"I'm not saying I actually screwed things up, we're obviously still on track for a great victory in Iraq. But if I WANTED to lose, I think it would go like this," Bush said at a press conference held at Regan Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. Judith Regan, who edited the volume, supported her client at the press conference, but was quoted later saying, "This is an historic case, and I consider this his confession."
In the book, the former President details exactly how one would lose a war in Iraq, starting by going into the country unnecessarily under the false pretense of disarming Saddam Hussein of weapons of mass destruction. "See, if you base the entire case for war on finding WMD, and then you never find them, you kind of start to look like an idiot for going there in the first place. It'd be a key way to undermine support for the war effort." Mr. Bush then went on to explain how shifting rationales for the war after the fact, whether it be to spread democracy in the Middle East, or to liberate the country from a brutal dictator, or to give a warning to terrorist-harboring nations around the globe, would further this discontinuity and sap support even more.
Another key to turning Iraq into a disaster area, says Bush COMPLETELY HYPOTHETICALLY, would be to send in too few troops for the initial invasion, and have no plans to restore order in the country once the Iraqi government fell. "I'll tell you," writes Bush, "someone who wanted to lose Iraq would have not paid attention to any calls for additional troops, and instead gone in without the amount needed to secure anything but the oil fields." Disbanding the Iraqi Army and letting them take their weapons with them "also would help turn the thing into a shitstorm," the 43rd President of the United States added.
"This is almost pathological," said John Pike, defense expert and director of GlobalSecurity.org. "Here we have an American President saying that if he wanted Iraq to erupt into chaos, he would fail to restore basic services like electricity and water, allow huge stockpiles of arms and explosives to fall into the hands of the insurgents, torture Iraqi detainees (many of them innocent of any wrongdoing), and have no plan to deal with the imminent and blindingly obvious wave of sectarian violence and revenge killings. These are all things he in fact did! But by turning it into a hypothetical, Bush appears to be granting himself forgiveness for his incompetence in managing the war. It's so absurd as to almost be brilliant."
The former President's book covers the entire breadth of the war, from the corruption of the Coalition Provisional Authority (which lost $8 billion dollars during its tenure), to the decision to ram through three elections which then put into power a theocratic Shiite governing body which ruled with an iron fist over its Sunni counterparts, to the difficulties with properly training Iraqi security forces to take charge of their own country, to stubbornly sticking to a non-strategy of "stay the course" when every independent observer could see it was not working, to blaming Democrats and the media for not highlighting the "good progress" being made in the country when it was not to be found, to the ultimate decision to tilt in favor of the Shiites, essentially sanctioning ethnic cleansing, mass arrests of Sunni leaders and clerics, and a hastening rather than a stopping of civil war. This all led to the wider regional war we see in the Middle East today. "Yep, that's how you'd do it all right," Bush said before leaving the press conference to return to his ranch in Crawford, Texas.
President Gore could not be reached for comment.
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