Negropronte, former U.S. ambassador to Iraq from 2004 to 2005, is also a signee on the letter published Monday that claims Trump is “unwilling to separate truth from falsehood.”

The letter is not an exhaustive list of Bush administration national security officials against Trump. Dan Senor, former spokesman for Iraq’s Coalition Provisional Authority, has come out strongly against the Republican nominee. Senor has said, “At any time anybody following this closely can they honestly believe that Donald Trump has the temperament or values or the character or the integrity to be president of the United States? No.”

In 2004, Senor responded to reporters’ questions about Iraq violence by saying, “Off the record, Paris is burning. On the record: Security and stability are returning to Iraq.”

Non-Bush officials who supported the invasion of Iraq have also come out against Trump. The executive director of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq Randy Scheunemann signed a March letter that said Trump “would diminish our standing in the world.”

Max Boot, a national security analyst, has written a recent article titled, ‘No Need to Repent for Support Of Iraq War.” Boot has described a Trump victory as the “the biggest national security threat that the United States faces today.” The Iraq War led to the deaths of more than 4,500 American soldiers.

There are though prominent Iraq War backers behind Trump, including former Vice President Dick Cheney and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.