A remarkable story follows from the London Times who followed up recent talk from President Bush of the mistakes the United States made in fighting the War On Iraq by going directly to the enemy : the Sunni insurgents who have managed to fight off the Americans for almost four years, killing thousands and holding back the Shiites from seizing control of the entire country.
The admission by Bush is bizarre because it did exactly what he had accused anti-war Democrats and pro-peace protesters of doing for years, giving comfort and inspiration to the enemy. To admit errors amongst some Sunni tribes is to be seen as weak, particularly if such admissions come from leaders.
That the most powerful leader in the world would admit to a host of mistakes is widely viewed in Iraq as Bush admitting defeat.
Excerpts From The London Times :
Abu Mo’ath, of the ’Islamic and Nationalist Front for the Liberation of Iraq, said: "This strategy is nothing new ....but the new thing about it is the defeated accent of the American President Bush who always worked hard to appear tough and strong, and rejected any sort of negotiations about Iraq’s problems."While Bush may have felt he needed to placate the American public by giving in to their demands that he admit he got the war wrong, many times, it is important to realise that any political ground he may gained back home is completely irrelevant in Iraq.
Abu Qutada, an anti-coalition fighter with the self-styled al-Rashideen Army, said: "It’s very clear that America failed completely in Iraq in all aspects, as their politicians are saying.
"But we say defeated, not just failed, and they are nowadays desperate to find a way out of their troubles here."
Ibrahim Aloush, a Jordanian political analyst, said: "Until a few months ago, Bush and the Neocons were acting so pompously about their policy in Iraq. So where’s that triumphant look now? It’s definitely not there any more.
"The guy looks tired, literally beaten. And he was beaten in Iraq. Even if the admission of mistakes came in the fom of ’We weren’t doing enough’ that still remains a testimony to the valiant efficiency of the Iraqi resistance on the ground."
Fathi Khataab, in Egypt’s Islamist opposition al-Ahrar newspaper : "No doubt that the admission of mistakes in Iraq is a victory for the Iraqi resistance and a clear failure of the American administration in Iraq. Bush’s plans to increase the troops is proof of his failure. Because of this failure in front of the Iraqi resistance he has started searching for a victory in the region in Iran and Syria."
It would be hard to imagine anything else in the past six or twelve months that appears to have inspired the Sunni insurgents, and all the enemies of America in Iraq and across the Middle East, more than for Bush to state being candid and admitting that his war had failed.
Has any war-time leader of the West ever done such a thing before? Admitted defeat in the face of the enemy?
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