President Bush has defended his years in power at a farewell press conference before stepping down next week. He insisted his failed bid to broker a Middle East peace between Israel and the Palestinians had not been completely in vain, despite the latest crisis, which he blamed squarely on Hamas.
“I am for a sustainable ceasefire, and a definition for sustainable ceasefire is that Hamas to stop firing rockets into Israel, and there will not be a sustainable ceasefire if they continue firing rockets,” the president said. “I happen to believe that the choice is Hamas’ to make.”
In what he called “the ultimate exit interview,” Bush also acknowledged some mistakes, but maintained that he made the difficult choices that were necessary to defend the nation.
“I have often said that history will look back and determine that which could have been done better or, you know, mistakes I made. Obviously, some of rhetoric has been a mistake.”
President-elect Obama takes over on the 20th of January. He has said he is building a top diplomatic team that will be immediately engaged in the Middle East peace process as soon as he takes office.