- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 19, 2002

Former President George Bush still gets riled by a certain Iraqi.
"I hate Saddam Hussein. I don't hate a lot of people. I don't hate easily, but I think he's, as I say, his word is no good and he's a brute. He's used poison gas on his own people. So, there's nothing redeeming about this man," Mr. Bush said in a CNN interview yesterday.
"I have nothing but hatred in my heart for him. But he's got a lot of problems. But immortality isn't one of them," Mr. Bush told CNN's Paula Zahn.
He also defended his decision to stand down victorious U.S. troops once the Iraqis had fled Kuwait.
"I know what would have happened. I know that the coalition would have shattered," Mr. Bush said. "My only regret is that I was wrong, as was every other leader, in thinking that Saddam Hussein would be gone."
American military commanders got orders to liberate Kuwait so that's what they did, he said.
"We told our military commanders, 'Here's your objective.' They saluted from halfway around the world and said, 'Mission complete, sir.' And that's the way it was, and that's the way it should have been," Mr. Bush recalled.
"Now, am I happy Saddam Hussein is there? Absolutely not. But am I going to be moved by the Monday morning critics who now say we should have done it differently [when they] were totally silent back then? No."
But Mr. Bush refused to speculate about the fate of Saddam now, 11 years later.
"That's the problem facing the president of the United States of America, not me," Mr. Bush said.


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