Diplomat: U.S. arrogant, stupid in Iraq
DIPLOMAT: U.S. "ARROGANT", "STUPID" IN IRAQ
A senior U.S. State Department diplomat told Arab satellite network Al-Jazeera that there is a strong possibility history will show the United States displayed "arrogance" and "stupidity" in its handling of the Iraq war.
Alberto Fernandez, director of the Office of Press and Public Diplomacy in the Bureau of Near East Affairs, made his comments on Saturday to the Qatar-based network.
"History will decide what role the United States played," he told Al-Jazeera in Arabic, based on CNN translations. "And God willing, we tried to do our best in Iraq."
"But I think there is a big possibility ... for extreme criticism and because undoubtedly there was arrogance and stupidity from the United States in Iraq," the diplomat told Al-Jazeera.
"I can only assume his remarks must have been mistranslated. Those comments obviously don't reflect our policy," a senior Bush administration official said.
Fernandez told CNN that he was "not dissing U.S. policy."
"I know what the policy is and what the red lines are, and nothing I said hasn't been said before by senior officials.
"Nothing I said during this interview broke new ground," the diplomat told CNN.
Fernandez's comments came as President Bush gathered his senior generals to discuss changes to strategy in Iraq, where violence has spiked in recent days.
CNN's Jomana Karadsheh, Mohammed Tawfeeq and Arwa Damon contributed to this report.
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