Bush, Blair Concede Missteps on Iraq
But Leaders Say War Was Justified
FIRST, THE BAD NEWS
- series of errors have made the conflict more difficult and more damaging to the U.S. image abroad,
- inappropriate "tough talk" -- such as saying "bring 'em on" in reference to insurgents -- that he said "sent the wrong signal to people."
- the Abu Ghraib prison scandal, in which guards photographed themselves sexually tormenting Iraqi prisoners, spawning revulsion worldwide.
- should have recognized that the fall of president Saddam Hussein would not "be the rise of a democratic Iraq, that it was going to be a more difficult process"
- Iraq war has, you know, created a sense of consternation here in America,"
- Blair Cited the process of "de-Baathification" fueled the insurgency because it threw tens of thousands of Iraqis out of work and left an administrative vacuum,
- (The de-Baathification program was issued as Coalition Provisional Authority Order Number 1 on May 16, 2003, by L. Paul Bremer III, the chief of the U.S. occupation in 2003-2004)
- (The prime minister's examples appeared to be a direct rebuke of both the Pentagon's insistence that a detailed "nation-building" plan was unnecessary before the invasion and the push by key members of Bush's administration for broad de-Baathification.)
BUT THINGS ARE REALLY GOING GOOD
- repeatedly emphasized that Iraq is finally turning a corner and that,
- enough progress has been made that other nations should support the nascent Iraqi government.
- whatever their other misjudgments, the decision to attack Iraq remains justified.
- the sacrifice is worth it and it's necessary.
- Iraq now has a permanent government, other nations and international organizations -- such as the United Nations -- now have an obligation to step forward.
- it is also the duty of the whole of the international community, to get behind this government and support it
- Bush added, saying said U.S. troops would not leave the country until Iraq is able to sustain, defend and govern itself.
Tony Blair George Bush Press Conference