OK, I admit that I was damned surprised to hear about Bush expressing regret over past statements this morning as I was driving to work:
The Texan said that he regretted saying “bring ‘em on” when responding in July 2003 to a question about the Iraqi insurgency.
On Thursday, Bush said the remark was “kind of tough talk, you know, that sent the wrong message to people.”
“I learned some lessons about expressing myself maybe in a little more sophisticated manner, you know. “Wanted, dead or alive”; that kind of talk. I think in certain parts of the world it was misinterpreted,” he said.
He also cited the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal as “the biggest mistake that’s happened so far, at least from our country’s involvement in Iraq … We’ve been paying for that for a long period of time,” he said.
It may be too little too late, but I do feel it’s important to give credit where it’s due and Bush does deserve kudos for being honest about his bullheadedness. I doubt it’s a sign he’s turning over a new leaf and looking at a lot of his decisions in a more critical light, but I’m not going to bash him for taking so long to figure this out either. If nothing else I can always hope he learns something from his moment of self-reflection. I’m skeptical that he will, but I’d like to entertain the fantasy for a moment or two.