Laura Ingraham's epiphany: "Iraq is worse than before we went in"

The hard-right pundit reluctantly grants that the U.S. invasion in 2003 did Iraq more harm than good

Published August 10, 2014 5:36PM (EDT)

Laura Ingraham                                   (Reuters/Lucas Jackson)
Laura Ingraham (Reuters/Lucas Jackson)

Appearing as a panelist on "Fox News Sunday" this weekend, conservative gabber and preeminent xenophobe Laura Ingraham broke from right-wing orthodoxy by acknowledging that Iraq is in worse shape today than it was before former President Bush launched an invasion of the country in 2003.

"It’s really hard, I don’t think you can judge how he did right now," Ingraham said during a discussion of President Obama's handling of the ascendant Islamist extremist group ISIS in Iraq. "We’re almost in an impossible situation. The America people really have no appetite for America to reengage. They don’t want us to go into Syria."

Ingraham argued that despite the general public's disinterest in the U.S. further involving itself in the turmoil of the Middle East, Obama's reluctance to act like a neo-imperial power in the region had its costs. "He’s now reluctantly seeing the perils of inaction," Ingraham said of the president. "If we do nothing [to combat ISIS], then what?"

Already flirting with danger by offering a qualified defense of the president, Ingraham next completely broke ranks from her fellow Republicans and implicitly rejected the popular conservative talking point that the Iraq war was "won" before Obama "lost" it by withdrawing U.S. troops from the country too soon.

"We tried to do all these things in Iraq, now Iraq is worse off!" Ingraham said, with obvious exasperation. "I mean, I hate to say that, but Iraq is worse than before we went in to Iraq. Christians are gone, there’s no sense of order at all. Saddam Hussein is gone. That’s a good thing, but what’s left? A more embolden Islamic state."

You can see Ingraham argue that the 2003 invasion of Iraq made the country worse below:

By Elias Isquith

Elias Isquith is a former Salon staff writer.

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