Wednesday, January 17, 2007
The Commander in Chief, The Decider, The Educator
Hey Joe, get me a couple more of those special tranquilizers, I'm getting ready to do another educational presentation of the way forward in Iraq
PRESIDENT BUSH: Well - listen, I fully understand the president has got to convince the American people it's worth it and that we can succeed, and no doubt - and I've spent a lot of time during my presidency talking to the American people and educating the American people about the stakes and what we're trying to get done.
I'm trying to do my very best to explain to people why success is vital. In other words, people have got to understand that if we decide and we grow weary of - and there's a lot of war weariness in this country, and I fully understand that -- and we say, okay, well, let's just leave; we can leave in stages, but let's just leave, or let's just pull back and hope that the Iraqis are able to settle their business, the consequences of that decision will be disastrous for the future of this country. And therefore, we got to keep working on ways to succeed, as far as I'm concerned.
And so the - Iraq is - Jim, is - must be viewed in a context just larger than that single battlefield. It must be viewed in context of how Iran reacts. It must be viewed in the context of democracies like Lebanon and the Palestinian territories - all being - these young democracies, by the way, being attacked by the same type of extremists that are attacking the democracy in Iraq.
It's important for the American people to understand it is al-Qaida that is doing a lot of these spectacular bombings. Why? Because they want a safe haven. They still have ambitions about hurting America. The very same guys - type of guys that flew those airplanes on September 11th are still the ones that are battling against a young democracy in Iraq.
This is what presidents do; they take time, they listen. I listened to a lot of folks, a lot of good, decent folks, and came up with this answer as the best way to succeed.