Bush, whose inability to admit error exceeds Fonzie's, stunned the world by coughing up a short list of Iraq war missteps at his news conference with Blair, yesterday. I hope it's a trend. On the other hand, the list is meager, misleading, and one item was not a mistake at all. It was a deception. And still is.
Bush regretted saying, "Bring it on." On that, I'm in agreement. It was a foolish, childish and false bit of cowboy bravado that did nothing but endanger our troops. Guys in the movies can say, "bring it on," because the outcome is rigged, that is, scripted. But the U.S. has misunderestimated what we would face inside Iraq from the get go. (Except that we misoverestimated Saddam's ability to project a threat beyond his borders--which was the rationale given or the war.)
He also regretted saying he wanted bin Laden "dead or alive." Why? The pledge to get bin Laden was a good thing. My regret about that pledge is that Bush lacked the ability, the will, or the desire, to deliver. Turns out that bin Laden at large has been an invaluable ally of the Bush-Rove fear-mongering. It can be argued credibly that bin Laden's election eve comments provided Bush with the margin of victory in a tight race.
As for the third Bush admission, that abu Ghraib prisoner abuse hurt us, he's right. But as for his claim that the perpetrators have been punished, well, only the lowest-level perpetrators... and most of them were punished minimally. The real perpetrators of the abu Grhaib abuse are as much at large as bin Laden.