A Country That Is A Complete Country
My mission is to not only share with you what’s on my mind, and why I have made some of the decisions I have made, but another mission is to convince you that serving the public, that public service is worthwhile; that you can go into politics or you can feed the hungry or you can serve in the military, and it’s a fulfilling part of a person’s life, and a necessary part, in my judgment, of a country that is a complete country.
It’s Hard Work
You know, it’s a — there is — the President spends time at disasters.
Must… Resist… Saying… “Decider”…
My job is a job to make decisions. I’m a decision — if the job description were, what do you do — it’s decision-maker.
I realized that there is an enemy of the United States that is active and is lethal. At further study of that enemy, I realized that they share an ideology, that these weren’t — that the — and when you really think about it, the September the 11th attack was not the first attack.
There Was Attacks
There was a 1993 World Trade Center attack, there was attacks on our embassies in East Africa, there was an attack on the USS Cole, there have been other attacks on U.S. citizens, and that these attacks were instigated and carried out by cold-blooded killers who have a belief system.
Nobody ought to ever hope to be a war President, or a presidency — a President during war. But that’s how I see the world.
Throttle Up The Threat
In other words, we just can’t let a threat idle; we can’t hope that a threat doesn’t come home to hurt us.
But You Doesn’t Have To Call It Johnson
And now we’re involved in — I call it a global war against terror. You can’t call it a global war against extremists, a global war against radicals, a global war against people who want to hurt America; you can call it whatever you want, but it is a global effort.
That’s Their Objectives
They have an objective, and that is to spread their ideology throughout the Middle East. That is what they have stated. That’s their objectives.
And yet they — and yet, the enemy — and the enemy — when I say, enemy, these are enemies of free societies, primarily al Qaeda inspired — blew up the great religious shrine in ’06, a year ago — all aiming to create a sense of sectarian violence, all aiming to exacerbate the religious tensions that sometimes were exacerbated under Saddam Hussein, all aiming at preventing this young democracy from succeeding.
Thinks He Knows What “Decision Point” Means
So I have a decision point to make, last fall. And the decision point was whether or not to either scale back or increase our presence in Iraq.
But You Doesn’t Have To Call It Johnson Redux
The question was, do we increase our — I call it, reinforce, you can call it, surge, there’s all kind of words for it — or do we pull back?
I felt strongly that if violence erupted, sectarian violence erupted in the capital, it would make it impossible to achieve the objective, and that is to help this free society. Listen, there are — or let it emerge into a free society.
People often ask me, what are we seeing on TV? What’s happening with the violence? Here’s my best analysis: One, the spectaculars you see are al Qaeda inspired.
What Happened To “Suiciders”?
It’s an interesting war, isn’t it, where asymmetrical warfare is — and that means people being able to use suicide bombers — not only, obviously, kills a lot of innocent people, like which happened yesterday in Iraq, but also helps define whether or not we’re successful.
His View Of The Future
If the definition of success in Iraq or anywhere is no suicide bombers, we’ll never be successful.
Return Of The Suiciders
Think about that: if our definition is no more suiciders, you’ve just basically said to the suiciders, go ahead.
Iran is influential inside of Iraq. They are influential by providing advanced weaponry. They are influential by dealing with some militias, tend to be Shia militias, all aiming to create discomfort, all aiming to kind of — according to some — to create enough discomfort for the United States, but in doing so, they’re making it harder for this young democracy to emerge.
A Common Bound
I fully expect them — and I made it clear to the Prime Minister — that they should pass different de-Baathification law, that they ought to have local elections, that they ought to share their oil wells so that people feel a common — you know, a common bound to something bigger than provincialism.
Catching Himself In A Lie, Part I
Iran wants to — they’ve stated they’d like to have — let me just say, we believe they would like to have a nuclear weapon.
A Possibility Of A Scenario
The scenario I’m beginning to describe to you I believe is a real scenario, a real possibility for a scenario, and I believe if this were to happen, people would look back 30 years from now, or 20 years from now, and say, what happened to them in 2007; how come they couldn’t see the threat?
So Now He’s For Timetables?
First, I think it’s a mistake — and I’ve made it clear — that the Congress should not have artificial timetables for withdrawal in a funding statement.
It’s Just A Matter Of TimeThings Will Happen
It sends a signal to a dangerous part of the world that it’s just a matter of time things will happen.
Must Be Referring To His Four-Hour Workdays
There’s a — by the way, every new phase of history has its own unique features to it. For example, you’ve got a kid in the battlefield and he’s emailing home every day. Or, four-hour [sic] news cycles. There’s a lot of — asymmetrical warfare, or $50 weapons are sometimes used to defeat expensive vehicles. In other words, these are different times.
What Liberty Has Got
I think there’s a historical lesson there, that liberty has got the capacity to transform enemies to allies.
There’s Different Points Of View
Clearly, there’s different points of view, and that’s fine. That’s the greatness about our society.
Never Let H
im Jump-Start Your Car
My point to the leaders, and it was a very cordial meeting yesterday, by the way, and people — the positive news is that we don’t — the negative thing is we don’t agree 100 percent.
The Questions Were Not Screened, Part I
Q Mr. President, how would you respond to the rather mistaken idea that the war in Iraq is becoming a war in Vietnam?
Speaks For Itself
There’s a lot of differences.
Radical On The Fringe
And what you’re seeing is radical on the fringe creating chaos in order to either get the people to lose confidence in their government, or for us to leave.
Thinks Cambodia Is In Vietnam
I want to remind you that after Vietnam, after we left, the — millions of people lost their life. The Khmer Rouge, for example, in Cambodia.
I Think There’s A Lot Of Americans
I think there’s a lot of Americans who wonder whether or not the Iraqis want to live in a free society, and are willing to do that which is necessary to help their country succeed.
Back To The Suiciders
Al Qaeda convinces the suiciders to show up; al Qaeda understands the effects of this kind of warfare on the minds of not only people in Iraq, but here — and elsewhere in the world.
Secondly, there is — there are nations who are concerned about whether or not a Shia government in Iraq will end up being a surrogate for Iran, for example. I think there are some Sunni nations — Sunni-governed nations, like Saudi and Jordan, that are concerned about a shift in the Middle East toward Iran, and that they are — wonder whether or not this government of Iraq, which is a Shia government as a result of the fact that most people in Iraq — or the majority, the largest plurality of people in Iraq are Shia. You wouldn’t be surprised if people voted that that’s what happened as a result of the elections.
Catching Himself In A Lie, Part II
This is a nation that has said they want to have a nuclear — or we believe wants to have a nuclear weapon.
Protecting Themselves From Whatever
And so I obviously sent out the orders to our troops, commanders, that they will protect themselves against Iranian influence — or let me just say this — threats to their lives based — because of what Iran has done.
Decisions That Is Causing You Trouble
You’re missing a opportunity to be a great nation because your government has made decisions that is causing the world to put economic sanctions on you and to isolate you.
If They Do Or If They Don’t
And the Iranian people must understand that if they do — if they don’t — if they stop their enrichment process, that they can have a better relationship with countries such as the United States.
Syria Has Got The Choice
You know, some have suggested that the United States start diplomatic relations with Syria. My message is, the Syrian has got the choice to make; the Syrian President must make the choice that will stop isolating his regime.
In Other Other Words
I believe it’s in the interest of the United States to have a comprehensive immigration plan that meets certain objectives: one, helps us better secure our border; two, recognizes that people are doing work here that Americans are not doing; three, that recognizes that we are a nation of immigrants, and we ought to uphold that tradition in a way that honors the rule of law; four, that it’s in the interest of the country that people who are here be assimilated in a way that — with our traditions and history. In other words, those who eventually become citizens be assimilated. In other words, one of the great things about America is we’ve been able to assimilate people from different backgrounds and different countries. I suspect some of your relatives might be the kind of people I’m talking about.
I’ll Do It Anyway
That meant, for example, more Border Patrol agents, and we will have doubled them — I can’t remember, I don’t want to throw out facts, I may get them wrong, but we’re doubling the number of Border Patrol agents by 2008.
Another problem we had — it’s a long answer because it’s a really important topic. Another problem we had was catch and release; we would — the Border Patrol would catch somebody, say, from Mexico, they’d send them right back, but, say, from — a lot of folks are coming from Central America. By the way, the reason why is because they want to put food on the table, and there are jobs Americans aren’t doing.
Long Hours In The Chicken-Plucking Factory
If you’ve got a chicken factory, a chicken-plucking factory, or whatever you call them, you know what I’m talking about.
And so these guys don’t know what they’re getting — some card, it looks legal, sure, let’s go. You can work in my nursery, or go pick my — help me pick my lettuce.
Take A Breath
And so we’re working with the Senate and the House to devise a plan that in essence says that you have broken the law, and that you have an obligation to pay a fine for having broken the law if you want to stay in the United States, that there is a line for citizenship — there’s a lot of people in that line right now — and that after paying a penalty for breaking the law, that you can get at the back of the line, not the front of the line; that if you want to become a citizen, you’ve got to prove that you can speak the language, that you can assimilate, that you have paid your taxes, that you haven’t broken the law — that you haven’t broken the law, and then, if you choose, you have an opportunity to apply for citizenship.
Working Hard To Reach-Around
I’m — there’s a lot of good people in the Senate working hard to reach accord.
Can’t Help Himself
And there is an area where there is good common ground with members of Congress — the Democrat leadership understands that reset is an important part of keeping this military ready and active.
The Questions Were Not Screened, Part II
Q Mr. President, I admire your stay-to-it-iveness — (inaudible) — not using polls and focus groups.
No Guarantees For Crawford
When it’s all said and done, when Laura and I head back home — which at this moment will be Crawford, Texas — I will get there and look in the mirror, and I will say, I came with a set of principles and I didn’t try to change my principles to make me popular.
I believe, for example, that the governme
nt ought to trust people to make decisions. And so how does that — like health care; that’s a big issue for all of us. One of the ways I think — was that your question? Good, okay.
Holy Fucking Shit!
Health care — like Medicare, we changed Medicare for the better. Medicare — I remind people, Medicare had changed — medicine had changed, Medicare hadn’t.
Important Not To Comment
But some of the lessons of the shootings have been that it is — and I don’t know about this case — and by the way, they’re still digging out the facts, so I think it’s very important for us not to comment until it’s all said and done — but that other cases, there have been warning signals, that if an adult, for example, had taken those signals seriously, perhaps tragedy could have been avoided.
And so the lesson is, is that — and I know you’re — the lesson is, is that the principals and teachers and adults of this school must be on alert, and I know they are.
The Questions Were Not Screened, Part III
Q I believe there’s a big misconception that scaling back in Iraq will cost less in the long run than to go in and get the job done. How do you get that message across to America, and especially to Congress?