March 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq.said he regrets the display of the “ ” sign as backdrop for a speech he gave about a month after the
Holly Rosenkrantz, Bloomberg
“To some, it said, well, `Bush thinks the war in Iraq is over,’ when I didn’t think that,” he said in a CNN interview today. “It conveyed the wrong message.”
US President George W. Bush addresses the nation aboard the nuclear aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln in May 2003, as it sails for Naval Air Station North Island, San Diego, California. Bush’s successor inherits a world of troubles come January, including wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, a defiant Iran, and a US economy battered by the global financial crisis.(AFP/File/Stephen Jaffe)
The sign was hung on the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln on May 1, 2003, when Bush landed on the carrier wearing a flight suit to declare that major combat operations in Iraq were over. That speech has since served as a rallying point for critics of Bush’s policies in Iraq.
Bush also cited other regrets in the CNN interview, which was conducted aboard the U.S.S. Intrepid in New York after a Veterans Day ceremony.
“I regret saying some things I shouldn’t have said,” Bush said. He cited comments he made after the Sept. 11 attacks, when he said of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden: “I want justice. There’s an old poster out West that said, ‘Wanted, dead or alive.”’
He also said he regretted telling Iraqi insurgents in 2003: “There are some who feel like that the conditions are such that they can attack us there. My answer is, bring ’em on.”