Prince criticizes the Bush Assministration’s general pigheadedness on Iraq.
The United States could have avoided some of the problems it is experiencing in Iraq if it had listened to Britain’s advice and learned from its experiences, Prince Andrew said in an interview published Tuesday as he began a trade mission to the U.S.
In a rare airing of political opinion by a senior member of the British royal family, the prince said the invasion and its aftermath had created a “healthy skepticism” in Britain about what was said in Washington and led many to ask, “Why didn’t anyone listen to what was said and the advice that was given?”
The United States was Britain’s chief ally, he said, but, there were “occasions when people in the U.K. would wish that those in responsible positions in the U.S. might listen and learn from our experiences.”
“If you are looking at colonialism, if you are looking at operations on an international scale, if you are looking at understanding each other’s culture, understanding how to operate in a military insurgency campaign — we have been through them all,” the prince said in comments confirmed by Buckingham Palace.
“We’ve won some, lost some, drawn some. The fact is there is quite a lot of experience over here which is valid and should be listened to.”
Senior British officials have complained that the U.S. did not heed British advice about the potential pitfalls of invading Iraq, particularly the dangers of banning Saddam Hussein’s Baath Party and dismantling the Iraqi military.