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Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

There are so many things going on here: one is the deep, unresolved specter of the Iraq War looming over the Republican party, notwithstanding what seemed like a rapid fire consensus last week that it was a bad idea; another is the fact that Marco Rubio just doesn't seem like the most cognitively dexterous contender for the Republican nomination. Whatever it is, after seeming to come down on the side of 'knowing what we know now, it was a mistake' side of the equation, Rubio went back to the other side of the debate and then stumbled and then got miffed when Fox News Sunday anchor Chris Wallace grilled him on his flip-flop and then apparent re-flip live on this morning's show.

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If it's true, as I wrote below, that the public case for the Iraq War was built on a series of half-truths, misdirections and lies, it's fair to ask, just what was the point then? And what did President and Dick Cheney and everyone else think was going to happen after the invasion? It's a good question. Let me try to answer it.

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As the GOP has quickly settled into a new consensus that the decision to invade Iraq was - at least in retrospect - a mistake, it has come with a willful amnesia bordering on a whole new generation of deceit about exactly what happened in the lead up to the invasion of Iraq in March 2003. To hear Republican presidential candidates tell it, Americans believed Saddam Hussein had a stockpile of Weapons of Mass Destruction which justified and necessitated the invasion. Since he didn't, there was no reason to invade. The carnage and collateral effects we've seen over the last dozen years only drives home the point: knowing what we know now, the invasion was a mistake. We wouldn't do it again.

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