Your president hosted a visit from colonial governor Hamid Karzai today.
So, how do you identify a democracy?
PRESIDENT BUSH: And so Mr. President, thank you for your leadership. We’re looking forward to watching and helping make sure these elections go forward in a peaceful — peaceful manner. It’s a — the number of candidates that — who have filed are — is quite impressive. I think you maybe told me over 5,000?
PRESIDENT KARZAI: Over 5,000.
PRESIDENT BUSH: Yes, 5,000 people have filed for office. It’s a — it’s a — democracy is — democracy is flourishing.
Hamid calls Chimpy out.
PRESIDENT KARZAI: And we are very, very happy more importantly to have had the First Lady to visit us in Afghanistan. We were thrilled. The Afghan women were thrilled. The Afghan site were thrilled. And now you guess whose turn it is now to come to Afghanistan. (Laughter.) So we’ll be hoping to receive you there very soon.
PRESIDENT BUSH: Thank you for the invitation. (Laughter.)
Ooops! Smething is missing from our democracy.
PRESIDENT BUSH: Somebody from the Afghan press?
PRESIDENT KARZAI: Anybody from the Afghan press? Do we have an Afghan press? Oh, here he is.
Me President, no need articles.
PRESIDENT BUSH: And I made it very clear to the President that this is — that we have got to work together to eradicate poppy crop. And the President, not only in this meeting but in other meetings, has been very forthcoming about the desire to eradicate poppy. And as a matter of fact, according to a United Nations’ report, there is less poppy today than the previous year.
Progress report from our other colony: they’re beatin’ the tar out of us, it’s how we know we’re winnin’.
Q And if I may ask you, Mr. President, as you know, the casualties of Iraq is again high today — 50 more people dying. Do you think that insurgence is getting harder now to defeat militarily? Thank you.
PRESIDENT BUSH: No, I don’t think so. I think they’re being defeated. And that’s why they continue to fight. The worst thing for them is to see democracy. The President can speak to that firsthand. The worst problem that an ideologue that uses terror to try to get their way is to see a free society emerge. And I’m confident we’re making great progress in Iraq.
And clearly, it’s dangerous and we mourn the loss of life. On the other hand, the eight-and-a-half million Iraqis who went to the polls sent a very clear message to the world, that they want to be free.