January 10th, 2005 6:41 pm
Cardinal Says Bush Broke Iraq Promise
Frances D'Emilio / Associated Press
VATICAN CITY - The Italian cardinal sent by Pope John Paul II last year to try to dissuade President Bush from invading Iraq said Monday the president promised that the U.S. operation would be "quick."
Cardinal Pio Laghi visited Bush at the White House on March 5, 2003, to relay the pope's position that dialogue, not arms, should be used to resolve the crisis over Iraq, which the United States accused of harboring weapons of mass destruction.
"When I went to Washington as the pope's envoy just before the outbreak of the war in Iraq, he (Bush) told me: `Don't worry, your eminence. We'll be quick and do well in Iraq,'" Laghi told Italian Catholic TV station Telepace, which was broadcasting the pontiff's annual address to diplomats.
When the United States went to war in Iraq, Laghi called the attack on Baghdad "tragic and unacceptable."
"Unfortunately, the facts have demonstrated afterward that things took a different course - not rapid and not favorable," the prelate told Telepace. "Bush was wrong."
Laghi was the Vatican's first envoy to Washington in the 1980s and established a friendship with Bush's father, former President George H.W. Bush.
Jan 11, '05
"We are in for the long haul" would have been a more honest answer. The answer to the Cardinal was simply a dishonest brush off, I'm sure.