[Media-watch] Bush on US war casualties; "we're not going to have any" - CNN - 20/10/2004

Julie-ann Davies jadavies2004 at yahoo.co.uk
Wed Oct 20 21:28:29 BST 2004


 Wednesday, October 20, 2004 Posted: 3:24 PM EDT (1924 GMT)

Robertson: I warned Bush on Iraq casualties
President's response: 'We're not going to have any'

NEW YORK (CNN) -- The founder of the U.S. Christian Coalition said Tuesday 
he told President George W. Bush before the invasion of Iraq that he should 
prepare Americans for the likelihood of casualties, but the president told 
him, "We're not going to have any casualties."

Pat Robertson, an ardent Bush supporter, said he had that conversation with 
the president in Nashville, Tennessee, before the March 2003 invasion. He 
described Bush in the meeting as "the most self-assured man I've ever met in 
my life."

"You remember Mark Twain said, 'He looks like a contented Christian with 
four aces.' I mean he was just sitting there like, 'I'm on top of the 
world,' " Robertson said on the CNN show, "Paula Zahn Now."

"And I warned him about this war. I had deep misgivings about this war, deep 
misgivings. And I was trying to say, 'Mr. President, you had better prepare 
the American people for casualties.' "

Robertson said the president then told him, "Oh, no, we're not going to have 
any casualties."

Robertson, the televangelist who sought the Republican presidential 
nomination in 1988, said he wishes Bush would admit to mistakes made.

"I mean, the Lord told me it was going to be A, a disaster, and B, messy," 
Robertson said. "I warned him about casualties."

More than 1,100 U.S. troops have died in Iraq and another 8,000 troops have 
been wounded in the ongoing campaign, with the casualty toll significantly 
increasing in the last six months as the insurgency there has deepened.

Asked why Bush has refused to admit to mistakes on Iraq, Robertson said, "I 
don't know this politics game. You know, you can never say you were wrong 
because the opposition grabs onto it: 'See, he admitted he screwed up.' "

Even as Robertson criticized Bush for downplaying the potential dangers of 
the Iraq war, he heaped praise on Bush, saying he believes the president 
will win the election and that "the blessing of heaven is on Bush."

"Even if he stumbles and messes up -- and he's had his share of stumbles and 
gaffes -- I just think God's blessing is on him," Robertson said.

As for Bush's Democratic rival, Sen. John Kerry, Robertson said, "I don't 
think he's a leader. He's a ponderous debater, a good senator probably."

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