No, Donald Trump Didn’t Oppose the Iraq War

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Via Bob Somerby, here are two ways of handling the same set of facts. The first, from the New York Times, is wrong:

Mr. Trump, the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, pledged a major buildup of the military, the swift destruction of the Islamic State and the rejection of trade deals that he said tied the nation’s hands. But he also pointedly rejected the nation-building of the George W. Bush administration, reminding his audience that he had opposed the Iraq war.

The second, from the Washington Post, is right:

Mr. Trump blamed previous administrations for making a mess of the Middle East — a reasonable claim, but one he littered with false assertions. He again claimed, against the known record, to have opposed the Iraq War well before it began.

Granted, the Post’s version is in an editorial, where writers have more freedom to say what they want. Still, straight news reporters have, obviously, an obligation to report the news straight. And the straight truth is that Donald Trump didn’t oppose the war in Iraq—not until well after it had already become a disaster, anyway. All the available evidence says so, and reporters shouldn’t enable Trump’s lies by repeating them unchallenged.

If Trump really opposed the war in Iraq, all he has to do is show us the evidence. It would take five minutes. He hasn’t done it. He’s lying.

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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