History will vindicate Bush administration, Rice says

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US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice acknowledged Monday that the Bush administration fell short of goals it had set for itself but maintained that history would prove it right.
In an interview with AFP, the chief US diplomat conceded that eight years after President George W. Bush came to power, his administration's popularity was "not very great" in the Arab world.

"I understand that a lot of the history between the US and the Arab world is one that Arabs look to as a time of humiliation and of lack of respect. That did not start with President Bush and it will not merely end with President Bush," she said.

American popularity in the Arab world has seen a steady decline in the wake of the US-led "war on terror," despite an initial surge of sympathy in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington, DC.

But Rice, whose job ends when Bush hands over the presidency to Barack Obama on January 20, predicted the Arabs will change their view of the Bush administration.

"Over time I think that the fact that America has stood for the Arab world and for the Arabs to have the same rights and the same ability to live in freedom as we have, that that will ultimately be respected," Rice said.
History will vindicate Bush, she said, by showing that Iraq, in the wake of the 2003 US-led invasion, will change the face of the Middle East and will be the first multi-ethnic and multi-confessional democracy in the Arab world.

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