Advertisement

Bush on Iraq: What did Dad say?

WASHINGTON, Sept. 23 (UPI) -- Former President Bush said in his memoirs of the Gulf War that invasion of Iraq would leave the United States an occupying power in a hostile land.

As President Bush addressed the United Nations Tuesday talking about Iraq and terrorism, UPI Chief International Correspondent Martin Walker was paging through George H.W. Bush's 1998 book, "A World Transformed" and came across this passage:

Advertisement

"Trying to eliminate Saddam, extending the ground war into an occupation of Iraq, would have violated our guideline about not changing objectives in midstream, engaging in 'mission creep,' and would have incurred incalculable human and political costs. Apprehending him was probably impossible. We would have been forced to occupy Baghdad and, in effect, rule Iraq. The coalition would instantly have collapsed, the Arabs deserting it in anger and other allies pulling out as well. Under those circumstances, there was no viable 'exit strategy' we could see, violating another of our principles. Furthermore, we had been self-consciously trying to set a pattern for handling aggression in the post-Cold War world. Going in and occupying Iraq, thus unilaterally exceeding the United Nations' mandate, would have destroyed the precedent of international response to aggression that we hoped to establish. Had we gone the invasion route, the United States could conceivably still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land. It would have been a dramatically different -- and perhaps barren -- outcome."

Advertisement

Latest Headlines