Outgoing Iowa Congressman Jim Leach says his opposition to the war in Iraq means he is not likely to become President Bush’s Ambassador to the United Nations.
Leach lost his bid this November for a 16th term in the U.S. House and shortly afterwards some of his colleagues started touting the idea of Leach as U.N. Ambassador. Leach says that’s “unrealistic.”
“It’d be pretty hard for the president to nomination someone that’s opposed so much of his foreign policy,” Leach says. “I have an ironic position with the president. I consider him a friend and am close to the family, but I have truly differed with so many aspects of the foreign policy of the administration it would just be difficult.”
Leach has labeled the invasion and occupation of Iraq one of the greatest foreign policy blunders in U.S. history. During a Friday appearance on Iowa Public Television, Leach expanded on that. “It is quite possible that this will go down as one of the great blunders in American history and possibly the largest,” Leach said. “I personally think it is much more difficult than the Vietnam situation and with far greater consequences for the long term.”
A “study group” led by former Secretary of State James Baker is to release its recommendations next week for what should happen next in Iraq. “I’m not sure, yet, how much oomph these recommendations are going to have,” Leach says. “…My own sense is that all options are negative.”
Leach says prolonging the conflict and extending the military occupation of Iraq is dangerous since public opinion polls show over 60 percent of Iraqis believe shooting an American is o.k.