Bush sounded more frazzled and anxious in his press conference today than he usually does. I think he didn't have a script and he was depending on his feeble mind to get him through the hour trying to sound all presidential. Using his own mind didn't work today and it hasn't worked in a long time, if it ever did. He just wasn't sounding very presidential today.
It's the same old thing, can'tleave/won't leave Iraq before the mission is complete, blah, blah, job is done, blah, blah, blah, we're not leaving, I'm the president, blah, blah, blah Same old stuff. He did add a new reason to stay the course, if "we leave before the mission is done, the terrorists will follow us here." A failed Iraq would provide a safe haven for terrorists and extremists and give them revenue from oil sales" I'm pretty sure he isn't saying if we bring the troops home now, the terrorists will come to Mountain View, CA and they'll make money on oil sales, or get cheaper gas prices at the pump- I'm not sure.
Bush talked about the conditions in Lebanon and about authorizing 15,000 UN soldiers to be brought into the area, but that effort is already faltering. Italy promised to send 2000-3000 troops, in marked contrast to France which having been behind the diplomatic negotiations to work out a UN ceasefire resolution had also been expected to provide the bulk of the troops - instead it had said it will provide only 200 troops.France is stalling over chain of command concerns. The US is sending $230 million in humanitarian aid.
It got ugly when he started talking about Iraq again. Bush said:
You know, it's an interesting debate we're having in America about how we ought to handle Iraq. There's a lot of people _- good, decent people _- saying: Withdraw now.
They're absolutely wrong. It'd be a huge mistake for this country.
If you think problems are tough now, imagine what it would be like if the United States leaves before this government has a chance to defend herself, govern herself and listen to the _- and answer to the will of the people.
No, George, YOU are absolutely wrong! Bring the troops home, bring them home NOW! The will of the Iraqi people is for the US to pull the troops now (The top US Commander in Iraq, General Peter Pace admitted Sunday that Iraqis wanted US and other foreign troops to leave the country "as soon as possible,")
Back to Hezbollah...the venerable Helen Thomas asked Bush, why he always gave Israel a pass . He responded "This never would have occurred had a terrorist organization -- a state within a state -- not launched attacks on a sovereign nation." But, but, but...oh yeah, we launched attacks within a sovereign nation....sheesh! Bush also said They make decisions on their own sovereignty. yeah...the Coalition Provisional Authority made those decisions, not the US, so everything must be okay in Iraq, right? (don't worry if you're having trouble keeping up, there's a scorecard around here somewhere.)
When asked if he was frustrated, Bush replied:
Frustrated? Sometimes I'm frustrated. Rarely surprised. Sometimes I'm happy, you know. But war is not a time of joy.
These aren't joyous times. These are challenging times, and they're difficult times, and they're straining the psyche of our country. I understand that. You know, nobody likes to see innocent people die. Nobody wants to turn on their TV on a daily basis and see havoc wrought by terrorists.
I can assure you, war is not a time of joy; ask any Gold Star family. He doesn't get a vote. And "nobody likes to see innocent people die"? I guess that's why this administration doesn't allow photos of flag covered coffins returning to their final resting place.
Bush did a little doublespeak about Katrina, putting the blame on the lack of progress in clearing the debris on the state, and he talked about gas prices. He thinks that the economy is strong Look at what the economy has done. It's strong. And he's still saying the main reason we went into Iraq, at the time, was we thought he had weapons of mass destruction. It turns out he didn't, but he had the capacity to make weapons of mass destruction. (noooo, he did not say that, did he?). And surprisingly,he did admit that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. When asked, what did Iraq have to do with 9/11 he said:
Nothing, except for it's part of -- and nobody has ever suggested in this administration that Saddam Hussein ordered the attack. Iraq was a -- the lesson of September the 11th is, take threats before they fully materialize, Ken. Nobody has ever suggested that the attacks of September the 11th were ordered by Iraq. I have suggested, however, that resentment and the lack of hope create the breeding grounds for terrorists who are willing to use suiciders to kill to achieve an objective. I have made that case.
All around, many important subjects were covered. But the president needs to understand you can't have it both ways. If Hezbollah cannot attack a sovereign country, then neither can the US. If it is important that the Lebanese make decisions on their own sovereignty, wouldn't that also apply to Iraq? AND please George, please stop lying about WMD. It was a lie in the run up to the war, it was a lie when you were hunting for WMD in your video presented to the Press club and it is a lie now. There were not WMD in Iraq.
My brain is straining and it hurts!