BUSH SAYS HE WAS ‘UNPREPARED FOR WAR’…. We’ve heard Bush express some various regrets in recent years, but I think this one is a first.
Looking back on his eight years in the White House, President George W. Bush pinpointed incorrect intelligence that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction as “biggest regret of all the presidency.”
“I think I was unprepared for war,” Bush told ABC News’ Charlie Gibson in an interview airing today on “World News.”
“In other words, I didn’t campaign and say, ‘Please vote for me, I’ll be able to handle an attack,’” he said. “In other words, I didn’t anticipate war. Presidents — one of the things about the modern presidency is that the unexpected will happen.”
Bush, who has been a stalwart defender of the war in Iraq and maintaining U.S. troop presence there, said, in retrospect, the war exceeded his expectations.
The president added, “I wish the intelligence had been different, I guess.” Asked if he would have gone to war if he knew Iraq did not have stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction, Bush said, “That is a do-over that I can’t do.”
Bush has changed his mind about the rationale for war more than a few times, but I was under the impression that the WMD case stopped being relevant to him quite a while ago. He was going to war anyway — because he wanted to “free” Iraqis, eliminate the Saddam Hussein “threat,” etc.
As for him being “unprepared,” I thought this was obvious, too. Perhaps he should have thought about this before running?