Presidential regrets? They have a few
Two former presidents reflected on their greatest regrets in office Monday, each looking back to issues that continue to plague the nation years later.
Former Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton appeared together at a question-and-answer forum before the National Automobile Dealers Association in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Asked his biggest regret after leaving office, Bush said he now wonders whether he should have tried to get Saddam Hussein to leave office at the end of the first Gulf War in 1991.
On a day that President Barack Obama dispatched George Mitchell to the Middle East as the latest U.S. envoy, Clinton discussed the failure to achieve peace between Israelis and Palestinians.
"My No. 1 regret is that I was not able to persuade Yasser Arafat to accept the peace plan I offered at the end of my presidency that the Israelis accepted.
"If he had done that ... we had had seven years of progress toward peace. We had one year in 1998, the only year in the history of Israel where not a single soul was killed in a terrorist act. The Palestinians had more control over West Bank then than they do today," Clinton said. "And if he had taken that deal, we would have a Palestinian state and we would have had, I think now, normal peaceful relations with Israel and all of its Arab neighbors."
Clinton also said he regretted not doing more to "stop the Rwandan genocide," and succeeding on a new health care plan.
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