First Published: 2008-07-05

 
Rice 'proud' of US invasion of Iraq
 

US Secretary of State says Middle East improved since President George Bush took office.

 

Middle East Online

All Rice’s claims were made with a straight face!

WASHINGTON - US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on Friday that she was "proud" of the US decision to invade Iraq and said the Middle East had improved since President George W. Bush took office.

In an interview with Bloomberg television, Rice also cited progress in North Korea and China as evidence that the Bush administration, which has just seven months left in office, had made strides over the past eight years.

"I am proud by the decision of this administration to overthrow Saddam Hussein. I am proud of the liberation of 20 million Iraqis," Rice said in the interview taped earlier in the week.

"Iraq has been very tough. Tougher than any of us had dreamed. We can never replace the people who have been lost. We can never do anything to soothe the pain of the family and friends that they have left behind, but we are seeing a change in Iraq for the better," she said.

The interview aired as the United States marked the Independence Day holiday. The US military has lost 4,113 personnel since the March 2003 invasion, according to the website www.icasualties.org.

"In the post-9/11 environment, you could not let a threat to peace exist. I know that great historical events go through difficult phases and often emerge with the world left for the better."

Rice said Iran had suffered "setbacks" and Al-Qaeda was "on its heels," while democracy had made a "breakthrough" with women voting in Kuwait, "democratic forces" emerging in the Palestinian territories and "a democracy at the center of the Arab world in Iraq."

"We're now beginning to see that perhaps it's not so popular to be a suicide bomber. We're beginning to see that perhaps people are questioning whether Osama bin Laden ought to really be the face of Islam," she said.

Rice also said progress was being made on North Korea's nuclear disarmament, and that the North Koreans were "putting themselves out of the business of making plutonium."

"With all due respect to those who look at this deal and say somehow North Korea has gotten a great deal, I think one can say that this is a really good step for non-proliferation," Rice said.

China has been "somewhat more helpful" on Darfur, where it has faced allegations of supplying weapons to the government in Khartoum amid years of deadly strife with rebel factions.

Rice reiterated that Bush would attend the opening ceremonies of the Olympics in Beijing despite urgings by rights groups that he boycott.

"The president has been very clear that the Olympics is a sporting event and he's going to go to it as a sporting event," Rice said.

Turning to domestic politics, Rice, who supports Republican White House hopeful John McCain, said people are "fascinated" by Democratic senator Barack Obama's bid to become the first African-American president.

"But I'll tell you something. Ultimately, whoever is elected president of the United States will represent the United States, not as a black president or as a woman president or as a black secretary of state or as a woman secretary of state, but the United States of America,"she said.

Rice, 53, ruled out any such political aspirations for herself, saying that she may write a book and return to work in education after Bush's term expires in January 2009.

 

Two Danes stabbed by man shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ in Gabon

UN considers rejecting Trump Jerusalem decision

Israeli air traffic halted due to strikes

Iran's schools suffocate in smog

Christmas in Jordan dimmed by Jerusalem crisis

Turkey slams Austria ‘discrimination’

Tunisia elections delayed

Istanbul summit strong on the rhetoric, weak on concrete steps

Morocco’s Islamists elect new leader, walking away from predecessor’s populism

Palestinians call for protests against Pence Jerusalem visit

Palestinian billionaire detained in Saudi Arabia

Egypt opens Rafah crossing for four days

Turkey court releases 7 suspects in New Year attack trial

Palestinian activist killed in Gaza protests

Foreign fighters a worry as IS struggles to survive

Over half Syrian refugees in Lebanon live in 'extreme poverty'

Palestinians killed in continuing protests over Jerusalem occupation

Bourita: Extraordinary meeting between ECOWAS, Morocco to be held beginning of 2018

Saudi-led air strikes, clashes as Yemen forces battle rebels

Sahel force funding shows terrorism fight is Saudi 'priority'

UN 'appalled' at mass execution of jihadists in Iraq

Iraq's Sistani says Hashed should be under government control

Middle-class Egypt adapts as costs soar

Somalia's budget meets IMF terms

Israel PM questioned in graft probe

US says Iran supplied ballistic missile to Yemen rebels

Lebanon approves bid for oil, gas exploration

US to present 'irrefutable evidence' of Iran violations

Istanbul 'to remove Gulen links' from street names

Iraq hangs 38 jihadists

Pence to visit Middle East despite controversy

Hamas chief calls for continued Jerusalem protests

EU to repatriate 15,000 migrants from Libya in two months

Syria Kurds fear US ally will desert them after IS defeat

Israeli drugmaker Teva to cut 14,000 jobs over two years

Turkey rescues 51 migrants stranded on rocks

Saudi, UAE hold talks with Yemen Islamists

18 killed after bomber strikes Mogadishu police academy

Israeli air strikes target Hamas military facilities

US-led air strikes kill 23 civilians in Syria

Israel union calls nationwide strike over pharmaceutical giant job cuts

UN envoy urges Putin to press Assad for elections

Yemen's Huthi rebels release pro-Saleh media staff

Israel intelligence minister invites Saudi prince to visit

Saudi-led strikes kill 30 in rebel-run Yemen prison