GOP Congressman Goes to Iraq, then Goes Antiwar

Rep. Wayne Gilchrest (R-Md.) is no stranger to war. He signed up with the Marines in 1964 and went to Vietnam in the grimmest, bloodiest days of the war. He survived a shot to the chest, and spent the decades afterward studying foreign policy, history, and why nations go to war.

Gilchrest supported the 2002 authorization for war against Iraq: “Blessed are the peacemakers who freed Europe from the yoke of Nazism,” he said in a floor speech. “Blessed are the peacemakers whose save people of Kuwait from Saddam Hussein. It is not a matter for us as peacemakers of if we go into Iraq. It is a matter of when we do it, how we do it, and who we do it with.”

Within two years of that vote, after taking multiple trips to Iraq, Gilchrest repudiated that decision. He has become a member of the small but vocal antiwar Republican caucus in Congress.

Reason Magazine’s David Weigel has a revealing in-depth interview with Gilchrest today.