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Friday, November 18, 2005

Clinton the stopper?

Did Bill Clinton say, as the Independent’s Rupert Cornwell claims, that ‘the war in Iraq was "a big mistake"’. Yes and no, it seems, but more no than yes. The AP report quotes him as saying ‘The mistake that they made is that when they kicked out Saddam, they decided to dismantle the whole authority structure of Iraq’. Nothing in the report suggests that he condemned the invasion per se.

Did he say anything remotely resembling ‘the sooner American troops leave the better’? No, that is Mr Cornwell’s view, echoing the comments of a congressman whom, I am wiling to bet, not one Indie reader in a thousand has ever heard of. What Clinton did say was ‘We never sent enough troops and didn't have enough troops to control or seal the borders.’ Which doesn’t exactly make him a ‘stopper’. But clearly if you want an eye-catching headline Congressman John Murtha doesn’t quite do the business. So ‘Clinton: The big mistake of the Iraq war - Ex-President leads the critics’ it is.

Is the Independent even trying to be a newspaper of record these days?

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