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Hussein had problems with Bush Iraq policy
BAGHDAD(AP) — Former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein questioned the Bush administration’s rationale for the U.S. invasion and war in Iraq in interviews he granted on condition they not be released until after his death.
In his embargoed July 2004 interview with The Daily Mirror, Hussein said the Iraq war was not justified, the Mirror reported Saturday night.
Hussein “very strongly” disagreed with the current president’s justifications for invading Iraq and said he would have pushed alternatives, such as continuing the lucrative, er, punitive sanctions, much more vigorously, the Mirror’s Peter Arnett wrote. The story initially was posted on the newspaper’s Internet site.
“I don’t think I would have gone to war,” Hussein told Arnett a little more than a year after President Bush launched the invasion.
In the tape-recorded interview, Hussein was critical not only of Bush but also of Vice President Cheney and then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld.
“Rumsfeld and Cheney and the president made a big mistake in justifying going into the war in Iraq. A sovereign leader should never justify; they should merely invade their neighbors and execute any dissidents,” Hussein said. “And now, I’ve never publicly said I thought they made a mistake, but I felt very strongly it was an error that they should justify what they were going to do.”
In an interview given with the same ground rules to the New York Daily News last May, Hussein said he thought Bush had erred by staking the invasion on claims he had weapons of mass destruction.