Some interesting admissions:
In a joint news conference Thursday night that had a somber tone, Bush acknowledged the bloodshed has been difficult for the world to understand. Blair called the violence “ghastly.”
But, Bush said at the White House, “Despite setbacks and missteps, I strongly believe we did and are doing the right thing.”
Those missteps include the abuse of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib, though Bush said those responsible have been jailed. More personally, the president said, he learned not to use so much “tough talk” – saying Osama bin Laden was wanted “dead or alive” and challenging America’s enemies to “bring it on.”
“I learned some lessons about expressing myself maybe in a little more sophisticated manner, you know,” Bush said softly.
Blair said the leaders did not accurately predict immense challenges such as the strength of the insurgency. “It should have been very obvious to us,” the prime minister said.
I guess I am pleased they are finally recognizing and admitting to some mistakes, although I resent the notion that those responsible for the torture of prisoners at Abu Ghraib are in jail. They aren’t. Unless they have retired independently, they are still writing policy for the WH, or have been promoted to more important positions. While the actual abuse was done by few soldiers in terms of percentages, the climate was created by policy makers and politicos who, in many cases, allowed this to happen through intentional decisions, legal maneuvering to enhance executive authority, and frequently, gross indifference and tough talk.