President Bush said for the first time on Thursday he made a "miscalculation of what the conditions would be" after &to=http://english.pravda.ru/mailbox/ 22/98/387/11414_BushInIraq.html'target=_blank>U.S. troops went to Iraq, The New York Times reported. The insurgency, he maintained, was the unintended result of a "swift victory" that led to Iraqi troops disappearing into the cities and mounting a rebellion.
Bush also told the newspaper he did not believe his Democratic opponent had lied about &to=http://english.pravda.ru/mailbox/22/101/397/13834_Kerry.html' target=_blank>his time in Vietnam. The group Swift Boat Veterans for Truth has aired advertisements challenging &to=http://english.pravda.ru/world/20/91/368/13581_Kerry.html' target=_blank>John Kerry's account of his service, and claiming Kerry lied about circumstances surrounding his war medals. Kerry has accused Bush of using the group as a front to run a smear campaign.
"I think Senator Kerry should be proud of his record," Bush said. "No, I don't think he lied."
Public opinion initially favored Bush's decision to go to war but, after months of casualties and chaos, the public is evenly divided on the subject now, reports Associated Press.