Q. Mr. President, you spoke about missteps and mistakes in Iraq. Could I ask both of you which missteps and mistakes of your own you most regret?However, as this Reuters article from Sunday notes, don't expect a change in policy:
PRESIDENT BUSH: Sounds like kind of a familiar refrain here -- saying "bring it on," kind of tough talk, you know, that sent the wrong signal 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, and so I learned from that. And I think the biggest mistake that's happened so far, at least from our country's involvement in Iraq is Abu Ghraib. We've been paying for that for a long period of time. And it's -- unlike Iraq, however, under Saddam, the people who committed those acts were brought to justice. They've been given a fair trial and tried and convicted.
Bush adopts humility on Iraq; policy unchangedAlmost as bad, the snarky smirk that Bush flashed to the reporters after his moment of "humbleness" shows his words in no way reflects his true feelings.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President George W. Bush, beset by public doubts about his leadership, has opted for a more humble tone in discussing the Iraq war, including admitting mistakes, as a way to rebuild his credibility, analysts said on Friday.
Bush's shift in attitude during a Thursday news conference with British Prime Minister Tony Blair was an indication he understands the depth of public discontent with the war and the criticism that he is too stubborn to adjust his policies, they said.
Bush's change in tone did not signal a change in policies, however. He and Blair refused to set a timetable for withdrawing troops and Bush said conditions on the ground would dictate future decisions about troop levels and commitments in Iraq.
From Crooks & Liars (includes video):
Richard Wolffe from Newsweek, joined Keith Olbermann and says that Bush's more realistic tone and mannerisms seemed rehearsed.
Wolffe: ...And for me the big giveaway was at the end of that answer, I don't know if you can see it on camera, but the President flashed a big grin to those of us sitting in the front rows. It didn't seem that he was quite as contrite as his performance.