This is remarkable. We’re not talking about John Edwards or John Kerry changing their view on whether or not it was a mistake to go to war with Iraq, but Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, one of the most conservative Republicans in the Senate. Think Progress reports:
During a town hall meeting in Muskogee, Oklahoma this past weekend, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) admitted that it was “a mistake” for the United States to invade Iraq in 2003. “I will tell you personally that I think it was probably a mistake going to Iraq,” Coburn told the crowd.
The senator “made it clear” during the town hall meeting that “he did not believe the U.S. could withdraw” from Iraq, but it is unclear when he decided the war was “a mistake” in the first place. Though Coburn was not a member of Congress when the war was authorized in 2002, he made it clear during his 2004 Senate run that he supported the choice to go to war.
The reaction from Coburn’s equally conservative colleague from Oklahoma, James Inhofe, is hilarious: “No, no, he couldn’t have said that…I cannot believe he said that.”
I have no problem with people changing their views on Iraq. It’s to be expected that if someone has the capacity for honest thought and reason that, over time, they would move away from supporting a failed policy in Iraq and recognize that the reasons that brought us there were faulty.
I hope that Coburn’s realization that going to war in Iraq was a mistake influences his thought-process on future iterations of the Bush-McCain vision of American foreign policy.