At the Pentagon, today.
I put off my speech — actually, I was quite flexible about when I was going to give my speech, to begin with — and one of the main reasons why is I really do want the new Secretary of Defense to have time to get to know people and hear people and be a part of this deliberation. And he will not be sworn in until next Monday. I also — one of the interesting things about this experience is that there’s a lot of ideas and a lot of opinions. And I want to make sure I hear from as many of those ideas and opinions as possible.
People Got To Understand
But one thing people got to understand is we’ll be headed toward achieving our objectives.
“Energy” = Oil — What It’s All About
Moderate people — moderate governments in the Middle East would be making irrational decisions about their future. It would be a disaster for governments that have got energy resources to be in the hands of these extremists. They would use energy to extract blackmail from the United States. And when you couple all that with a regime that is — doesn’t like the United States having a nuclear weapon, you can imagine a world of turmoil.
It’s in Saudi’s interest, it’s in Jordan’s interest, it’s in the Gulf Coast countries’ interest that there be a stable Iran, an Iran that is capable of rejecting Iranian influence — I mean, Iraq that is capable of rejecting Iranian influence.
I Have A Theory That Is Mine
And as I deliberate the way forward, I keep in mind that we’ve got brave souls that need — to need to know that we’re in this fight with a strategy to help them achieve the objectives that we’ve got.
Still No Sign Of Reality
Q As you give the new Defense Secretary time to get more in the mix, what is the strategy that you’re looking to build? Is it a military strategy for success in Iraq, or a political one?
THE PRESIDENT: I think that our military cannot do this job alone. Our military needs a political strategy that is effective. And that includes things such an oil law passed by the Iraqis that basically says to the people, all of you, regardless of where you live or your religion, get to share in the bounty of our nation. It requires a reconciliation effort, including a rational de-Baathification law.
Q That’s not something you can do with your new strategy, is it?
THE PRESIDENT: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely, I can do that with my strategy. I mean, it is — I can hold people to account. It’s something the military recognizes that they’re not — that’s not their job, it’s my job to convince the Maliki government to make the hard decisions necessary to move his country forward.