Iraqi FM sees Bush Iraq legacy 'positive'

Imposing formal U.S. occupation on Iraq instead of quickly putting Iraqis in charge was the "mother of all mistakes", Iraq's Foreign Minister said.

Iraqi FM sees Bush Iraq legacy 'positive'
In an interview to discuss the legacy of the outgoing U.S. president who invaded his country in 2003, Hoshiyar Zebari said years of sectarian fighting in which tens of thousands died were a consequence of Bush's decision to impose an occupation.

The Bush administration also made other mistakes in Iraq, such as presiding over the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal.

"I think the biggest mistake was changing the mission from liberation to occupation. The mother of all mistakes I would say was security council resolution 1483," Zebari said, referring to a May 2003 resolution that recognised the ruling authority set up by the United States and Britain as "occupying powers".

"That was the beginning of all the follow-up mistakes and violence and divisions and conflicts that have erupted in the country," he told Reuters in an interview in Kuwait.

After 2003, Washington imposed a formal military occupation which lasted for more than a year, during which time the country rapidily descended into violence.

Shocking images of prisoner abuse by U.S. soldiers in western Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison -- such as naked prisoners forced into sexually humiliating poses -- also fuelled "insurgent violence", Zebari said.

"Abu Ghraib was another major blunder, a moral failure the Bush adminsitration committed, as they are admitting, very serious mistakes ... during and after the war," Zebari said.

Last month, an Iraqi reporter threw shoes at Bush on his farewell visit to Iraq, a major insult that made the journalist a hero to Iraqis angry at the US occupation.

But Zebari said saw Bush's Iraq legacy "positive".



Reuters
Last Mod: 18 Ocak 2009, 16:07
Add Comment