Skip to comments.Bush: Iraq Invasion My Responsibility
Posted on 12/14/2005 2:37:48 PM PST by presidio9
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.
DAMN THE LIBERAL MEDIA TO HELL!
"Oh, if he would just admit a mistake every now and then, the people could relate to him more...."
This is somewhat AP Stuck on Stupid. Of course the invasion is his responsibility since he's the only person that can give authorization for invasion. AP, It's called The President of The United States for a reason. Who else would have sent us, the Hollywood Bareback Mountain Cowboys?
This may be the worst, most biased article I've seen since...yesterday.
I went on Yahoo! to post my opinion.
So, we're in a dictatorship now? The part of the Constitution that talks about Congress declaring war was repealed?
My hatred of the media knows no limit. Just like those repulsive bastards have no limits to their self-sanctified, hypocritical, bigoted "reporting" of the "news".
Re Pres. Bush taking responsibility for Iraq, I thought only Congress had the power to "give authorization for invasion." From Section 8 of the Constitution, the following are among the powers reserved to Congress:
"To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;
"To raise and support Armies, ...;
"To provide and maintain a Navy;
"To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;
"To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;. . . ."
A free Iraq and a brighter future for the entire middle east is Bush's legacy. Clinton's legacy is a stained blue dress.
I should clarify, he is the only one that can give FINAL authorization.
This is a POS. Every word, every little comment, is slanted.
It reads like an editorial. I bet is shows up in my local paper tomorrow... and a lot more.
If the rumors are true, Bush thinks that the Constitution is "just a g-dd----- piece of paper."
If they win a lot of seats next year... this will be part of the evidence for impeachment. Same goes for his taking responsibilty for NOLA's incompetence. Mark my words.
Amazing Liberal Bias by the AP that's going to show up in your local paper ping!
Nope, a constitutional republic.
The part of the Constitution that talks about Congress declaring war was repealed?
Nope, Congress declared war in a manner they chose by authorizing the CIC to execute war on Iraq if warranted. The CIC deemed it warranted and exercising the authoirty granted him by Congress, in turn authorized the military to wage war on Iraq.
All very constitutional.
Please post this in the sidebar so Freepers can see this example of bias. Thanks.
So, Congress can ignore their constitutional duty and pass the authority to declare war to someone else? That's like saying they can pass a law making someone king and calling it "constitutional."
It's a good thing he just found out about the intel, just think if he'd found this out prior to the last presidential election?
"If the rumors are true, Bush thinks that the Constitution is "just a g-dd----- piece of paper."
I'm not suggesting for an INSTANT that Pres. Bush doesn't respect the Constitution. I'm suggesting only that he's taking a responsibility on himself that he doesn't really have to - Congress made the decision, not Pres. Bush.
It's called the "War Powers Act" dilbert
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