I think this will be as close as he gets to actually saying, “Okay, you know what…I screwed it up.”
First, he admits he wasn’t prepared for war…
Looking back on his eight years in the White House, President George W. Bush pinpointed incorrect intelligence that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction as “biggest regret of all the presidency.”
“I think I was unprepared for war,” Bush told ABC News’ Charlie Gibson in an interview airing today on “World News.”
“In other words, I didn’t campaign and say, ‘Please vote for me, I’ll be able to handle an attack,'” he said. “In other words, I didn’t anticipate war. Presidents — one of the things about the modern presidency is that the unexpected will happen.”
Now, let’s face it, that’s a pretty ridiculous statement considering there was plenty of intelligence to show that al Qaeda was trying to hit us. So the idea that this was “unexpected” is simply not accurate. But one thing’s for sure…he was definitely unprepared.
More about the war…
“A lot of people put their reputations on the line and said the weapons of mass destruction is a reason to remove Saddam Hussein,” Bush said. “It wasn’t just people in my administration. A lot of members in Congress, prior to my arrival in Washington, D.C., during the debate on Iraq, a lot of leaders of nations around the world were all looking at the same intelligence.
“I wish the intelligence had been different, I guess,” Bush added.
When pressed by Gibson, Bush declined to “speculate” on whether he would still have gone to war if he knew Hussein didn’t have weapons of mass destruction.
“That is a do-over that I can’t do,” Bush said.
Now, maybe my memory isn’t correct, but I seem to remember that Bush and Republicans have been saying that if they had to do it all over again, they would. This appears to contradict that.
So why can’t they admit that we don’t belong there and we shouldn’t continue to waste American blood and treasure on what is now widely regarded as one of the biggest foreign policy mistakes in modern American history?
January can get here soon enough…