Senator J.D. Vance Explains Why He Supported Trump on 20th Anniversary of Iraq War, Says We’re ‘Held Hostage’ By ‘Desperate’ Men

Senator J.D. Vance (R-OH) took to Twitter yesterday to ponder what he considers the pivotal lessons that the United States should take from its 2003 invasion of Iraq. The Ohio Republican is a former marine. The 20th anniversary of that war is today.

The Ohio Senator began his Twitter thread by negatively noting the costs of the war in both manpower, money, and its consequences. He wrote that “[t]wenty years ago we invaded Iraq. The war killed many innocent Iraqis and Americans. It destroyed the oldest Christian populations in the world. It cost over $1 trillion, and turned Iraq into a satellite of Iran. It was an unforced disaster, and I pray that we learn its lessons.”

He recalled his support for the war at the time and his guilt for innocently believing what he terms “the cheerleaders” of the war. He tweeted that “As an 18-year-old kid, I supported the war. I enlisted in the Marines a month after we invaded, and left for bootcamp a few months after I graduated from high school. Even though I was just a kid, I still feel guilty for supporting the war. I think often of what led me to go wrong in 2003, and more importantly, what led so many smart people to support a world-historic disaster. Very few of its cheerleaders show any remorse or willingness to rethink what made them so wrong.”

Mr. Vance replied that one of the reasons he changed his mind about Donald Trump and went from deriding the 45th president to supporting him was due to his stance on Iraq. Vance noted that Trump was “[n]ot…an early critic of the war, but that the people in the conservative movement who hated him most were the most wrong, and the most proud, about foreign policy in 2003. Bill Kristol, David Frum, and on and on. I once admired these men. Then I got to know them. And the more I knew them, the more I realized their hatred of Trump, like Pat Buchanan and others, was a form of projection.”

The senator proclaimed that “[w]e are still living in the ideological cage created by that projection. Our foreign policy is still held hostage by men so desperate to avoid looking in the mirror that they will support the next war, and then the next one, until their country is hollowed out. I hope we do better in the future.”


He added that he wanted the country to do better but realized “that we won’t until the people who led us into Iraq are scorned and ignored across the spectrum. Iraq was a disaster, yes, but the best way to do justice to the honored dead is to learn the lessons purchased by their blood.”

Senator Vance has spoken at length about American foreign policy and the need to smartly confront the main challenger to American power in the international system which is China. In a lengthy interview with The American Conservative, he summarized his attitude toward China by saying that “I think the right view is: China should not make our stuff, and we should try to avoid war with China.”

Mr. Vance also warned against what he characterized as a neoconservative variant of how America should deal with China. He commented that this neoconservative argument was “the absolutely stupidest view” and it argued that “China should make all of our stuff, and we should go to war with them.”

J.D. Vance is considered by many to be the prototypical new type of Republican who is intervention-wary but a realist in their approach toward foreign affairs. They tend to see the paramount foreign policy question in terms of how America deals with China, are critical of why the United States is not trying to press harder for peace between Ukraine and Russia, and want the United States to focus on securing its own borders.

Get Updated

© 2023 DC Enquirer, Privacy Policy