‘I’m Not Going To Re-Debate The Iraq War’: John Kerry Spars With Interviewer Who Questioned Him About 2003 Invasion

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Brianna Lyman News and Commentary Writer
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U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry faced difficult questions about  during a recent interview on French television.

Kerry sat down with French news station LCI’s Darius Rochebin on Sunday night to discuss Kerry’s efforts to stop climate change as well as the ongoing Russian-Ukraine war. Rochebin noted that several South American countries, such as Brazil, have drawn parallels between former President George W. Bush’s 2003 invasion of Iraq and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine.

“We have to judge Putin for crimes of aggression, of course,” Rochebin said, “but you, the Americans, you committed the crime of aggression in Iraq. These countries of the Global South say, should we judge George Bush? Why isn’t Bush judged in the same way?”

“No,” Kerry said.

“Why?” Rochebin asked. (RELATED: China Invites Kerry To Visit For Climate Talks Despite Simmering Tensions)

“Because there’s never even been a direct process or accusation or anything with respect to President Bush himself. Have there been abuses in the course of the war? Yes,” Kerry conceded. In 2002, Kerry voted for a resolution authorizing the the president to invade Iraq, though he later ran against Bush as a critic of the Iraq War.

“Was it not a crime of aggression to enter into Iraq on the basis of a lie?” Rochebin pushed.

“No, no, no,” Kerry argued. “Well, we didn’t know it was a lie at the time. You know the evidence that was produced, people didn’t know that it was a lie. So no, again, I think, you’re stretching something. That’s not a constructive way –”

“But [Bush] lied. He lied. He lied,” Rochebin said.

“Sir, I’m not going to re-debate the Iraq war with you here right now,” Kerry said. “We spent a lot of time doing that previously. I was opposed to going in, I thought it was the wrong thing to do. But we gave the president the power, regrettably, in the Congress, based on the lie. And when we knew it was a lie, people stood up and did the right thing.”

“I get that,” Rochenbin said. “But you understand that for the countries of the South, of course, justice, equality, principles, it’s their impression that there is a double standard.”