“U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice accepted on Friday the United States had probably made thousands of errors in Iraq but defended the overall strategy of removing Saddam Hussein… “Yes, I know we have made tactical errors, thousands of them,” she said in answer to a question over whether lessons had been learned since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. “I believe strongly that it was the right strategic decision, that Saddam had been a threat to the international community long enough,” she added.”
As you may recall, President Bush gave a news conference on April 13, 2006. When asked, “…You’ve looked back before 9-11 for what mistakes might have been made. After 9-11, what would your biggest mistake be, would you say, and what lessons have learned from it?”
The President of the United States replied:
“I wish you’d have given me this written question ahead of time so I could plan for it. John, I’m sure historians will look back and say, gosh, he could’ve done it better this way or that way. You know, I just — I’m sure something will pop into my head here in the midst of this press conference, with all the pressure of trying to come up with answer, but it hadn’t yet. I would’ve gone into Afghanistan the way we went into Afghanistan. Even knowing what I know today about the stockpiles of weapons, I still would’ve called upon the world to deal with Saddam Hussein…”
“I hope — I don’t want to sound like I have made no mistakes. I’m confident I have. I just haven’t — you just put me under the spot here, and maybe I’m not as quick on my feet as I should be in coming up with one.”
Let’s see: The news conference was two years ago. The Secretary of State said there have been thousands of mistakes. Let’s assume it was only 2,000 mistakes. Since 2003, that’s about 667 mistakes a year. That means the President had about 667 mistakes from which to choose, and couldn’t remember one of them. To be fair, it’s possible that the Bush Administration was not told of the 667 mistakes at that point, and only learned about these thousands of mistakes now.
That’s a lot of red ink on the Iraq War test.