Yesterday, at theWhite House.
Marines And Their Enablers
THE PRESIDENT: And the United States, to that end, will make it clear that we do take our obligations seriously. We’ve committed 3,500 Marines — 3,200 Marines — 3,700 Marines?
MR. HADLEY: 3,200.
THE PRESIDENT: — 3,200 Marines, plus their enablers. Inside joke.
I have been public in my statements that I believe that NATO benefits, and Ukraine and Georgia benefit, if and when there is membership.
In The Interests
But I’ve analyzed the situation and I believe it’s in the interests that there is that clear path forward.
So the first step, however, is for there to be a clear path forward, so that people understand — and I believe it’s in our collective interest that we offer a clear path forward.
The Name Game
THE PRESIDENT: Alona. Is that an accurate way of saying your name?
Q Yes, Alona.
THE PRESIDENT: Alona.
THE PRESIDENT: Iona, first of all, it’s — the decision will be made by NATO members at Bucharest.
THE PRESIDENT: Anyway, fire away, Ioana.
Q Johanna (phonetic).
THE PRESIDENT: Johanna (phonetic).
Thirdly, we’re a member of a 5-plus-2, which is the process by which, hopefully, the Transdniestria issue would be solved.
My first reaction to watching the Iraqi government respond forcefully and to make it abundantly clear that — I think the exact — I can’t remember the exact words of the Prime Minister, but “criminal elements” I know were a part of his declaration — would be dealt with.
Rules Out Loud Screaming In The Decision-Making Process
Therefore, the decision about our troop levels will be based upon not politics, or not who can scream the loudest, but based upon whether or not we can maintain the successes we’ve had.
There Is People
And I understand there’s people here who want us to leave regardless of the situation, but that’s not going to happen, so long as I’m the Commander-in-Chief.
Well, Are You?
What He Knows
Now, first of all, it is hard for me to justify to the citizens of Romania that they can serve alongside our troops in major theaters in the war against extremists, and not be able to have — be treated like other members of the EU, as far as visa waiver, and I know that.
Rebellion In The Cerebellum
But we’re still dealing with a — you know, it is — we’re adjusting law based upon previous practice.
The Capacity For To Have A New Look
Congress did change the capacity for — to have a new look at visa waiver.
How The Opportunities Will Be Advantaged
Of course, those opportunities will be advantaged if the government makes rational decisions on, for example, good investment laws.
Invest Your Whatevers
In other words, there’s competition for investment dollars, in this case, or investment euros, or investment whatevers.
And I called President-elect Medvedev and reminded him — and congratulated him for getting elected, and reminded him that — of some of the comments he made about rule law and transparency, and can’t remember exactly everything he said, but it sounded very progressive.
So when you hear people say, “George Bush has got good relations with Vladimir Putin,” there’s a reason why.
What They Got To Have
Because if you’re — in order to have somebody listen to you, they got to at least have an open mind, and it’s hard to have an open mind if the only thing you’re doing is try to blast away on a regular basis about your disagreements publicly.
What Russia Has Got Plenty Of
And Russia has got plenty of missiles if they want to overwhelm.
And therefore, I think it makes sense for us to be able to be in a position if people so choose to share information, and fully understand the operational activities of a system so as to build confidence.