Notes on the Atrocities
Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...


Friday, June 25, 2004  

In an interview with Irish media today, the President got testy.

THE PRESIDENT: Look, Saddam Hussein had used weapons of mass destruction against his own people, against the neighborhood. He was a brutal dictator who posed a threat -- such a threat that the United Nations voted unanimously to say, Mr. Saddam Hussein --

Q Indeed, Mr. President, but you didn't find the weapons of mass destruction.

THE PRESIDENT: Let me finish. Let me finish. May I finish?

He said -- the United Nations said, disarm or face serious consequences. That's what the United Nations said. And guess what? He didn't disarm. He didn't disclose his arms. And, therefore, he faced serious consequences. But we have found a capacity for him to make a weapon. See, he had the capacity to make weapons. He was dangerous. And no one can argue that the world is better off with Saddam -- if Saddam Hussein were in power.

Q But, Mr. President, the world is a more dangerous place today. I don't know whether you can see that or not.

THE PRESIDENT: Why do you say that?

Q There are terrorist bombings every single day. It's now a daily event. It wasn't like that two years ago.

THE PRESIDENT: What was it like September the 11th, 2001? It was a -- there was a relative calm, we --

Q But it's your response to Iraq that's considered --

THE PRESIDENT: Let me finish. Let me finish, please. Please. You ask the questions and I'll answer them, if you don't mind.

[Later]

Q Indeed, Mr. President, just to get back to that. Can I just turn to the Middle East --

THE PRESIDENT: Sure.

Q -- and you will be discussing at the EU summit and the idea of bringing democracy to the broader Middle East.

THE PRESIDENT: Right.

Q Is that something that really should start, though, with the solving of the Israeli-Palestinian crisis?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I think, first of all, you've got a democracy in Turkey. And you've got a democracy emerging in Afghanistan. You've got a democracy in Pakistan. In other words --

Q But shouldn't that be on the top of the list --

THE PRESIDENT: Please. Please. Please, for a minute, okay. It'll be better if you let me finish my answers, and then you can follow up, if you don't mind.

The whole interview is incredibly tense, and Bush stammered more than usual. All of which is, of course, amusing.

Bonus quote. Later, flummoxed by someone questioning his religious beliefs, he tried to brush off the implication that he had started a holy war. "Because one of the great admonitions in the Good Book is, don't try to take a speck out of your eye if I've got a log in my own." Amen.

posted by Jeff | 1:35 PM |
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