Karl Rove, former senior advisor to President George W. Bush, was confronted at the University of Connecticut this week and asked to apologize for the Iraq war.
In a video published online Wednesday, a man who identified himself as Iraq War veteran Ryan Henowitz took on Rove.
"I saw my friends torn apart and Iraqi children screaming for their parents as indiscriminate shrapnel scarred them and us in ways that we will never know," he said. "We were exposed to more questions about life and death then any 20-year-old should have."
Adding that he has "taken responsibility" for his actions, Henowitz then asked Rove if he would "take responsibility and apologize" for "sending a generation to lose their humanity and deal with the horrors of war."
Rove promptly fired back.
"It was right to remove Saddam Hussein from power," he said. "It was right. He had thumbed his nose at the international community, which had passed at the United Nations 14 resolutions, calling upon him to live up to the [inaudible] ... Fourteen times he gave the finger to the U.N. He was a state sponsor of terrorism and the in aftermath of 9/11 he represented a threat."
[sharequote align="right"]"I’m not gonna apologize for our government having done the right thing by removing Saddam Hussein from power.”[/sharequote]
“It was right thing to do," Rove continued. "I appreciate your service for our country. I’m sorry for what you went through, but it was the right thing to remove Saddam Hussein from power. The United States government and the United States military was right to do so."
"The Architect" then said if the U.S. had remained in Iraq, the Islamic State may not have risen to power.
“We should have stayed there and remained there like the Iraqis wanted us to," he said. "We would not have seen the rise if ISIS, we would not have seen the displacement of millions of people in the country and we would not have seen the death of hundreds of thousands of people simply because they believed in Jesus Christ or were [inaudible] or were Shia."
“So I’m sorry, we have a fundamental disagreement on that. I appreciate your service, but I’m not gonna apologize for our government having done the right thing by removing Saddam Hussein from power.”
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