Thursday October 25, 2018
Rep. John J. Duncan, Jr. (R-TN), who will retire in January after 30 years in the United States House of Representatives, is the subject of a new biographical feature article at the Knoxville News Sentinel. Included with the article is video of an interview with Duncan in which he describes how he developed “into sort of an antiwar Republican” in the process of examining US military actions in Iraq and experiencing pressure from successive presidential administrations to support that intervention and its escalation.
After having voted in the House to authorize the Gulf War in 1991, Duncan explains that watching the ensuing US invasion of Iraq led him to realize that the war had been promoted based on false information. In particular, Duncan mentions being told before the vote about “all these elite troops” in Iraq under the control of Iraq President Saddam Hussein, who was made to “sound like another Hitler.” “And then,” says Duncan, “I saw those same ‘elite troops’ surrendering to CNN camera crews and empty tanks, and I decided then that the threat had been greatly exaggerated.”
Moving forward five or six years, Duncan relates that his questioning of the propriety of US military action in Iraq increased during the years of US bombing that took place between the Gulf War and later Iraq War due to reading reports, including one detailing that “one of our bombs had gone astray and killed I think it was seven little boys who were playing soccer in a field in Iraq, and it described this horrible anguish of this father whose little boy had had his head blown off.”