Friday, Dec 19, 2008
US First Lady Laura Bush has hailed President George W. Bush’s policies in Iraq and Afghanistan ahead of the White House farewell.
"Fifty million people are free from tyranny because of the United States, because of my husband’s policies," Laura Bush said in an interview with USA TODAY on Thursday.
The first lady also said she would defend her husband’s job during the eight-year presidency as ‘they are worth defending’.
"These are very, very important, world-changing happenings, and they’re for the best," she said.
About the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, she said, "Do people really wish Saddam Hussein were still there? I don’t think so."
(ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW)
A study conducted by ORB — a well-known British polling agency which has been tracking public opinion in Iraq since 2005 — estimated in September 2007 that 1.2 million Iraqis had been killed in violence-related incidents following the March 2003 invasion of the country.
Human Rights Watch estimates put the number of those killed during a period of twenty years of the reign of deposed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein at 250,000 to 290,000.
Earlier on Sunday, an Iraqi reporter, Muntadhar al-Zaidi, shocked the world by hurling his shoes at the US president during Bush’s last visit to Iraq to show his hatred of the US occupation of his country in a press conference in Baghdad.
There has been a massive show of support for al-Zaidi in Iraq and the rest of the Islamic world, with many describing the incident as one of the defining moments of Bush’s eight-year presidency.
The shoe-throwing incident made Laura Bush angry, saying that ‘as a wife, I saw it as an assault, and that’s what it was. So I didn’t laugh it off’.
The first lady also praised her husband when he ducked the two shoes thrown by al-Zaidi.
"Of course, he’s very quick. That’s one of things I saw – he’s such a natural athlete," she said.