Bush in retrospect on the Cold War: "what we did in the middle east during that time was stupid"
Well, he didn't exactly say that word-for-word, but in a speech about the middle east needing to embrace democracy he might as well have:
Repudiating decades of U.S. policy, President Bush said Thursday the United States and its allies have been wrong in "excusing and accommodating" a lack of freedom in the Middle East..."Sixty years of Western nations excusing and accommodating the lack of freedom in the Middle East did nothing to make us safe - and in the long run, stability cannot be purchased at the expense of liberty," the president said in a groundbreaking conclusion.
Gee, hawkish conservatives who approved of all that and still defend it must be seething now...that is, if they aren't still distracted about the Reagan TV-movie.
A curious response follows:
Middle East scholars said Bush's appeal for democracy lacked any followup programs. "No new programs announced, no new money for promoting democracy - just rhetoric," said Martin Indyk, who had been assistant secretary of state for the Middle East in the Clinton administration. "The rhetoric isn't going to move the hardliners in Iran, Yasser Arafat or the governments in Saudi Arabia and Egypt who are now scared of the consequences of the kind of political liberalization that the president is preaching to them."
Isn't this the exact opposite of what many of the complaints towards the reconstruction bill were? "how come we can do all this for Iraqis but not for the American people, blah blah?"
So both sides now have remarks that contradict their original stances, and both will be ignored. Wonderful, everything's normal.