Bush 'regrets' Legacy of War

George Bush told the Times OnLine that he regrets the fact that his rhetoric gave the impression that he wanted war in Iraq.

One might say it's a little late to harbor such regrets. One might also say that regrets are irrelevant in the face of overwhelming evidence that invading Iraq is exactly what this Administration had in mind from day one.

Personally, I am fully supportive of taking out Saddam Hisseien. It was the next logical step in the War on Terror. But I find it disinegnuous of the president to say that his mind wasn't made up about going to war in Iraq:

In an exclusive interview, he expressed regret at the bitter divisions over the war and said that he was troubled about how his country had been misunderstood. "I think that in retrospect I could have used a different tone, a different rhetoric."

Phrases such as "bring them on" or "dead or alive", he said, "indicated to people that I was, you know, not a man of peace". He said that he found it very painful "to put youngsters in harm's way". He added: "I try to meet with as many of the families as I can. And I have an obligation to comfort and console as best as I possibly can. I also have an obligation to make sure that those lives were not lost in vain."

The unilateralism that marked his first White House term has been replaced by an enthusiasm for tough multilateralism. He said that his focus for his final six months in office was to secure agreement on issues such as establishing a Palestinian state and to "leave behind a series of structures that makes it easier for the next president".

From my own point of view, I find the president's critics equally disingenuous about the Iraq War when they claim there was a point where we could have turned back. I think any rational person who saw us putting 200,000 troops in the desert could hardly escape the conclusion we were going to use them. So the president and Congress did this Kabuki dance where both sides pretended there were other options on the table outside of invading Iraq. This is silly. If the president had simply pointed out Saddam's violations of UN resolutions, his shooting at our planes in the no fly zone, and other transgressions, I believe he still would have had overwhelming support from the people to invade.

This is all "what ifs" in history and do not affect where we are not politically or militarily in Iraq. But I have to think that the war would have had a slightly different character at home if Bush had been more open about his true intent to take out Saddam - a verified terror master even if he didn't have direct links to al-Qaeda - and turn Iraq into an democratic ally of America.
George Bush told the Times OnLine that he regrets the fact that his rhetoric gave the impression that he wanted war in Iraq.

One might say it's a little late to harbor such regrets. One might also say that regrets are irrelevant in the face of overwhelming evidence that invading Iraq is exactly what this Administration had in mind from day one.

Personally, I am fully supportive of taking out Saddam Hisseien. It was the next logical step in the War on Terror. But I find it disinegnuous of the president to say that his mind wasn't made up about going to war in Iraq:

In an exclusive interview, he expressed regret at the bitter divisions over the war and said that he was troubled about how his country had been misunderstood. "I think that in retrospect I could have used a different tone, a different rhetoric."

Phrases such as "bring them on" or "dead or alive", he said, "indicated to people that I was, you know, not a man of peace". He said that he found it very painful "to put youngsters in harm's way". He added: "I try to meet with as many of the families as I can. And I have an obligation to comfort and console as best as I possibly can. I also have an obligation to make sure that those lives were not lost in vain."

The unilateralism that marked his first White House term has been replaced by an enthusiasm for tough multilateralism. He said that his focus for his final six months in office was to secure agreement on issues such as establishing a Palestinian state and to "leave behind a series of structures that makes it easier for the next president".

From my own point of view, I find the president's critics equally disingenuous about the Iraq War when they claim there was a point where we could have turned back. I think any rational person who saw us putting 200,000 troops in the desert could hardly escape the conclusion we were going to use them. So the president and Congress did this Kabuki dance where both sides pretended there were other options on the table outside of invading Iraq. This is silly. If the president had simply pointed out Saddam's violations of UN resolutions, his shooting at our planes in the no fly zone, and other transgressions, I believe he still would have had overwhelming support from the people to invade.

This is all "what ifs" in history and do not affect where we are not politically or militarily in Iraq. But I have to think that the war would have had a slightly different character at home if Bush had been more open about his true intent to take out Saddam - a verified terror master even if he didn't have direct links to al-Qaeda - and turn Iraq into an democratic ally of America.