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U.S. diplomat apologizes for Iraq policy critique

A senior U.S. diplomat apologized on Sunday for saying U.S. policy in Iraq has been marked by "arrogance" and "stupidity."

Alberto Fernandez, an Arabic-speaking diplomat in the U.S. State Department's bureau of Near Eastern affairs, issued a written apology about his interview with Al-Jazeera television.

"Upon reading the transcript of my appearance on Al-Jazeera, I realized that I seriously misspoke by using the phrase 'there has been arrogance and stupidity' by the U.S. in Iraq," said Fernandez, director of public diplomacy in State's Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs.

U.S. generals call for Democratic takeover


Photos: AP/Wide World

Maj. Gen. John Batiste in Tikrit, Iraq, March 16, 2004, and Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton in Baghdad, July 9, 2003.

Two retired senior Army generals, who served in Iraq and previously voted Republican, are now openly endorsing a Democratic takeover of Congress. The generals, and an active-duty senior military official, told Salon in separate interviews that they believe a Democratic victory will help reverse course from what they consider to be a disastrous Bush administration policy in Iraq. The two retired generals, Maj. Gen. John Batiste and retired Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton, first openly criticized the handling of the war last spring, when they called for the resignation of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

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