Bobby Jindal's Position On Iraq Is More About Blame Than Actual Policy

While Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal just launched his presidential exploratory committee on Monday, he has long been exploring his positions on issues like the Iraq War. In an appearance in Iowa on Saturday night, following a long week of Jeb Bush's flip-flopping on Iraq, Jindal further solidified his stance. While Jindal stood behind fellow Republican George W. Bush for his decision, given the information he had at the time, Jindal was not particularly apt to take on hypothetical questions about the past.

When ABC News asked Jindal whether he stood behind the Iraq invasion, he offered a response somewhat similar to Bush’s, but he was significantly less tripped up by the question.

I don’t think that the parlor games are helpful. What is helpful, is that at the time, given the information that they had, President [George W.] Bush made absolutely the right decision. Let’s remember, the world is a better place without Saddam Hussein.

He pointed out that at the time that Bush made the decision to go to war, Hussein could reasonably be viewed as a “menace to his neighbors,” as he had previously used chemical weapons and he blocked the United Nations’ weapons inspections. After a quick defense of George W. though, Jindal shut down the “hypothetical games about foreign policy.”

Jindal pointed out that there are a lot of decisions in the country’s past that could be questioned — such as whether Eisenhower should’ve listened to Patton and stopped the Soviets or whether the country should’ve bought Alaska for $7 million — but those questions cannot change what has already been done.

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However, while Jindal deflected the blame from Bush for past decisions, he somehow managed to deflect that blame onto Obama. According to Jindal, problems compounded when Obama didn’t listen to the military and advisers and instead decided to withdraw all troops. He said that Obama’s policies enabled the rise of ISIS.

The problems we face in Iraq today I don’t think were because of President Bush’s strength but have come about because of President Obama’s weakness.

While Jindal was quick to point out the faults — or lack thereof — of presidents past and present, he wasn’t keen to address the future, or, say what he might have done were he in Bush’s shoes in 2003. Rather than attempting to answer the question that caused Jeb Bush to flub so badly, Jindal neatly dodged making any comments on the war, considering the hindsight now in hand.

Tactical moves like this will keep Jindal safe from gaffes in the media, but he can only play the blame game for so long. Because if Jindal manages to snag the presidency in 2016, he’ll be faced with some tough decisions just like Obama and Bush were.

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