Appearing at the University of Connecticut on Tuesday (Mar. 31), Karl Rove, the former deputy chief of staff and senior advisor to George W. Bush, was questioned by an Iraqi War veteran about the decision to overthrow Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq in 2003.
Ryan Henowitz, who said he was 20 years old when he was fighting overseas, described seeing his 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 then asked Rove to take some responsibility for the actions that occurred in Iraq during the intense eight year war, which officially ended in 2011.
“Can you take responsibility and apologize for your decision in sending a generation to lose their humanity and deal with the horrors of war, which you have never had the courage to face? Will you apologize to the millions of fathers and mothers who lost their children on both sides of this useless war?,” Henowitz said.
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Rove refused to apologize, instead stating facts about Hussein not cooperating with United Nations regulations and Hussein’s sponsor of terrorism in a post-9/11 world.
“It was the right thing to do,” Rove replied. “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.”
“We should have stayed there and remained there like the Iraqis wanted us to,” he continued. “We would not have seen the rise of ISIS, 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.”
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Rove was initially invited by the university’s College Republicans organization to discuss the 2016 elections.