Some of this may sound familiar. By Bob Bernick Jr. for the Deseret Morning News, with thanks to Looney Tunes:
The Bush administration has made a number of fine decisions in international politics “” including overthrowing Saddam Hussein “” but the president’s Iraq foreign policy and war tactics have also suffered from many mistakes, according to Bush’s former ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton….
“It is what has happened in the last four years that’s made our involvement in Iraq unpopular” throughout the world, said Bolton, “not the original overthrow of Saddam Hussein.”
“If we had said shortly after that statue (of Saddam) came down in Baghdad, ‘Here are the keys to the Green Zone, Iraqis “” you have our best wishes and whatever support we can give as we are packing up and leaving, or at least moving out of Baghdad,’ then I think public opinion in our country might be different.
“Having overthrown Saddam, we had an obligation “” it was a short-term obligation “” to provide security until some kind of government of Iraqis could have gotten back up, for us to hold the reins for a short time for them to start forming a government,” he said.
But the notion that America had to occupy Iraq or guarantee the country’s security for a protracted time, or indeed indefinitely: “I just think that’s a mistake.”
The U.S. properly acted to protect itself from the external threat of Hussein, Saddam, Bolton said.
However, it is the Iraqis’ responsibility to decide for themselves what kind of government they will have, even to the extent of whether Iraq should be broken up into two or more countries, he said.
“We didn’t have any responsibility to provide tutorage for them,” said Bolton, adding that he didn’t have a lot to do with Iraq policy because former Secretary of State Colin Powell “excluded me from it, probably the best favor he ever did for me.”