(NEW YORK) -- She served eight years in the Bush administration as national security advisor and secretary of state, and now Condoleezza Rice is out with a memoir, No Higher Honor, where she paints a detailed picture of policy making while conducting two wars.
Though she never directly addressed it in her book, ABC's George Stephanopoulos asked her the question on many people’s minds -- if she thought the war in Iraq was worth the sacrifice in lives lost and money spent.
“Now, we didn’t go to Iraq to bring democracy to the Iraqis. And I try in the book to really explain that that wasn’t the purpose,” Rice said.
“This was a security threat of Saddam Hussein, who had started wars before, used weapons of mass destruction, was shooting at aircraft in the no-fly zone, was still threatening his neighbors, had tried to assassinate George H.W. Bush, was a cancer in the Middle East and a great source of that volatility in the Middle East, needed to be dealt with,” she said. “And I, as much as anybody, understand and really regret the cost, particularly in lives. But I also know that nothing of value is ever won without sacrifice.”
Rice remained confident that Hussein was not “removable by any other means” and writes in her book that she’s “grateful that today’s concern is not an impending nuclear arms race between Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Iraq’s Saddam Hussein.”
But don’t we know now that Hussein had no meaningful nuclear weapons program?
“He had the scientists, he had the infrastructure,” Rice said. “He was buying all kinds of stuff through front companies. He had not reconstituted it. But the idea that Saddam Hussein had given up on weapons of mass destruction, I think, is simply ahistorical... And I cannot imagine that Saddam Hussein watching Iran move along a nuclear path [and not reacting], given all the infrastructure he had, given all the knowledge he had, given that we know that when in 1991, the inspectors got there, he was far closer to his nuclear device than they thought.”
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