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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2642

Bush and Blair admit making costly mistakes in ‘war on terrorism’

Daya Gamage – US National Correspondent for Asian Tribune

Washington, DC 26 May (Asiantribune.com): In a very rare departure from a position of stubbornly refusing to admit setbacks, mistakes and wrong decisions that epitomized his little over five-year presidential rule, George W. Bush on May 25 at a White House press appearance with British prime minister Tony Blair admitted that the U.S. made costly mistakes in the war on terrorism and particularly in Iraq citing the American military mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners at the U.S.-run Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad.

“We’ve been paying for that for a long time” the American president told the media.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair admitted that the purge of deposed Iraqi president Saddam Hussein’s political allies from that country’s military and the political process encouraged former regime loyalists to take up arms, and Blair said the allies seriously underestimated the strength of the insurgency.

These comments from the British leader and the American president came when the press asked if they could recall any mistake in the war on terrorism and the Iraqi invasion.

Bush said he regretted using the rhetoric “wanted dead or alive” description of Osama bin Laden which he said was greatly misinterpreted in certain parts of the world.

His “bring ‘em on” challenge to Iraqi insurgents too was a mistake, Bush noted.

Blair said that the coalition forces should have understood the strength and the determination of the Iraqi insurgency from the beginning.

“Despite setbacks and missteps, I strongly believe in what we did and are doing the right thing,” President Bush said at the White House news conference.

Both leaders declined to say about the troop reduction or when the troops are expected be recalled. “We’re going to work with our partners in Iraq, the new government, to determine the way forward,” and reiterated the goal remains “an Iraq that can govern itself and sustain itself and defend itself,” the American president declared.

Asian Tribune

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