Bush asks for patience on Iraq war, brags that he 'planted the flag of liberty'
Thursday, January 27 @ 10:29:31 EST
By Terence Hunt, Associated Press
WASHINGTON - President Bush pleaded for Americans' patience Wednesday on what he conceded was "a very discouraging day" of death and violence for U.S. troops in Iraq. He urged Iraqis to defy terrorist threats and vote in Sunday's elections.
Bush held a White House news conference hours after more than 30 American troops perished in a helicopter crash in western Iraq and insurgents killed five others in the deadliest day yet for U.S. forces. The deaths pushed the American toll above 1,400.
Unwavering in the course he has set, Bush pledged: "We'll have the troop levels necessary to complete the mission. And that mission is to enable Iraq to defend herself from terrorists — homegrown or terrorists that come in from outside of the country." He made clear that Iraq is nowhere near ready to handle its own security, and he talked about U.S. involvement over the next year.
Four days before Iraq's elections and a week before his own State of the Union address, the president grappled with pointed questions about the war's heavy price and growing doubts that a stable, democratic Iraq will ever emerge.
In money alone, Iraq is costing taxpayers more than $1 billion a week.
Democrats registered their unhappiness with Bush's handling of Iraq in the Senate's 85-13 vote to confirm Condoleezza Rice as secretary of state. It was the strongest negative vote against a secretary of state since 1825.
: IT SHOULD'VE BEEN 45-55, WITH EVERY DEMOCRAT VOTING AGAINST RICE.
Bush said Americans are not alone in their qualms. Iraqis are "losing a lot of people" in bombings and assassinations, he said, and "some are feeling intimidated" about threats against voters. Moreover, Bush said: "The Iraqi people are wondering whether or not this nation has the will necessary to stand with them as a democracy evolves.
COMMENT: THE IRAQI PEOPLE DON'T WANT BUSH'S BRAND OF DEMOCRACY. THEY JUST WANT THEIR COUNTRY BACK..PERIOD.
"The enemy would like nothing more than the United States to precipitously pull out and withdraw before the Iraqis are prepared to defend themselves."
: ANOTHER SPIN!
It was the 18th full-blown news conference of Bush's presidency and the first of his second term, covering issues ranging from Social Security to questions raised by his inaugural address. Bush made these points:
* He recognizes that some people are worried about the political risks and financial costs of overhauling Social Security by creating private investment accounts — a step that could cost $1 trillion to $2 trillion in transition costs. "What you're hearing a little bit is whether or not it is worth the political price. I think it is,"
he said. He pledged to lead a battle in Congress and travel across the country to convince Americans the system is in trouble.
COMMENT: BUSH WANTS TO "CONVINCE" AMERICANS THAT SS IS IN TROUBLE JUST LIKE HE "CONVINCED" US AND CONGRESS THAT INVASION OF IRAQ WAS NECESSARY TO KEEP SADDAM HUSSEIN FROM NUKING US...
BUSH HAS NEVER THOUGHT PAST HIS NEXT BM IN HIS ENTIRE LIFE. BUSH SAYS IT, YOU CAN BET YOUR BOOTS IT'S A LIE.
* His inaugural address promising to spread freedom and end tyranny around the world was not intended as a statement of new policy but rather a reflection of the strategy he pursued in his first term. Even some of his supporters have been nervous that it signaled plans for global U.S. intervention. Bush said he has raised human rights concerns with China and will be direct with Russia's Vladimir Putin when they meet next month in Slovakia. "I will remind him that if he intends to continue to look West, we in the West believe in Western values," Bush said.
: THESE ARE BUSH VALUES, WHICH, OF COURSE, ARE NOT VALUES AT ALL, AND PUTIN KNOWS THIS. HE'S NOT STUPID.
BUSH REALLY HAS SOME VERY INEPT ADVISORS. YOU'D THINK THAT ANYONE ADVISING BUSH WITH HALF A BRAIN WOULD'VE KNOWN EXACTLY WHAT THE REACTION OF THE REST OF THE WORLD WOULD BE, AND THAT'S EXACTLY HOW IT WAS PERCEIVED.
BUSH AND HIS ADVISORS THINK THE REST OF THE WORLD IS AS CRAZY AND STUPID AS BUSH HIMSELF IS
* The Education Department was wrong to pay conservative commentator Armstrong Williams $240,000 to plug its policies.
"I expect my Cabinet secretaries to make sure that that practice doesn't go forward,"
the president said.
: "DON'T PAY ANYONE WHO CAN'T KEEP THEIR MOUTHS SHUT ABOUT WHAT WE'VE TOLD THEM TO SAY. THREATEN THEM INSTEAD."
In an interview with the Dubai-based satellite channel Al-Arabiya, Bush said U.S. forces will remain in Iraq as long as necessary to ensure Iraq's security. "But that mission must be completed. ... I've heard talk that we are occupiers," he said. "No, the United States and our troops and our coalition are there to help the Iraqi citizens."
He said U.S. forces will do the job as quickly as possible and then come home.
: HELP THEM BY TAKING THEIR OIL.
The bloodshed in Iraq and Sunday's elections framed much of the questions of Bush's news conference.
He said he lacked details about the helicopter crash in Iraq's western desert. "The story today is going to be very discouraging to the American people," Bush said. "I understand that. ... But it is the long-term objective that is vital, and that is to spread freedom."
: THE INFORMATION ABOUT THE CRASH HASN'T BEEN DOWNSIZED TO TERMS SIMPLE ENOUGH FOR HIM TO UNDERSTAND AND "SPREADING FREEDOM ACCORDING TO THE GOSPOL OF GWB."
Sunday's elections in Iraq represent a major test for Bush, who has staked his reputation on spreading democracy across the Middle East. "I anticipate a grand moment in Iraqi history," he said.
: "WITH MY PICTURE ON IT."
"We anticipate a lot of Iraqis will vote," the president said. "Clearly there are some who are intimidated."
: "WE KNOW ALL ABOUT INTIMIDATION...WE DID IT TO MANY AMERICANS IN MY LAST STOLEN ELECTION."
Asked what would be a credible turnout, Bush pronounced the elections a success even before they happen.
"The fact that they're voting, in itself, is successful," he said. "Again, this is a long process."
: "KARL AND I HAVEN'T GOTTEN ALL OF THE KINKS WORKED OUT ABOUT HOW TO PROGRAM PAPER BALLOTS...KARL NOR I EITHER ONE CAN READ THAT DAMNED LANGUAGE.
Bush said he is leading the United States toward an honorable goal — in Iraq and across the world. "I firmly planted the flag of liberty," he said.
: "I, ME, MY...I, ME, MY"....
"AND IT WAS HARD WORK WHILE I VACATIONED IN CRAWFORD, PLAYED GOLF, RETREATED TO CAMP DAVID, AND STOLE ANOTHER ELECTION, TOO. BOY, THEY'RE MAKING GOOD WEAPONS NOWADAYS. THE TROOPS DIDN'T HAVE TO DO A THING...IT WAS ALL ME....AND DICK...AND CONDI....AND COLIN...AND KARL. WAIT A MINUTE...THAT FLAG KEEPS FALLING...SOMEONE GET UP THERE AND FIX IT...I HAVEN'T PLANNED WELL ENOUGH TO DO IT."
In the evening, Bush spoke by phone with United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan. White House press secretary Scott McClellan said Annan gave his condolences for the loss of U.S. troops earlier in the day, commended Bush on U.S. aid to tsunami victims and congratulated him on the inauguration. They also talked about the upcoming elections in Iraq and agreed that it is important for the United Nations to continue playing a role in Iraq after the elections, McClellan said.
Copyright © 2005 The Associated Press.
From Associated Press:
Note on McCLELLAN: HIS DAD IS BARR MCCLELLAN, THE FELLOW WHO WROTE THE CONTROVERSIAL BOOK ENTITLED "BLOOD, MONEY, AND POWER," WHICH ACCUSES LYNDON JOHNSON OF HAVING BEEN INVOLVED IN THE KENNEDY ASSASSINATION.