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Wednesday, April 14, 2004

White House spokesman Scott McClellan read this statement from President Bush this morning:
"I have made mistakes during my time in the White House. I frittered away months trying to convince the United Nations that it should free the Iraqi people from a brutal dictator who never fulfilled the terms of surrender from the Gulf War and who continued to fire upon Coalition aircraft patrolling the no-fly zone.

It was an error in judgment to think that the U.N. Security Council would ever do anything more than talk in moralistic platitudes. My desire to build an international coalition from nations like France and Germany only served to delay the inevitable liberation of Iraq. I apologize to the people of Iraq and others in the Arab world, yearning to breathe free, who have placed their hopes in the only superpower that has the will and the way to set them free.

This confession is good for the soul, so I would also like to admit that it was a mistake for me to keep Bill Clinton's counter-terrorism chief on my staff. I know now that Richard Clarke's presence in the White House was a knife hovering behind the shoulder blades of not only my staff, but of the American people who would later be betrayed by Mr. Clarke's desire for self-aggrandizement. I'm sorry for that.

I'd also like to admit that it was a mistake to think that I could make friends with the Democrats by pouring funding into their top political agency, the National Education Association, or by creating a huge new medicare prescription drug entitlement. I can see now that no matter how often and how much you feed an alligator, he's always looking past the food in your hand and hankering for your arm, your heart, your head. My mistake...and I'm truly sorry.

One last thing: In hindsight, it appears that I was premature in declaring an end to major combat operations in Iraq. I thought we had toppled the dictator. But as long as vermin like al-Sadr seek to glorify themselves, using false religion to oppress the people, the dictator lives on. He lives on in the hearts of the radical clerics who killed and then mutilated the bodies of Americans as surely as if their own hands were stained black from the charred flesh. I'm sorry that my statement caused some to believe that the war in Iraq had ended. It has continued for more than a decade and will not end until evil men like al-Sadr are purged and the cowl of fear is lifted from the face of the Iraqi people."
Thanks to KJLopez for the heads up.

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