Lawrence Wilkerson on the U.S. Invasion of Iraq

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CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: I wonder what you think, had that road that wasn’t taken been actually taken, that the advice of Chirac had actually landed on willing ears in the White House, in Downing Street and elsewhere, and that they hadn’t precipitously gone into Iraq. Do you think that was possible? And would it have made a significant difference?

COL. LAWRENCE WILKERSON (RET.), FORMER STATE DEPARTMENT CHIEF OF STAFF: It would have made a huge difference, personally for me, and I think overwhelmingly for the Levant, for America, and for, ultimately, liberal democracy in the West. We started something in the Levant with our invasion of Iraq. But we started something that stretched from the Red Sea to Afghanistan. And we started something that came back, ricocheting mightily in our own backyard, with torture, with destroying our reputation that we built up so painstakingly since World War II. And then we did that, essentially, as I look back on it, because we did something that war theorists and others have advised strenuously not to do, and that is to make national security decisions.

About This Episode EXPAND

Fmr. Afghan Ambassador to the United States Roya Rahmani, foreign policy expert Lawrence Wilkerson, and retired FDNY Assistant Chief Joe Pfeifer each reflect on the 20th anniversary of 9/11.