Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Speaking From the Grave

Fascinating article by Bob Woodward:
Former president Gerald R. Ford said in an embargoed interview in July 2004 that the Iraq war was not justified. "I don't think I would have gone to war," he said a little more than a year after President Bush launched the invasion advocated and carried out by prominent veterans of Ford's own administration.

In a four-hour conversation at his house in Beaver Creek, Colo., Ford "very strongly" disagreed with the current president's justifications for invading Iraq…


The Ford interview -- and a subsequent lengthy conversation in 2005 -- took place for a future book project, though he said his comments could be published at any time after his death. In the sessions, Ford fondly recalled his close working relationship with key Bush advisers Cheney and Rumsfeld while expressing concern about the policies they pursued in more recent years.


Ford was also critical of his own actions during the interviews. He recalled, for example, his unsuccessful 1976 campaign to remain in office, when he was under enormous pressure to dump Vice President Nelson A. Rockefeller from the Republican ticket. Some polls at the time showed that up to 25 percent of Republicans, especially those from the South, would not vote for Ford if Rockefeller, a New Yorker from the liberal wing of the Republican Party, was on the ticket.

When Rockefeller offered to be dropped from the ticket, Ford took him up on it. But he later regretted it. The decision to dump the loyal Rockefeller, he said, was "an act of cowardice on my part."
Another act of cowardice was to withhold public opposition to the war until after his death. The reason this war was allowed to proceed was because too many who knew better were silent.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't call Ford's decision not to back seat drive the Presidency an act of cowardice.

The fact that he even spoke in such a candid way was a very positive thing.

He made many of these remarks when we were just one year into the war.

To come out at that time with troops in Iraq, I'm sure he was hoping for a better outcome - like the majority of the nation at that time.

Also, he stated he had problems with the WMD justification for going to war, but he did say that Sadaam was an evil man. So perhaps he felt that was the biggest cause of concern, and not that we actually invaded Iraq?