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Bush fails to heed dad’s advice

John Alden Briggs Jr. - Frisco

Bush fails to heed dad’s advice

about U.S. forces in Iraq

On Tuesday, members of the Iraqi Governing Council contradicted Secretary of State Colin Powell’s optimistic timetable for self-government, saying it will take up to 18 months to ratify a constitution, thus extending the U. S. occupation into 2005.

This is far longer than senior administration members suggested just last week, but is exactly what President Bush’s father warned might happen.

Writing five years ago about his own decision to contain Saddam Hussein in the Gulf War of 1991 rather than remove him from power, the senior Bush explained:

“Trying to eliminate Saddam S would have incurred incalculable human and political costs. Apprehending him was probably impossible S We would have been forced to occupy Baghdad and, in effect, rule Iraq S there was no viable “exit strategy” we could see, violating another of our principles.” 

In the same writing, authored with former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft, President Bush’s father also had cautioned:

“Going in and occupying Iraq, thus unilaterally exceeding the United Nations’ mandate, would have destroyed the precedent of international response to aggression that we hoped to establish.

Had we gone the invasion route, the United States could conceivably still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land.

It would have been a dramatically different – and perhaps barren – outcome.”

On Tuesday the administration of the junior Bush, having failed to gain UN approval for the invasion and having failed to gain any UN post-war assistance, continued to lobby Congress to pay a total of $150-$160 billion for his policy in Iraq.


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