Our beef is not with the Iranian people. Our beef is with a government that has hidden the program -- and by the way, back to the NIE very quickly. The international response ought to be that, okay, whether or not you agree with the NIE or not, at least recognize that they had a program at one point in time, and demand that Iran explain it. We shouldn't be trying to explain why we know what we know. We ought to be focusing on the Iranians to say, you tell us why you had a program; you tell us about the -- if you want to be an international player, it's up to you to explain.I see. Isn't this what got us into trouble with Iraq? We went in thinking one thing because at one time there was a program for WMD, but the result is what? There's no program. Might this not also be the case with Iran? Who is playing whom here?
Let's dig a little deeper and see if you can find the places where George Bush is playing us for fools:
And so I trust Olmert. His --The man is very good at shoveling it:
Q Do you?
THE PRESIDENT: I do trust him.
Q You trust Olmert, period?
THE PRESIDENT: I trust him. I hope -- hopefully he'll say the same about me. Hopefully -- you see, one of the things in politics that happens often is people sometimes won't tell you really what's on their mind. It happens here in America, for example. You'll have politicians walk in the Oval Office and say, hey, President, I'm with you. And then all of a sudden the heat gets on -- (laughter) -- and it turns out they're not with you.
Q You feel it at your back.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes. Well, I feel -- and I've had enough conversations, heart-to-heart conversations with the Prime Minister. I understand Israeli politics is very complicated. It's tough. It is full-contact karate. (Laughter.) And --
Q Not unlike American --
THE PRESIDENT: Not really. Not really. Because the President is -- even though we've got our politics, and even though I've got tough relations at times with Congress, the President sets foreign policy. He is constantly worried about a coalition. And I understand that. I understand the difficulty he faces. But in spite of those difficulties, I'm interested in strategic visions based upon peace.
Q But still, Mr. President, do you see a chance to sign a comprehensive peace agreement between Israel and the --Are you buying it? Frankly, I don't think that Bush nor his crack team of senior level diplomats (read Condi) have proven themselves capable in the category of bringing much peace to anywhere at this point.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, I do, before I leave.
Q Before you leave?
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, I do. I do. I'm an optimistic guy.
Q -- by initials, or by full execution?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, first of all -- no. First of all, the -- I envision Israel and Palestine sitting down at a table, signing, this is what a state would look like, subject to the road map. There's work to be done.
Q And concluding an agreement?
THE PRESIDENT: On what the state would look like, absolutely. Yes, I do. I think it can happen.
Yet, here is where the president goes rhetorically astray. Have a gander at this and see if you can actually tell what his plan is:
As I said, realities on the ground will help define the border -- the eventual border of what the Palestinian state will look like. And the state will come into being subject to the conditions set out in the road map, which means we've got a lot of work to do. One of the things I'll be doing is visiting with Tony Blair there in order to make -- to catch up on what he is doing to help the Palestinians -- look, developing a state out of -- is difficult. There's got to be institutions that provide stability, and it's hard to do.Duh, really. Wow, that's a fascinating position on how you are going to broker the peace in the Israel and Palistinian situation. Let's see. That has to be a lot like...well...a lot like...
That's what happening in Iraq. It's hard to go from dictatorship, like they had in Iraq, to one in which there is solid institutions that will enable a democracy to survive. I have come to the conclusion that it's absolutely necessary work for the sake of peace because if we're in an ideological struggle, the only way to defeat the ideology that preys upon fear and hate is through the development of societies that respond to the will of the people. And democracies, it turns out, democracies throughout our history tend not to fight each other, because democracies respond to the will of the people and most people do not want war and bloodshed and violence. Most people just want to live a normal, peaceful life.Oh, yes. Iraq. I think he is forgetting the bulk of human history. Has he not read the Bible? There is a great deal of violence and bloodshed therein as well. Most people are not Osama bin Laden, of course. But, I'm still not getting any clue as to what his solution might be. What's your plan, Mr. Bush?
I tell the American people all the time that Iraqi mothers want the same thing for their children that American mothers want for theirs: a place for their child to grow up and get a good education and be able to realize dreams. Same thing for the Palestinian mothers and the Israeli mothers. There's a commonality there and yet, unfortunately, in the world in which we live today, there are people who simply do not like the idea of societies based upon the will of the people and will use violence to stop the advance of freedom. And it's not just in the Palestinian Territories that you find the violence; you find it in Lebanon, you find it in Iraq, you find it in Afghanistan, you find it in Pakistan.Wow...I'm drowning in so much illogical rhetorical argument here that it's hard to pick apart because the president can't sustain a quality argument or thread without reverting back to his typical message of this being an ideological struggle. What's the plan, dude? Where is this vision of which you speak? I see it not.
Q You find it in Gaza.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes. You find people who will kill innocent life to stop the advance of freedom, which should call the world to -- should cause the world to rally. If killers want to stop liberty, it should be a clear signal to all of us that we must do everything we can to advance liberty. And one of the things I find very hopeful about a Palestinian state is that many in the world want to help the Palestinians develop institutions and stability. And I -- President Abbas and Prime Minister Fayyad are committed to the development of a state. They need a lot of help. And one of the things we can provide help for -- besides some practical help on organizing their security forces and obviously to encourage investment -- is to -- there's got to be a vision, see. People have got to be for something. And that's where we're trying to take the process over the next year.
But Because you brought it up, Mr. President. What about Iraq?
Q Mr. President, you just mentioned Iraq. Can you clarify to us whether there was any Israeli involvement in your decision to invade Iraq?"The Sanctions regime turns out to have been corrupt and wasn't working?" What the hell does that mean? Is any one following what the president is tying to convey or am I just stupid here?
THE PRESIDENT: No, not at all. None whatsoever. My decision was based upon U.S. intelligence, based upon the desire to provide security for our peoples and others. It was based upon my willingness to work with the international community on this issue. Remember, if you look back at the history, there was a unanimous vote in the Security Council: disclose, disarm, or face serious consequences. And when he defied, when he refused to allow the inspectors in, when he made a statement by his actions that he didn't really care what the international community said, that I decided to make sure words meant something.
And so I acted based upon our own security interests. And -- but it also fit into this notion of -- and remember, Zarqawi, there was some terrorist connections -- not with the 9/11 attacks, but terrorist connections; Abu Nadal; he had been using -- he'd been funding families of suicide bombers. In other words, as far as we were concerned, he had weapons of mass destruction which could have been used in a deadly way. It turns out he didn't have the weapons, but he had the know-how on how to make weapons, which could easily have been reconstituted. The sanctions regime turns out to have been corrupt and wasn't working. In other words, there's a variety of aspects to my decision, all of which were aimed at making sure that U.S. security, first and foremost, was enhanced.
If we engage any country based on the potential capacity to develop weapons, we would be at war with just about every nation. I've typed this before, but any one with an internet connection can find out how to build IEDs and weapons of mass destruction for that matter. When every possible enemy is your target, you end up with too many enemies and not many friends. And, I've typed this before, might we have not been better to have shifted the ideology from the outset? Wouldn't it have been better if it wasn't "if you are not with us, your against us," but "if you are not against us, you are with us?"
Here's where the President sticks the nail in his own rhetorical coffin. Note, before you get to the last sentence quoted here that, if you think about it, what he is saying that what the Whitehouse's message is cannot believed. I explain at the end:
Q When you are talking about vision, Mr. President -- and this will be our last question -- how do you wish to be remembered in world history?If you need be dead for us to know the truth, then how can we believe what you say today?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, first of all, I'll be dead before the true history of the Bush administration is written. Here in the Oval Office, there are portraits of two Presidents, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. In the past couple of years, I have read extensive analyses of both of those men's presidencies. My attitude is that it's going to take a while for objective historians to realize the contributions that this administration has made to peace.
Q Like Harry Truman's legacy, which developed.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, each President has his own set of circumstances with which to deal. I would hope that people, when they look back at this administration, would say that President Bush and his administration worked diligently to protect the American people from harm; that he recognized the threats of the 21st century; that he acted in a -- when he needed to be tough, he acted strong, and when he needed to have vision he understood the power of freedom to be transformative.
Our foreign policy is more than just confronting terrorists. Our foreign policy is to confront the conditions that enable these ideologues to recruit, such as HIV/AIDS on the continent of Africa, or feeding the hungry, or dealing with malaria. Our foreign policy is based upon our great trust in the capacity of the common person to dictate a peaceful course for government. But just so you know, I fully understand, I'll be long gone before the accurate history of this administration is reflected in the history books.
It's the "Wimpy" argument. If you say you would gladly pay me Tuesday for a hamburger today, why should I believe that you will pay me Tuesday when you won't pay me today? If the truth be not known from what you tell us today, how can we trust you to tell us the truth altogether?
Any one else out their sick of this "history will be the judge of me" argument?