T Nation

Bush Takes Responsibility For Iraq War



Yet even more interesting should be the response from the ABB crowd.


WASHINGTON - President Bush said Wednesday the responsibility for invading Iraq based in part on faulty weapons intelligence rested solely with him, taking on the issue in his most direct and personal terms in the 1,000-plus days since the war's first shots.

"It is true that much of the intelligence turned out to be wrong," Bush said. "As president, I'm responsible for the decision to go into Iraq."

The president's mea culpa was accompanied by a robust defense of the divisive war.

"Saddam was a threat ? and the American people and the world is better off because he is no longer in power," Bush declared, as he has before.

Democrats were not moved by Bush's speech, the last of four designed to boost his credibility on the war and the public's backing for it.

"There was no reason for America to go to war when we did, the way we did, and for the false reasons we were given," said Sen. Edward Kennedy (news, bio, voting record), D-Mass.

Bush offered few qualms about the failure to find any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. He said foreign intelligence agencies ? including several for governments who didn't back his decision to invade ? also believed before the war that Saddam Hussein possessed them. And he said his administration has begun making changes to the U.S. intelligence apparatus to head off future errors.

The president also contended the Iraqi president had intended to restart weapons programs.

As in the past, Bush acknowledged no regrets about launching the war despite the problems with his initial justification. He revisited a long list of other previously cited reasons, including Iraqi violations of a no-fly zone in its airspace, Saddam's invasion of Kuwait a decade earlier and Iraq's defiance of United Nations resolutions.

"My decision to remove Saddam Hussein was the right decision," the president said to polite applause from his audience at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, a nonpartisan forum for the study of world affairs.

Bush has repeatedly noted that the decision to go to war was his responsibility. And he has acknowledged for more than a year that most of the intelligence behind the claims of Saddam's weapons programs turned out to be faulty. But he has never linked the two so clearly and so personally.

On the eve of parliamentary elections in Iraq, Bush's speech was meant to wrap up an aggressive push-back against war critics with an overarching explanation, nearly three years later, of why he went into Iraq and why he believes U.S. troops must remain there.

Bush predicted a higher turnout than in earlier balloting of Iraq's minority Sunni Arabs in Thursday's voting, which will establish Iraq's first permanent, democratically elected government. The Sunnis provide the backbone of the insurgency and largely shunned Jan. 30 elections for an interim Parliament that wrote the nation's constitution. Their participation was higher in the October election to adopt the constitution.

But the president also said that Americans shouldn't hope for violence to wane, and shouldn't even expect to know results before early January.

"We can ... expect that the elections will be followed by days of uncertainty," he said. "It's going to take awhile."

Wednesday's remarks followed a pattern of more frank talk from Bush on Iraq. Each installment in the recent round of Iraq speeches, which began last month at the Naval Academy, has included descriptions of fixes for early mistakes and sober assessments of remaining challenges.

That reflects the majority of Americans who, confronted with daily doses of bad news and rising death counts in Iraq, disapprove of Bush's policies there and question the outlook for victory. For instance, a new poll by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press found that most people see progress in areas such as establishing democracy and training Iraqi security forces but are split on whether the United States is defeating the insurgents.

Answering critics who have said he's offered no definition of victory in Iraq, Bush offered a succinct summation.

"Victory will be achieved by meeting certain objectives: when the terrorists and Saddamists can no longer threaten Iraq's democracy, when the Iraqi security forces can protect their own people and when Iraq is not a safe haven for terrorists to plot attacks against our country," he said. "These objectives, not timetables set by politicians in Washington, will drive our force levels in Iraq."

Still, some said they had hoped to hear more specific benchmarks.

"The American public, the Iraqi people and our brave troops still don't have any clarity about the U.S. military mission in Iraq," said Sen. Russ Feingold (news, bio, voting record), D-Wis.

The president's approach received a warmer welcome from several House Democrats whom Bush hosted at the White House for a top-level Iraq briefing before his speech.

"There was a dose of reality that I have not heard before," said Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y.


He was responsible. No shit. That's great. Where's the controversy? It sure as shit wasn't my fault.

I'm glad some Democratic fatcats were happy about this. Traitorous prics.

I'm real impressed with the American public that Bush can go around and say the same bullshit he has spewed and managed to raise his poll numbers. Politics is just absurd. One jerkoff with many faces. And the public is loaded with morons.


Well, the president admitted it, I wonder if JeffR can finally sack up...


We, the generall public, do truly aspire to your enlightened level of intelligence.Your mere words posted here on this forum bring me hope.

Thank you Irish.


Thats not what I mean. You guys are conservatives and you have stuck to it. It infuriates me that people are so easily swayed by a politician's words-

I mean the people who were vascillating on the war, then Bush goes and makes four speeches in a week justifing himself. Then, magically, the doubts dissapear. The CIA stuff, all the corruption is poof gone behind a George II smokescreen.


Hey RSU - where have you been, Dawg? And I apologize for the use of the word 'dawg' up front.

Anyhow - have you been hiding out or something?


Yeah, what up RSU?


I thought the only reason people didn?t like Bush was because he didn?t take responsibility?

What is the new excuse?


Why do you think he did this? Admitting this is a far cry from the original attitude that he walked into his second term with.


It's a good start.

Perhaps he'll learn to accept responsibility for his errors before using the tactics of deflect, distract and discredit for three years, prior to finally admitting mistakes were made.

You know, he only falls back on accepting responsibility as a last ditch effort when nobody is buying his bullshit anymore.

That isn't what responsibility is about either.



"Well, the president admitted it, I wonder if JeffR can finally sack up..."

I've missed you!!!

I'm sorry, I didn't know that faulty intelligence was a bone of contention.

Oh, well. I'll "sack up," there were not huge stockpiles of wmd waiting to be liberated from saddam.

However, as you and I know, there were plenty of illicit weapons and a burgeoning wmd program.

I'm proud that W has started playing to one of his strengths: "speaking to the people."



I still hold out hope that we'll be greeted as liberators.


Any chance he'll admit daddy's buddies stole the first election, so he shouldn't have run in the second? I'm not even talking about the recount, but rather about the tens of thousands of Florida blacks, 90% of whom historically vote for the Democrats, who were disenfranchised through massive electoral fraud.

Bush taking responsibility, that's a laugh. I wonder if he actually paid attention to the speech he read off, 'cause I'm pretty sure it wasn't his idea.


President Bush did not admit any personal mistakes Wednesday.

What he did was reaffirm that he was right...regardless of other people?s mistakes.

Read the transcript and ignore the MSM assessment.

Months, if not years, after everyone else figured out that there were intelligence mistakes, Bush finally stepped up and admitted ? that other people had fed him bad info.


At any point did Bush say going to war was not his decision?

That being said, I think this kind fo bluntspeak is long overdue from Bush.

But I don't think he has ever laid the responsibility of the war at anyone else's feet.


Problem with this is that a great many of Bush's critics have not argued in good faith on the issue of the war in Iraq and we have had to spend all the time dealing with that.

In trying to play political cover your ass with Howard Dean's riled-up base, many of Bush's more prominent critics have changed their tune as the political winds have dictated.


danweltmann wrote:
"Any chance he'll admit daddy's buddies stole the first election, so he shouldn't have run in the second? I'm not even talking about the recount, but rather about the tens of thousands of Florida blacks, 90% of whom historically vote for the Democrats, who were disenfranchised through massive electoral fraud."

Proof would be refreshing.

"Bush taking responsibility, that's a laugh. I wonder if he actually paid attention to the speech he read off, 'cause I'm pretty sure it wasn't his idea."

It's too bad he can't keep running. I wonder how many wins it would take for you people to stop underestimating him.

I know, I'm wasting effort responding to you. You'll just regurgitate the next cnn/alfranken/npr tagline.




First inform yourself, then ask for proof. As for CNN, they report his speeches without the slightest criticism, maybe Fox kisses his ass more. Consider the fact that he still links Iraq to 9/11, though it's a blatant lie, and I have yet to see CNN comment that "the president has lied again".

And now to the truly humorous part, "underestimating" him... God help some people. Just consider the teleconference he had with the soldiers in Iraq, where everyone knew the questions beforehand, and he still couldn't put a sentence together. Proof? Watch the video.
The sad thing is that the right has lots of good theories, leading thinkers and so on, but you seem to feel the need to defend clowns like Bush Jr. or Reagan, people who seriously damaged the country, but they're national icons, so they can't be touched, no matter how incompetent.
Ever heard of Reaganomics? It consisted of turning the US from the world's largest creditor to its largest debtor, no small accomplishment. Ponder that.

As for Bush, he's positively bankrupting the country, this year's deficit is supposed to be around $600 Bn, more is projected for next year.
Merry Christmas to you too, kind fellow


Jeffy asks for proof that the election was stolen and the best you can do is regurgitate ABB talking points?

You are new here so maybe it is excusable for you to be so ignorant. But this is your last free pass.

And I would like some proof of a stolen election as well.


"faulty intelligence" Give me a break. They cherry-picked to whatever would fit their pre-text for war.