No apology from Bush over abuse

President George W. Bush has acknowledged US troops made mistakes, but stopped short of offering an apology for the abuse of Iraqi prisoners.

In an interview broadcast on Arab television last night, President Bush said that Americans are appalled by the abuse and deaths of Iraqi prisoners at the hands of US. soldiers, and promised that “justice will be delivered.”

The first question Bush had to tackle was that the evidence of torture made many Arabs believe that the US was no better than Saddam Hussein’s government, notorious for torture and murder.

But drawing a distinction with Saddam’s regime, he said, “A dictator wouldn’t be answering questions about this.”

Interviewed on the US-sponsored Al-Hurrah television network, Bush said that Iraqis “must understand that I view those practices as abhorrent. They must also understand that what took place in that prison does not represent the America that I know. Most US soldiers are good, honourable citizens that are helping the Iraqis every day. It’s also important for the people of Iraq to know that in a democracy, everything is not perfect, that mistakes are made,” the president said.

While Bush did not offer an apology, Condoleezza Rice, his national security adviser said on Tuesday that “we are deeply sorry for what has happened.”