The Corpus Callosum

This Adds To My Respect

adds to my respect for Gerald Ford.  

Ford: Bush made ‘big mistake’ on Iraq

11:07 p.m. EST, December 27, 2006

WASHINGTON (CNN) — In an interview never before published, former
President Gerald Ford said President Bush and his chief advisers “made
a big mistake” with their justifications for the Iraq war.

Ford made the comments in a four-hour interview in 2004 with Washington
Post reporter Bob Woodward…

Ford was regarded as a man with a quiet style who was not quick to
criticize, Woodward and others who worked with him said on “Larry

Ford requested that Woodward not publish the interview until Woodward
had written a planned book about Ford or until the former president

“He made it very clear that he did not agree with the reasons President
Bush laid out for the war, namely the belief that there were weapons of
mass destruction in Iraq or that there was some obligation that the
United States or the president had to expand democracy.”

Now, in some ways I would have preferred that Ford make his opinions
known in the run up to the war.  For that matter, I wish he
had joined in the protest marches.  But it wasn’t his style to
do things like that.  He wanted to live his final days in
peace, not call attention to himself, and I can’t blame him for that.


  1. #1 J-Dog
    December 28, 2006

    Nope. He should have spoken up IMO. His voice could have made a difference if he would have spoken out early against the war. AND he should have prosecuted Tricky Dick, not pardoned the damn criminal. Maybe we wouldn’t have been sadled with another Rethuglican Prez like GW, if Nixon would have gone to prison.

    I am totally disrespecting Ford. He was NO Lincoln.

  2. #2 David Dobbs
    December 28, 2006

    I respectfully agree with the previous poster – Ford should have spoken up. Ex-Presidents should rightfully refrain from double-guessing and critiquing the more ordinary decisions that sitting Presidents make. But on fundamental questions like war or the Constitution, ex-Presidents — having been sworn to protect the Constitution — have a responsibility to speak up. As the only living, sentient Republican ex-President in 2004, Ford could have made a tremendous impact by publicly criticizing Bush’s misadventure, and he should have done so. His responsibilities as ex-President override his right to privacy. That’s part of the job he took back in 1974.

  3. #3 David Dobbs
    December 28, 2006

    PS (to my previous comment): When I called Ford “the only living, sentient Republican ex-President in 2004…”, I obviously left out George H.W. Bush — who, in my mind, anyway, gets a rare pass on the responsibilities described, given that the sitting President was and is his son.

  4. #4 Caledonian
    December 28, 2006

    So the demands of family are more important than protecting the Republic?

    Herbert Walker’s position means that his criticism would have been even more potent. His failure is greater than Ford’s.

  5. #5 J-Dog
    December 28, 2006

    David Dobbs – You could make a case that you were correct that Ford was the only living “sentient” Republican ex-Prez, by listing George H as non-sentient… after all, he is responsible, in a rather large way, for GW, and has taken no public steps to compensate for his mistake.

  6. #6 Rob Knop
    December 28, 2006

    I agree with Joseph, and disagree with most of the other posters….

    Yeah, it would have been nice if Ford had spoken up. However, what would have happened if he had? Everybody would have lambasted him. Glory hound, he would have been called, trying to grab the spotlight.

    I respect his reasons for his decision not to speak out publicly. It probably would have made little difference. Hell, we knew the Iraq war was a disaster sold to us on false principles in 2004, and yet we still re-elected Bush. How much difference would the words of the least-remembered still-living ex-President have made? One who would be derided as a Republican by Democrats, and who would be derided as “too moderate” by much of W’s support base?

    And, indeed, it wasn’t his style at all.

  7. #7 Greg P
    December 28, 2006

    Jimmy Carter has, I think, shown that one can make your views known without being caustic or attacking the individuals who make decisions, but focus on their decisions. Ford could have also, and I think that perhaps we’re past the excessive loyalty that the Republicans have shown by consistently failing to criticize any of their own.
    Jimmy has been a better past president than he was at being President. As President his downfall was that in trying so hard to do the right thing he did too much handwringing and not enough decision-making.
    Ford was the President who was never meant to be President and one might say he lived up to expectations.
    George HW has been a great disappointment as a past president. Except for his odd enough partnership with Bill Clinton, he has virtually disappeared.

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