Skip to comments.Bush warns of Iraq disaster
Posted on 05/13/2008 3:12:05 PM PDT by BradtotheBone
President Bush in a Tuesday interview expressed in unusually frank terms his disappointment over flawed pre-war intelligence and acknowledged his fears about leaving an unfinished war to a Democratic successor.
In an Oval Office interview with Politico and Yahoo News Bushs first for an online audience the president said his doomsday scenario for a premature withdrawal of course is that extremists throughout the Middle East would be emboldened, which would eventually lead to another attack on the United States.
For the first time, Bush revealed a personal way in which he has tried to acknowledge the sacrifice of soldiers and their families: He has given up golf.
I don't want some mom whose son may have recently died to see the commander in chief playing golf, he said. I feel I owe it to the families to be in solidarity as best as I can with them. And I think playing golf during a war just sends the wrong signal.
Bush said he made that decision after the August 2003 bombing of the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad, which killed Sergio Vieira de Mello, the top U.N. official in Iraq and the organizations high commissioner for human rights.
I remember when de Mello, who was at the U.N., got killed in Baghdad as a result of these murderers taking this good man's life, he said. I was playing golf I think I was in central Texas and they pulled me off the golf course and I said, It's just not worth it anymore to do.
In a reversal of the usual question thats put to him, a query submitted online asked the president whether he felt he had been misled about Iraq as he made the decision to go to war.
Misled is a strong word, it almost connotes some kind of intentional, Bush said. I don't think so. Intelligence communities all across the world shared the same assessment. And so I was disappointed to see how flawed our intelligence was.
Congress has since pushed, and Bush has signed, various intelligence reforms, including the creation of a director of national intelligence, whose job it is to help the various parts of the intelligence community share information.
Do I think somebody lied to me? he said. No, I don't. I think it was just, you know, they analyzed the situation and came up with the wrong conclusion.
On other topics, the president said:
Global warming has been more clearly defined as a problem during his eight years in office, and when asked if it is real, Bush said: Yes, it is real, sure is.
I could have supported a lousy [Kyoto] treaty and everybody would have went, Oh, man, what a wonderful-sounding fellow he is, Bush said. But it just wouldn't have worked.
I don't think you want your president trying to be the cool guy and not end up with policies that actually make a difference. So the policies I've outlined are policies that will actually make a difference: nuclear power for generating electricity, battery driven cars, ethanol.
Asked a question that was submitted online about skyrocketing gas prices, Bush said the problem doesnt have a quick answer.
It took us a while to get to where we are very dependent on oil, he said. So my answer ... is that the best thing we can do is to increase supply and to drill for oil and gas in environmentally friendly ways at home and build more refineries.
Bush continued to hedge on whether he would support the federal gas tax holiday being pushed by Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) in their respective presidential campaigns. I'll consider it, he said. There's all kinds of ideas. The truth of the matter is that in order for there to be a substantial change, either consumers have to change their habits or there has to be an increase of supply."
As he prepared to head out Tuesday night for a trip to Israel, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, he said Americans should be concerned about incremental progress in the Middle East, even though a grand peace between Israelis and Palestinians continues to look distant.
Americans at home ought to care for the advance of free societies throughout the Middle East. After all, this is the center of anti-Americanism and hatred, he said. The big challenge in the 21st century is to advance freedom in the Middle East for our security.
Yeah Bush, it's "real" just like the flawed, wrong Iraqi intellegence.
I'm sorry to say, sometimes Bush really can be completely wonky!
Of course he’s right about Iraq, but our enemies are emboldened by our failure to now put real pressure on Iran and Syria.
He won the war, and has lost it in public opinion. A true shame.
I didn’t see the quote where he says his successor will be a Democrat. Or maybe he means whether his successor is Hillary, Obama or McCain, he/she will be a Democrat.
What can you say?
“Consensus” is now a much more important “virtue” than “principle”. The trade-off Bush seems to be looking for here is, if you stop calling my war unneccesary, I will buy into the global warming/CO2 greenhouse gas baloney, and to show my good faith, I will accept the global warming even before you drop resistance to the Iraqi involvement.
We are left with only the worst of two worlds.
QUIT TALKING TO YOUR ENEMIES!
He has given up golf? Because of a war? If they nuked Augusta I’d dig through the radioactive silt to play Amen corner!
You’re not the one who sent them to war.
I wish we could have such a leader in the Oval all the time.
True, but a war which he still should be proud of and continue to hold his head high over. The failure of this war is in the minds of the American and world public, those who can’t see the long range benefits of what the soldiers have sacrificed for. So yes, I think he should continue to play golf, to hold his head high, and to not given in to those who belittle the lives of those who have earned history’s respect.
To begin with, American columns should have cut through Baghdad three days after they began to roll, and exited three weeks later, leaving Saddam dead and the pliant Iraqi strongman who betrayed himcandidates would not have been hard to findto keep the country harmless to the West or suffer the same quick take-down. Rather than being broken on the wheel of irreconcilable Muslim factions, the supple and intact American power would have shattered the Arabs' elation following September 11th, and by threatening their rule been able to discipline the various police states of the region into eliminating their terrorists. Far more efficient that way, without six and more murderous and unavailing years in which neither a single democracy has appeared, nor will one. (The surge is merely coincident with a change in Sunni strategy. Instead of watching the U.S. and Iran arm the Shia for a major sectarian war that our small force in Iraq cannot prevent, the Sunni choose to avail themselves of American arms while simultaneously removing the lunatic jihadists nipping at their heels.)
It would be much harder to get a consensus on whether the cause is man-made or natural.
Seems that part of that blame belongs to a public that willingly accepts the "Bush Lied" dogma just because they are having a hissy fit over the 2000 elections, you know, the one Bush stole.
So, how really secure are we with our intelligence service being so flawed. But then again, what else is to be expected from government employees, who like the rest of us have been brainwashed into believing that patriotism is wrong.
Therefore, the intelligence community, like other government agencies, spend each day as "just another day at the office" and put out "government quality" results.........win some, lose some as long as the paychecks keep coming.
The only problem with that argument is no knew where Saddam was at the time. He was not captured until December 2003, 8 months later. A tyrant like that carries a fear of his return. Until he was caught or killed no government in Iraq would have succeeded.
It would be much harder to get a consensus on whether the cause is man-made or natural.
The point is it doesn't matter whether or not it's real, man-made or natural. Dumbass, arrogant, prick politicians think they can "control" it as long as you give them enough tax dollars!
Consensus is now a much more important virtue than principle. The trade-off Bush seems to be looking for here is, if you stop calling my war unneccesary, I will buy into the global warming/CO2 greenhouse gas baloney, and to show my good faith, I will accept the global warming even before you drop resistance to the Iraqi involvement.
Maggie Thatcher, one of the world’s last real strong leaders, said it right -— “CONSENSUS REPRESENTS THE LACK OF LEADERSHIP”....and it sure as hell applies to this administration.
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