‘To Start a War’ author Robert Draper talks about the intelligence disasters that led Bush to invade Iraq


Robert Draper, a writer at large for The New York Times Magazine spoke with Business Insider about his new book “To Start a War: How the Bush Administration Took America into Iraq.”
The book recounts all the terrible decisions based off of bad intelligence and motivated reasoning that led the most disastrous US foreign policy action in recent memory.
“I’m not totally convinced that there has been the level of introspection throughout the Washington community that there ought to be. And I hope if my book can provide us a service, that would be that it would inspire that kind of reckoning and self-inspection,” Draper said.
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Robert Draper, a writer at large for The New York Times Magazine and a contributor to National Geographic, is the author of the new book “To Start a War: How the Bush Administration Took America into Iraq.” Draper in 2008 published another book about Bush, “Dead Certain: The Presidency of George W. Bush,” which covered the first six years of his presidency.

In a phone interview with Business Insider Columnist Anthony L. Fisher, Draper talked about why he felt the time was right to revisit the greatest foreign policy catastrophe of modern times, Donald Rumsfeld’s micro-managing megalomania, and who in the administration will Colin Powell never forgive.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

“A fundamental illogic pervaded”

Fisher: Such a catastrophic moment in recent American history, while not forgotten, is certainly not discussed nearly as much as one might expect. So what made you want to write this book now?

Draper: This was sort of a case of unfinished business for me. I had done this biography of Bush’s presidency while the Iraq saga was still unfolding. It was such a moving target that I didn’t sufficiently cover it in that book. On top of that I also felt at pains to really unlock this central mystery of Bush’s presidency, which is, why did he go to war at the time that he did against a country that had not attacked us?

I decided to do this book in the middle of 2017, when the Trump presidency was already underway. There was reason to ask, how did we get to this point where we are governed by a reality TV host with zero political experience who has somehow convinced 63 million Americans that “I alone can fix it”?

When you parse that out, some of why people voted for Trump can be explained by cultural grievances up to and including out and out racism. Some of it can be explained by the echo chamber of conservative media that demonized Hillary Clinton over 25 years. some of it is because during the primaries Trump distinguished himself from his Republican opponents by basically saying you’re part of the problem, all of your experience, what did it get us? It got us this catastrophic war in Iraq, which was something that Republicans at the time hadn’t given voice to.

So it …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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