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Quotes - Dubya at War (2002)
(On Iraq, Afghanistan, terrorists and other things he likes to blow up)
We're making progress on this war against terror. Sometimes, you'll see the progress and sometimes you won't. It's a different kind of war. The other day, we hauled a guy in named al Nashiri. That's not a household name here in America [audience laughs]. I can understand why some go blank when they hear his name.
Yeah, those foreign names sure shut us down, Dubya (or make us laugh). Thanks for setting the bar higher. Shreveport, Louisiana, Dec. 10, 2002
It's a different kind of war because we're fighting people who are — they send youngsters to their suicidal deaths and they try to find a dark cave. They're kind of lurching around in the dark corners of some cities around the world. They're in over 60 countries. And slowly but surely, we're dismantling the terrorist network, which hates us because of what we love. See, they hate the fact that we love freedom. They can't stand the fact that in this country people can worship the almighty God any way he or she sees fit.
This quote is disturbing on so many levels, I'll let you sort it out for yourself, Shreveport, Louisiana, Dec. 10, 2002
And we've got more work to do there. And we'll stay there until we rout them out. See, they think they can kind of hide in the countryside there in Afghanistan, and they may be able to hide for a day or two. They may be able to hide for a year. But it doesn't matter how long. See, that's what you just have to know.
I see, New Orleans, Louisiana, Dec. 3, 2002
I had — I was there on September 11th, 2001, at Offutt. I remember their motto. It says, 'The Sun Never Sets on the Fighting 55th.' And that's good for the defense of the country, by the way.
Ummm... OK. Washington, D.C., Nov. 25, 2002
On September the 11th, 2001, our nation was confronted by a new kind of war. See, we're at war. This is a war. This isn't a single isolated incident. We are now in the first war of the 21st century. And it's a different kind of war than we're used to. I explained part of the difference is the fact that the battlefield is now here at home. It's also a war where the enemy doesn't show up with airplanes that they own, or tanks or ships. These are suiciders.
Finding time to squeeze in one of his favorite fake words: suicider. Washington, D.C., Nov. 12, 2002
Not only do I want you to remember September the 11th, but I want you to think about Indonesia, and the attack on our Marines in Kuwait, the attack on a French freighter. I mean, they're out there. And the only way to deal with them — and by the way, I've come to the conclusion, and I hope you have, that therapy is not going to work.
Apparently not... Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Nov. 4, 2002
And, therefore, it's important for all of us in elective office to be clear-eyed about the threats we face, to see the world exactly the way it is, not the way we wish it would be. In order to protect America from current threats and future threats, we've got to be cold-eyed realists.
Is it "clear-eyed" or "cold-eyed"? Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Nov. 4, 2002
I want you to think about a scenario in which he becomes the arsenal and the training grounds for shadowy terrorists so that he can attack somebody he hates and not leave any fingerprints behind.
Failing to make sense yet again, in an apparent justification of war against Saddam Hussein, St. Louis, Missouri, Nov. 4, 2002
I don't know what was going through the mind of the enemy. They must have thought the national religion of America was materialism, therefore we're selfish and self-absorbed, we'd take a couple of steps back after September the 11th, 2000. They probably said, oh, they'd file a lawsuit or two.
Fourteen months after the attacks of September 11, 2001, Dubya forgets when they occurred, St. Paul, Minnesota, Nov. 3, 2002
There's a lot of good folks at the federal level and the state level and the local level working hard — listen, any time — we understand the stakes now, and any time somebody is thinking about doing something to America, and somehow we're reading their thoughts, or reading their mail, we're moving on them.
Big Brother Dubya displaying ardent support for the thought police, South Bend, Indiana, Oct. 31, 2002
[The terrorists] kind of ooch around the dark corners of the world and look out, peep out around the corner — in the meantime, send these suicide squads.
Ooch? Downingtown, Pennsylvania, Oct. 22, 2002
Well, I think that the free world is — must recognize that no one is safe, that if you embrace freedom you're not safe from terrorism.
I'm not following the logic here, Washington, D.C., Oct. 14, 2002
Those of us who love freedom must work together to do everything we can to disrupt, deny and bring to justice these people who have no soul, no conscience, people that hate freedom.
I guess only good people have souls? And what is the rationale that they hate freedom? Washington, D.C., Oct. 14, 2002
The attack in Bali appears to be an Al Qaeda-type terrorist — definitely a terrorist attack — whether it's Al Qaeda-related, or not, I would assume it is. And therefore, it does look like a pattern of attacks that the enemy, albeit on the run, is trying to once again frighten and kill freedom-loving people.
Dubya's doing a good job of frightening all by himself, Washington, D.C., Oct. 14, 2002
Eleven years ago, as a condition for ending the Persian Gulf War, the Iraqi regime was required to destroy its weapons of mass destruction, to cease all development of such weapons, and to stop all support for terrorist groups. The Iraqi regime has violated all of those obligations. It possesses and produces chemical and biological weapons. It is seeking nukyular weapons. ... Many people have asked how close Saddam Hussein is to developing a nukyular weapon. Well, we don't know exactly, and that's the problem. Before the Gulf War, the best intelligence indicated that Iraq was eight to ten years away from developing a nukyular weapon. After the war, international inspectors learned that the regime has been much closer — the regime in Iraq would likely have possessed a nukyular weapon no later than 1993. The inspectors discovered that Iraq had an advanced nukyular weapons development program, had a design for a workable nukyular weapon, and was pursuing several different methods of enriching uranium for a bomb. Before being barred from Iraq in 1998, the International Atomic Energy Agency dismantled extensive nukyular weapons-related facilities, including three uranium enrichment sites. That same year, information from a high-ranking Iraqi nukyular engineer who had defected revealed that despite his public promises, Saddam Hussein had ordered his nukyular program to continue. The evidence indicates that Iraq is reconstituting its nukyular weapons program. Saddam Hussein has held numerous meetings with Iraqi nukyular scientists, a group he calls his nukyular mujahideen — his nukyular holy warriors. Satellite photographs reveal that Iraq is rebuilding facilities at sites that have been part of its nukyular program in the past. Iraq has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes and other equipment needed for gas centrifuges, which are used to enrich uranium for nukyular weapons. If the Iraqi regime is able to produce, buy, or steal an amount of highly enriched uranium a little larger than a single softball, it could have a nukyular weapon in less than a year. And if we allow that to happen, a terrible line would be crossed. Saddam Hussein would be in a position to blackmail anyone who opposes his aggression. He would be in a position to dominate the Middle East. He would be in a position to threaten America. And Saddam Hussein would be in a position to pass nukyular technology to terrorists. Some citizens wonder, after 11 years of living with this problem, why do we need to confront it now? And there's a reason. We've experienced the horror of September the 11th. We have seen that those who hate America are willing to crash airplanes into buildings full of innocent people. Our enemies would be no less willing, in fact, they would be eager, to use biological or chemical, or a nukyular weapon. ...After eleven years during which we have tried containment, sanctions, inspections, even selected military action, the end result is that Saddam Hussein still has chemical and biological weapons and is increasing his capabilities to make more. And he is moving ever closer to developing a nukyular weapon. ...We could wait and hope that Saddam does not give weapons to terrorists, or develop a nukyular weapon to blackmail the world.
Dubya goes on a nukyular-powered romp in his buildup to invading Iraq, Cincinnati, Ohio, Oct. 7, 2002
I was proud the other day when both Republicans and Democrats stood with me in the Rose Garden to announce their support for a clear statement of purpose: You disarm, or we will.
Yeah, that's crystal clear... Manchester, New Hampshire, Oct. 5, 2002
This is a man who continues to murder his own people, a man who has gassed — used gas on his own citizens, a man who has used chemical weapons on his neighbors, a man who has invaded two countries, a man which hates — who hates America, a man who loves to link up with Al Qaeda, a man who is a true threat to America, to Israel, to anybody in the neighborhood.
On Saddam Hussein, and including unsubstantiated supposition, Phoenix, Arizona, Sep. 28, 2002
We don't measure success based upon our capacity to destroy [the terrorists'] ability to fight war.
The big question, then, is how exactly does Dubya measure success? Denver, Colorado, Sep. 27, 2002
It's not a very glamorous war from the sense that the cables and all the air time can cover, but it's happening.
Too bad this war isn't glamorous, Houston, Texas, Sep. 26, 2002
This is an American issue, a uniquely American issue. And it's — as I reminded the members, that — I say uniquely American issue because I truly believe that now that the war has changed, now that we're a battlefield, this man poses a much graver threat than anybody could have possibly imagined. Other countries, of course, bear the same risk.
Dubya sort of abandons the "uniquely American" angle toward the end there, Houston, Texas, Sep. 26, 2002
We got the other guy the other day who thought he was going to be — wanted to be the 20th hijacker. He popped his head up, and now he's in detention. He's no longer a threat to America and our friends and allies. He's no longer around.
Making it sound like he "iced" the guy, Houston, Texas, Sep. 26, 2002
We're going to stay in Afghanistan to hunt down the killers — they still lurk around. They occasionally come in, and we'll find them. They kind of bunch up somewhere and they're just — they think they're allusive and they think they're clever, but they've got the mighty United States on them.
The killers have been dead for more than a year, but yet the mighty United States hunts them down. The misspelling of "elusive" is courtesy of the White House transcript, Houston, Texas, Sep. 26, 2002
[Saddam Hussein is] a man who invaded two countries twice — two countries, once each time.
Thanks for the clarification, Dubya, Washington, D.C., Sep. 23, 2002
And we're making progress. It's hard to tell whether we're making progress or not, but we are.
So are you saying you could be wrong? Trenton, New Jersey, Sep. 23, 2002
I want you to remind your kids that when it came to enforcing the doctrine that said either — the doctrine said, if you harbor one of those killers, you're just as guilty as the killers, that we went into Afghanistan — the first theater we went into, as a great country — with friends, but we went in not to conquer anybody, not to conquer anybody.
Maybe when Dubya clears his thoughts, he can let us know what it is we're supposed to be reminding the kids of, Trenton, New Jersey, Sep. 23, 2002
The other day, as you noticed, there was a fellow hiding in the dark caves — or dark corners, not caves, it was in the city, dark — dark corners of a city in Pakistan. He was going to be the 20th hijacker, bin al-Shibh. He wanted to come here to kill. He didn't make it, because we fortunately did not give him access.
Umm, Dubya, I'm not really sure if we can call the results fortunate since we failed to deny access to the other 19 hijackers, Trenton, New Jersey, Sep. 23, 2002
Speaking about barbaric regimes, we must deal with probably one of the most — not probably — one of the most real threats we face, and that is the idea of a barbaric regime teaming up with a terrorist network and providing weapons of mass destruction, to hold the United States and our allies and our friends blackmail.
Besides being logically murky in the "let's go to war to prevent maybes and what-ifs" department, it's grammatically "interesting", too. Nashville, Tennessee, Sep. 17, 2002
I want you to remind your children, with all — in the midst of all this war talk, the midst of the — on the television screens seeing our troops, and all the stuff going on — remind them that this mighty nation went into a country as we upheld that doctrine.
Kids love Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, cotton candy, and now... doctrine, Lamar Alexander for Senate Luncheon, Nashville, Tennessee, Sep. 17, 2002
They're nothing but a bunch of cold-blooded killers. You've just got to understand that about the nature of the enemy. They hate us because we love. They hate, we love freedom, is why they hate us, and we're not going to quit loving freedom.
More drivel for the masses, Davenport, Iowa, Sep. 16, 2002
The best strategy, and only strategy, to defend the homeland is to chase the killers down, one at a time, and bring them to justice. It's if they're in a cave, we head into a cave. If they're in some shadowy neighborhood, we'll finally put the spotlight on the shadowy neighborhood.
What killers? The killers of Sept. 11 are dead, Dubya. Are we defending the homeland from ghosts or from people who have yet to kill anyone? I love "shadowy neighborhood". Davenport, Iowa, Sep. 16, 2002
I would remind you that when the inspectors first went into Iraq and were denied — finally denied access, a report came out of the Atomic — the IAEA, that they were six months away from developing a weapon. I don't know what more evidence we need.
The only problem with this "evidence" is that a report from the IAEA stating Iraq was 6 months away from developing a nuclear weapon never existed. Camp David, Maryland, Sep. 7, 2002
I want to send the signal to our enemy that you have aroused a compassionate and decent and mighty nation, and we're going to hunt you down.
No, I didn't make this one up. Louisville, Kentucky, Sep. 5, 2002
And [the terrorists] understand one thing about us, too — when we need to be plenty tough, we're going to be plenty tough. And they're learning another thing about America. When we need to be compassionate and loving, we can be compassionate and loving, too.
Apparently Dubya's taking on the enemy with compassion and love when necessary, Louisville, Kentucky, Sep. 5, 2002
We value a free press. We value freedom. And the more we value freedom, the more they hate us. That's why. That's why the enemy still exists.
Which of course does nothing to explain his administration's freedom-destroying penchant for secrecy, Louisville, Kentucky, Sep. 5, 2002
This is one of these kind of wars where things happen and you just don't know about it. But I bet we have hauled in over a couple of thousand of these people.
I'm really getting scared now. This guy's in charge of the war, right? South Bend, Indiana, Sep. 5, 2002
They hide in caves. See, this is a different kind of war. And part of my responsibilities as your President is to remind people about the realities that we face in America. One of the realities is, is that these people hide in caves.
Thanks for the education, Dubya. South Bend, Indiana, Sep. 5, 2002
So long as we love freedom, which we'll do forever, and so long as this enemy is — still stand, they're going to come and try to get us.
Struggling a bit to find his freedom-loving form, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Sep. 2, 2002
They've hijacked a great religion and they're willing to kill innocent people in the name of their sordid attitude about the future.
Ambiguously worded condemnaton of the enemy, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Sep. 2, 2002
In the old days, you could count tanks and figure out how strong the enemy was. This is an enemy that hides in caves. They try to find the darkest cave, the deepest cave, and then they send youngsters to their suicidal deaths. It's a different kind of hater than we're used to.
The old "haters" used tanks, I guess, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Sep. 2, 2002
I'm sure your kids, they're wondering, why would you hate America? We didn't do anything to anybody. Well, they hate America because we love freedom.
I have never heard a terrorist group claim to be against the love of freedom, and claiming the USA has never done anything to anybody is about as false as it gets, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Sep. 2, 2002
I want the students to understand here why someone would want to hurt America in the first place. And it's because your country loves freedom. That's why. We love freedom.
That doesn't really make sense, Dubya. Little Rock, Arkansas, Aug. 29, 2002
You all have got to understand the best way to protect the homeland security is to chase these killers, these people down, one by one, and bring them to justice... I say justice because we don't seek revenge. We seek justice. We seek justice. And you need to know that when we go into a country to enforce a doctrine — see, there was a doctrine that said, if you harbor a terrorist, if you feed a terrorist, if you hide a terrorist, you're just as guilty as the terrorist.
Talking about the doctrine as if its inception was out of his hands (which should make us all more fearful), Little Rock, Arkansas, Aug. 29, 2002
They act out of hatred. We don't seek revenge. We seek justice out of love.
And via cruise missile, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Aug. 29, 2002
The stakes are these — whether or not our children can grow up in a free and peaceful world. Those are the stakes. And that's why I talk about making sure that the world's worst leaders aren't able to develop and harbor the world's worst weapons. Now, listen, I've got a lot of tools at my disposal, and I'm a patient, patient man. But I understand freedom. And I understand history has put the spotlight on this country. And so long as I'm the President, this country isn't going to blink, we're going to lead.
I presume Dubya's exempting himself from the "worst leaders with the worst weapons" clause. I don't know what the having tools and being patient part refers to at all. Las Cruces, New Mexico, Aug. 25, 2002
My call to people in this country is that if you want to join on the war on terror, if you want to fight evil, love your neighbor like you'd like to be loved yourself.
What? Santa Ana, California, Aug. 23, 2002
[The enemy] can't stand the thought of Republican and Democrat actually getting along.
Yes, I'm sure that's foremost on their minds, Santa Ana, California, Aug. 23, 2002
I believe the enemy has wakened a spirit in this country that understands in order to fight evil, in order to fight evil — that in order to fight evil, you can do so by loving your neighbor just like you'd like to be loved yourself.
What? Stockton, California, Aug. 23, 2002
People ask me how can they help in the war against terror. My answer is, love a neighbor like you'd like to be loved yourself.
What? Central Point, Oregon, Aug. 22, 2002
You can't measure progress by which hedge row we've taken.
On the "War on Terror", Central Point, Oregon, Aug. 22, 2002
And speaking about hauling them in, the United States and our coalition and friends have pulled in over a couple of thousand of them. And there's another couple of thousand that weren't quite so lucky.
Casually referencing the death of thousands of presumed terrorists, at the hands of coalition forces, Central Point, Oregon, Aug. 22, 2002
This is a different kind of war than we're used to. This isn't a war where these infantries go marching across the plains or hide in hedgerows or formations of aircraft go streaming across our skies.
Going off on a favorite tangent, and adding hedgerows this time around, Mt. Rushmore, South Dakota, Aug. 15, 2002
But we're slowly but surely making progress, and we're enforcing the doctrine that says, either you're with us or you're with the enemy, and if you harbor a terrorist, if you feed one, you're just as guilty as those who killed thousands of Americans on September the 11th.
Dubya completely ignoring that 1 out of 6 of the people killed on September 11 were foreign nationals from 90 countries, as usual, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Aug. 14, 2002
No, I know all the war rhetoric, but it's all aimed at achieving peace.
Reassuring words, Madison Central High School, Madison, Mississippi, Aug. 7, 2002
Now, we're making progress on the war against terror. It's a different kind of war. Steve re-enacts battles where there used to be infantries moving against infantries and artilleries moving against artilleries and flights of aircraft flying all over the — this is a different type of war. These folks are nothing but a bunch of cold-blooded killers who, they'll send youngsters to their death and they'll hide.
Exhausting himself in the process of explaining how different today's "war" is from a conventional one (which presumably justifies it dragging on until the end of time), only to end with a complete nonsequitur, West Ashley High School, Charleston, South Carolina, Jul. 29, 2002
Listen, when people come after us, we're plenty tough. We're a compassionate nation. And so we're on the hunt. You just need to know we're after them one by one. One by one. And so long as I'm the President of this country, we're going to chase them down one by one to make sure the American homeland is secure.
Compassionately hunting, one by one, Argonne National Laboratory, Illinois, Jul. 22, 2002
There's a lot of war talk these days, as there should be, but it's all aimed at making sure the world is peaceful.
Promoting war talk toward Orwellian ends, Oakland University, Rochester, Michigan, Jul. 18, 2002
Mr. President, I'm telling you that this country is united. We understand this isn't a Republican war, a Democratic war. This is a war that will test the soul and conscience and strength of the American people. And, Mr. President, America will meet the test.
Making party-related clarifications (that have been made numerous times before) to the President of Poland, which don't seem particularly necessary, Oakland University, Rochester, Michigan, Jul. 18, 2002
Mr. President, the people of America are deeply grateful for your support and the support of the people of Poland. See, a lot of people in our country, and perhaps yours, wonder why would, why would an enemy — by the way, nothing bunch of — nothing but a bunch of cold-blooded killers — strike America.
Comment directed to the President of Poland, Oakland University, Rochester, Michigan, Jul. 18, 2002
There are no calendars on our desks in Washington that say, by such and such a moment we've got to quit. That's not how we think, Mr. President, and you know that.
Dubya explains the lack of war calendars on the desks in Washington to the President of Poland, Oakland University, Rochester, Michigan, Jul. 18, 2002
I've been very impressed by Poland's troops. And we've got confidence in the Polish military. And we want to continue to train together — particularly our special forces need to work together, because the ability to succeed in the war — the new war of the 21st century means that we have to move quickly, and move in a way that is effective and sometimes lethal.
Extolling the virtues of a sometimes lethal military, Press conference with President of Poland, White House, Jul. 17, 2002
[Responding to reporter] It's interesting you said "the next phase of the war against terror." Almost every day is a new phase, in some ways, because we're reminding different countries which may be susceptible to Al Qaeda, that you're either with us or against us. And so we're constantly working on bolstering confidence amongst some nations which may sometimes forget that either you're with us or you're with the terrorists. That's kind of a — that's a phase, I guess you could say. Phase one was Afghanistan, phase two is to make sure that other countries don't become places for training or places where the Al Qaeda think they can hide.
I'm losing count of the phases, but it looks like Dubya ends up agreeing with the reporter's wording, Press conference with President of Poland, White House, Jul. 17, 2002
The wars of the past had known battlefields and it was clear that such-and-such had to happen. There had to be an invasion in order to achieve this or that. This is a hunt for individuals. We're chasing down one person at a time. They were foolishly collected up at one point in time in the Sha-i-kot Mountains, and it was a tough chore. But our brave soldiers, along with coalition soldiers, were able to go in and score great success at bringing them to justice, as I like to put it.
Ah, yes... "bringing them to justice"... Dubya style, roundtable interview with Polish journalists, Washington, D.C., Jul. 15, 2002
This isn't a — the type of war we're all used to. It's not the kind of war where there's tanks moving across, you know, some plain, everybody gets to see the progress of the tanks. This isn't the kind of war where planes are in formation.
Are they just flying however they like now? Cleveland, Ohio, Jul. 1, 2002
It's important for our country to understand this new war of the 21st century is really not like any other war we've fought. You see, we fight people who, on the one hand, send youngsters to their death and they, themselves, try to hide in a cave.
That really sums up what's different about this war. Thanks, Dubya. Port Elizabeth, New Jersey, Jun. 24, 2002
All together, 75 Port Authority employees were killed on September the 11th. And you need to know, no matter how long it takes, we're going to hunt their killers down, one by one, and bring them to justice.
At the risk of sounding crass, the killers (suicide hijackers) can't be hunted down. They died on September 11. [I only mention this as it seems an important distinction to make.] Port Elizabeth, New Jersey, Jun. 24, 2002
My most important job is to defend the homeland, to protect innocent Americans from the deaths of the killers.
Well... you know what he means, right? Washington, D.C., Jun. 19, 2002
I just want you to know that, when we talk about war, we're really talking about peace.
Dubya steals a line from George Orwell, Washington, D.C., Jun. 18, 2002
We'll share intelligence, which we will continue to do, to make sure that we can find these killers wherever they try to hide. And at the same time, we'll continue to fight a guerilla war with conventional means, because we're the best in the world with high technology.
I thought fighting a guerilla war with conventional means is what got us into trouble in Vietnam, and what is "conventional" about high tech? Washington, D.C., Jun. 13, 2002
Old wars used to be battle lines and tanks moving here and equipment moving there, and logistics.
Amazingly, the "new wars" apparently don't require equipment or logistics, Kansas City, Missouri, Jun. 11, 2002
Interestingly enough, we've rounded up and detained over 2,400 terrorists, and that's good.
Interestingly enough, Dubya, they are "suspected terrorists" unless you have already declared them all guilty by imperial decree, Kansas City, Missouri, Jun. 11, 2002
We've learned that the new enemy — the enemy of the new wars of the 21st century, they don't have lines of defense, they kind of meld into society. They take advantages of either weakness or freedom. That's what we've learned. And it's good to know that, it's good to know that. And they've learned some stuff about us. They've learned we're pretty tough when people come after America. They've learned that when it comes to defending our freedom, we'll defend it with all our might. That's what they've learned. They've learned that we love freedom, and it is non- negotiable, our love for freedom. They have learned that the United States has got a great military. They have learned that America is grateful for those who wear our — the uniform of our military.
Dubya "going off" in speech on welfare reform, Little Rock, Arkansas, Jun. 3, 2002
As a matter of fact, there is no — there's not a calendar that says it's got to quit by such and such a moment, that if things aren't wrapped up by this election or this Super Bowl, or this World Series, that we're just going to fold up and go on home, that we're a patient people.
Making a clarification that we must all hope isn't necessary, namely that American foreign policy is not based on when sporting events begin, Little Rock, Arkansas, Jun. 3, 2002
What's interesting is that we've been at war for nine months. And that's a short time in the — generally, in the history of war. It seems like a long time to some. But not much time has passed, really, when you think about it.
This fact is likely to be less "interesting" to the men and women on the front lines, speech on welfare reform, Little Rock, Arkansas, Jun. 3, 2002
We've got — we're learning a lot. We're learning that there are people that hate America because of our — the fact that we love freedom. That's what we've learned.
That's what we've learned by waging a war on terror, Little Rock, Arkansas, Jun. 3, 2002
They've still got an army out there. Oh, it's not the kind of army we're used to when you think about war, certainly not the army that fought on the continent of Europe.
Vague, unclear comparison of the Al Qaeda forces with an unnamed European continential force, Little Rock, Arkansas, Jun. 3, 2002
You know, I was just reflecting the other day, we've only been at this for — we've haven't even been fighting this war for a year yet. And we've got a lot of work to do. And there will be moments where the Al Qaeda thinks that, you know, maybe America is not after them, and they'll feel safe and secure. And, you know, they think they'll kind of settle into some cave somewhere.
Yeah. White House, May 30, 2002
REPORTER: What is for you the more decisive ally in your war against terrorism?
DUBYA: Decisive ally? Ally? Decisive ally? Of course, Jacques Chirac. I — listen, thank you for the trick question. Let me talk about this ally. The phone rang the day after the attack — the day of the attack. I can't remember exactly when, but it was immediately. And he said, "I'm your friend." On this continent, France takes the lead in helping to hunt down people who want to harm America and/or the French, or anybody else.
Wow, that was messy... press conference with French President Jacques Chirac, Paris, France, May 26, 2002
And we — in the talk, I'm going to talk about — there's been current — modern-day sacrifices. We still fight people who hate civilization. It was — or at least, civilization that we love, they can't stand freedom.
Increasingly incoherent in press conference with French President Jacques Chirac, Paris, France, May 26, 2002
We've got a vast coalition of nations that are still with us. They heard the message, either you're with us, or you're not with us. They're still with us.
I guess our allies join us out of fear, then, Washington, D.C., May 14, 2002
Now, it's going to take a while — it's going to take a while. But much to the chagrin — I guess to the chagrin — I haven't spent a lot of time talking with the enemy, but I got the feeling they're going to be disappointed to hear that we're going to remain united as a country.
Another bizarre bit of extemporaneous speaking, Logan High School, LaCrosse, Wisconsin, May 8, 2002
This isn't the kind of war that you're used to studying in the textbooks. This is the kind of war we've never seen before. We face a group of international killers — and that's what they are — who are a kind of — hide in caves and they're not necessarily an organized government.
Still having a hard time perfecting the message in this outing, Rufus King High School, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, May 8, 2002
I also made it clear that we were going to do everything possible to deny sanctuary — that means places to train, places to recruit, places to — places from which to fight — deny sanctuary to the terrorists. And we did that. Thanks to a mighty United States military and our coalition...we threw out a barbaric regime.... You need to know your government and our allies and our friends went into Afghanistan to free a country. We didn't go to conquer a country; we went in to free a country, because we believe in freedom for every individual, no matter where they live in the world.
So which is it, Dubya? Did we go in to deny sanctuary to terrorists, or to free people from an oppressive regime? Rufus King High School, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, May 8, 2002
This isn't a Republican war, this isn't a Democrat war. This is an American war.
Making what seems an unnecessary clarification, as political parties cannot unilaterally declare war, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Apr. 24, 2002
You know, people oftentimes ask me what can they do to help fight in the war against terror. Fire fighters answer that call every day.
Since when are fire fighters fighting terror on a daily basis? Washington, D.C., Apr. 18, 2002
I don't know what got in their mind on that day, when they attacked us. They must have thought this country of ours was so weak, and so materialistic, so self-absorbed, that all we would do would be to file a lawsuit.
Reusing a favorite here. See several more instances on the Repeat Offender page, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Apr. 15, 2002
I don't have a calendar on my desk that says by a certain date, all this business has got to end. That's not how it works. That's what the enemy wants. They want us to quit, because we're impatient. But it's not going to happen. It can't happen. History has called us into action. We must never look back and say, how come we didn't act when there's called into action. We must be steadfast in that which we believe, and steady in our resolve. And I can assure you it doesn't matter whether you're a Republican or whether you're a Democrat, or whether you don't even give a darn about political parties.
Rambling further and further off course, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Apr. 15, 2002
And I've told world leaders: either you're with us or you're not with us. And I mean every word of it. And they now know our country means every word of it, as well.
And how is it that they know this now? Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Apr. 15, 2002
I mean, after all, you might remember that some of the initial discussions after September the 11th about potential threat was about crop dusters. Now, they don't have a lot of crop dusters, you know, in Manhattan. They've got a lot of crop dusters in South Carolina or Texas. In other words, some of the intelligence we were getting was that not only were the enemy willing to use airplanes, obviously, as weapons, but what we were concerned about was that they would use other methods — like using a crop duster to spray a weapons of mass destruction, if possible. It's an indication that we had to be on alert to defend all sites and all locations in our country.
One lengthy and confused statement from the master, Greenville, South Carolina, Mar. 27, 2002
While we have held the doctrine in Afghanistan — the doctrine of thou shall not harbor a terrorist — there still are killers running loose. There just are.
Are they being harbored or being cut loose? I'm confused. Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia, Mar. 27, 2002
Colin Powell has cobbled together one of the great coalitions ever, a coalition determined to fight terror wherever we find it.
Making it sound like Colin Powell did a slipshod, haphazard job in finding a coalition, but I'm guessing it was meant to be a compliment, El Paso, Texas, Mar. 21, 2002
And we will not relent to any terrorist who think they can take our freedom or the freedom from anybody else in the world away from us.
Unintentionally making it seem like the freedom of every person in the world is something to be taken from the U.S., El Paso, Texas, Mar. 21, 2002
Not only will we win the war on terror to secure the peace in the world, we will show the world that a diverse nation from all walks of life and all religions can be compassionate and kind and hopeful for everyone who's lucky enough to be an American citizen.
I guess the rest of the world is out of luck if they were looking for compassion from the U.S., Missouri Republican Party dinner, St. Louis, Missouri, Mar. 19, 2002
Well, first of all, I knew our troops were good because I've been reading reports about how good they are.
Commander-in-Chief making a really hands-on assessment of his soldiers on tour of Ft. Bragg, Ft. Bragg, North Carolina, Mar. 15, 2002
We're a peaceful nation and moving along just right and just kind of having a time, and all of a sudden, we get attacked and now we're at war, but we're at war to keep the peace.
That sure doesn't make sense, White House, Mar. 13, 2002
He is — as I mentioned in my speech, I do mention the fact that this is a fellow who is willing to commit youngsters to their death and he, himself, tries to hide — if, in fact, he's hiding at all.
On Osama bin Laden, White House, Mar. 13, 2002
Well, as I say, we haven't heard much from him [Osama bin Laden]. And I wouldn't necessarily say he's at the center of any command structure. And, again, I don't know where he is. I — I'll repeat what I said. I truly am not that concerned about him.
So much for "Wanted Dead or Alive"... White House, Mar. 13, 2002
I want to reinnerate what I said the other day. Our policy is to deny sanctuary to terrorists anyplace in the world, and we will be very actively in doing — in, in doing that.
The White House transcript cleaned up the end of the last sentence to be grammatically correct. Listen for yourself to hear Dubya say "reinnerate". White House, Mar. 13, 2002
Uhh, he [Osama bin Laden] is, uhh — you know, as I mentioned in my speech, I do mention the fact that this is a fella who is willing to commit youngsters to their death and he, himself, tries to hide, if, in fact, he's hiding at all. So I, I don't know where he is. Nor do — you know, I just don't spend that much time on him, Kelly, to be honest with you. I, I'm more worried about making sure that our soldiers are well-supplied, that the strategy is clear, that the coalition is strong, that when we find, uhh, enemy bunched up like we did in Sharikot Mountains — that the, uhh, that, that the military has all the support its need, it needs, to go in and do the job, which they did.
Amidst all the verbal wreckage, Dubya makes reference to the Sharikot Mountains, an area which is actually known as the Shah-i-Kot Valley. This is significant as it was the location in Afghanistan where US troops were in engaged in battle at the time of these comments. White House, Mar. 13, 2002
You know, the enemy, when they hit America, didn't understand us. They didn't think we were a nation that could conceivably sacrifice for something greater than ourself, that we were soft, that we were so self-absorbed and so materialistic that we wouldn't defend anything we believed in. My, were they wrong. They missed — they just were reading the wrong magazine, or watching the wrong Springer show.
Another Dubya stream of consciousness run amok, White House, Mar. 12, 2002
Part of having a secure homeland is to have a good airport system, that's safe for people to travel, an airport system that is inspecting bags by inspectors who are qualified to inspect bags.
I like that last bit, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Feb. 5, 2002
You know, the enemy hit us, and they said, oh, this great country is going to wilt. They're not great, they're weak. I like to needle them by saying, they must have been watching too much daytime TV.
Dubya strikes again with his schoolyard needling and teasing of the enemy, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Feb. 5, 2002
I'm a baseball fan, I want a scorecard.... And I actually got a chart. There's an 'X' right there.
Dubya explaining how he keeps the "players" straight in the War on Terrorism, and pointing out the 'X' placed on al-Qaida military chief Muhammad Atef's picture, who had just died in U.S. bombing raids, Washington, D.C., Feb. 3, 2002
We fight evil people, people who wanna murder, people who hate America and what we stand for. And that's why we'll be relentless and steady. The world looks to us for leadership. If we blink, they may go to sleep. That's why we're not going to blink. That's why we're going to be after them. That's why we're going to disrupt their finances. That's why we're going to hold people account.
He tosses in his blink and sleep routine, and splits the difference between "hold people to account" and "hold people accountable", Daytona Beach, Florida, Jan. 31, 2002
I'll give you an interesting idea that took place in Maine. They've got Maine lobstermen are now patrolling the coast on a volunteer basis to make sure that somebody in a — somebody carrying something they don't want to carry in a boat shows up on the coast. I mean, there's all kinds of ways to serve the community.
Your guess is as good as mine, Dubya's boat of thought has run adrift. Daytona Beach, Florida, Jan. 31, 2002
And if you don't have a place, we've started what's called the USA Freedom Corps. It's a chance for retired police officers or fired off — firemen to help out the local law enforcement authorities to be on alert.
Or something like that, comments made to seniors in speech about the USA Freedom Corps, Daytona Beach, Florida, Jan. 31, 2002
The enemy hit us. As I like to kind of tease the enemy, they must have been watching too much daytime TV. They thought we were soft. They thought we were materialistic. They thought we wouldn't fight for what we believed. They thought we would cower in the face of terror. And my, my, are they wrong.
Off the written script and into a nursery rhyme styled stream of consciousness, Daytona Beach, Florida, Jan. 30, 2002
We're in total agreement on how these prisoners - or detainees - excuse me, ought to be treated. And they'll be treated well.
Making it clear that the people being held at Guantanamo Bay were indeed detainees, not prisoners of war, although he referred to them as "prisoners" twice in his comments to reporters, White House, Jan. 28, 2002
It's amazing to me that we've got an enemy, on the one hand, that's willing to convince young males to commit suicide on behalf of a cause that's empty and, at the same time, try to escape the justice of America in caves.
Dubya's logic escapes me again, John Deere Harvester Works, East Moline, Illinois, Jan. 14, 2002
We learned some interesting lessons, that we're now vulnerable at home.
Yes, that's fascinating. Town hall forum, Ontario, California, Jan. 5, 2002
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