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Quotes - Dubya at War (2004)
(On Iraq, Afghanistan, terrorists and other things he likes to blow up)
You know, polls change, Dave. Polls go up. Polls go down. I can understand why people — they're looking on your TV screen and seeing indiscriminate bombing where thousands of innocent, or hundreds of innocent Iraqis are getting killed, and they're saying whether or not we're able to achieve the objective.
Wow, I don't know what to say... Washington, D.C., Dec. 20, 2004
And we will continue to make it clear to both Syria and Iran that — as will other nations in our coalition, including our friend, the Italians, that meddling in the internal affairs of Iraq is not in their interest.
Leave the meddling to us... White House, Dec. 15, 2004
If I were a soldier overseas wanting to defend my country, I'd want to ask the Secretary of Defense the same question, and that is, are we getting the best we can get us?
In his own unique fashion, Dubya empathizes with troops who have been without adequate armor for two years, Washington, D.C., Dec. 9, 2004
As election day approaches, we can expect further violence from the terrorists. You see, the terrorists understand what is at stake. They know they have no future in a free Iraq, because free people never choose their own enslavement.
Dubya offers a grand, meaningless generalization to the assembled troops, Pendleton, California, Dec. 7, 2004
Last month, Marines across the world broke out their dress blues to celebrate the 229th birthday of the Corps. But the men and women of Camp Pendleton's 1st Marine Expeditionary Force marked the occasion a little differently — by fighting the enemies in Iraq.
That's quite a way to mark the occasion... Camp Pendleton, California, Dec. 7, 2004
In the war on terror, you have fought enemies' freedom — freedom's enemies from the caves and mountains of Afghanistan to the deserts and cities of Iraq.
I know he corrected himself, but it's still funny, Camp Pendleton, California, Dec. 7, 2004
I noticed today that the elections are on schedule for June the 30th. What we're doing is the right thing in Iraq, and history will prove it right.
June, January, whatever... Santiago, Chile, Nov. 20, 2004
And the reason why I'm so strong on democracy is democracies don't go to war with each other.
Actually, I think they do, unless his definition of democracy is so narrow as to make his point meaningless, White House, Nov. 12, 2004
It's such a comforting sense for me to be able to tell a loved one, your person hurt, your loved one will get the best care possible.
A tongue-twisted effort to sound compassionate, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, D.C., Nov. 9, 2004
And so Prime Minister Allawi and his government, which fully understands that, are working with our generals on the ground to do just that. We will work closely with the government. It's their government, it's their country. We're there at their invitation.
That's sort of like saying the water invited the bathtub, Washington, D.C., Nov. 4, 2004
Think how far Iraq has come from the days of torture chambers and mass graves, and the brutal reign of a barbaric tyrant.
Yes, now there are random beheadings, no rule of law, and tons of explosives in the hands of terrorists. It's like Club Med. Sioux City, Iowa, Nov. 1, 2004
I want to remind the American people, if Senator Kerry had his way, we would still be taking our global test. Saddam Hussein would still be in power. He would control all those weapons and explosives and could have shared them with our terrorist enemies.
Hello? Who do you think has the weapons now? Vienna, Ohio, Oct. 27, 2004
As a matter of fact, when we gave [Saddam Hussein] the final chance, he continued to deceive and evade. So I have a choice to make at this point in our history. Do I forget the lessons of September the 11th and take the word of a madman, or do I take action to defend this country?
Is Dubya trying to say that we were betrayed by a madman in the attacks of September 11? I'm confused. Colorado Springs, Colorado, Oct. 12, 2004
And our strategy is clear. We're going to help the Iraqis. We're going to train Iraqis so they can do the hard work necessary for a free society to emerge. It's their country. We just want to stand with them as democracy comes to that piece of the world. And so we're training the troops. We'll have 125,000 police, Afghan National Army and army trained up by the end of December. It's an essential part of our strategy. We got $7 billion allocated for reconstruction efforts. We're working with a grand coalition. Some 30 nations are involved there in Iraq.
Dubya does it again, confusing Iraq and Afghanistan when he's talking about Iraq, St. Louis, Missouri, Oct. 9, 2004
AUDIENCE MEMBER: With expansions to the Patriot Act and Patriot Act II, my question to you is, why are my rights being watered down and my citizens' around me? And what are the specific justifications for these reforms?
DUBYA: I appreciate that. I really don't think your rights are being watered down. As a matter of fact, I wouldn't support it if I thought that. Every action being taken against terrorists requires court order, requires scrutiny.
Another statement cast in a totally different light by the revelation in January 2006 that at the time of the 2004 presidential debates, Dubya had already initiated a covert program that bypassed the courts and secretly ordered wire taps under his own authority, Second Presidential Debate, St. Louis, Missouri, Oct. 8, 2004
After September the 11th, America had to assess every potential threat in a new light. Our nation awakened to an even greater danger, the prospect that terrorists who killed thousands with hijacked airplanes would kill many more with weapons of mass murder. We had to take a hard look at every place where terrorists might get those weapons. And one regime stood out, the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein.
Sorry, I don't usually do this, but I must note that it was rather ballsy to make this claim on the very day that a CIA report came out stating that Iraq had absolutely no stockpiles of WMD at the start of the war in Iraq, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, Oct. 6, 2004
The first part of the question was, how come we haven't found Zarqawi. We're looking for him. He hides. He is — he is — he's got a effective weapon, and that is terror.
Does Dubya really mean to label terror an effective weapon? Washington, D.C., Sep. 23, 2004
I'm not the expert on how the Iraqi people think, because I live in America, where it's nice and safe and secure.
Dubya doesn't hint at any sense of responsibility for that reality, Washington, D.C., Sep. 23, 2004
It breaks my heart to see the loss of innocent life and to see brave troops in combat lose their life. It just breaks my heart. But I understand what's going on. These people are trying to shake the will of the Iraqi citizens, and they want us to leave. That's what they want us to do. And I think the world would be better off if we did leave. If we didn't — if we left, the world would be worse.
Another brilliant slip of the tongue, Derry, New Hampshire, Sep. 20, 2004
Remember Abu Nidal? He killed Leon Klinghoffer. Abu Nidal and his organization was in Iraq. Zarqawi, he's still lingering around. He had an organization. He's got ties to Al Qaeda. He's the guy who beheads people to shake our conscience. He was in and out of Baghdad. Saddam Hussein paid the families of suiciders.
Dubya ends his terrorism stream of consciousness with one of his favorite made-up words: suiciders, Muskegon, Michigan, Sep. 13, 2004
We will make sure our troops have all that is necessary to complete their missions. That's why I went to the Congress last September and proposed fundamental — supplemental funding, which is money for armor and body parts and ammunition and fuel.
Wow, of all the misstatements he could have made... Erie, Pennsylvania, Sep. 4, 2004
QUESTION: Can we win [the war on terrorism]?
DUBYA: I don't think you can win it. But I think you can create conditions so that the — those who use terror as a tool are — less acceptable in parts of the world.
Oh, so we can't win the war? Well that sort of comes as a surprise. Interview aired on NBC's "Today Show", Aug. 30, 2004
Freedom in the heart of the Middle East is going to serve a powerful example for Palestinians who are wondering whether or not there's a — a free state can emerge. And that's important. That's important, especially for our ally and friend, Israel, that there be a peaceful state grow up.
You gotta love the wording, Lima, Ohio, Aug. 28, 2004
Once you figure out the nature of the enemy, and know that they hide in caves and dark resorts of the city, it requires a universal effort to find them.
Dark resorts? Lima, Ohio, Aug. 24, 2004
We actually misnamed the war on terror, it ought to be the 'struggle against ideological extremists who do not believe in free societies who happen to use terror as a weapon to try to shake the conscience of the free world.'
I'm impressed with the number of words, but no, I think we should stick with "War on Terror". It's easier to remember. Washington, D.C., Aug. 6, 2004
Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.
Americans are serving and sacrificing to keep this country safe and to bring freedom to others. After the attacks of September the 11th, 2001, this nation resolved to fight terrorists where they dwell. We resolved to arm the terrorist enemy.
The White House website quietly changed "arm" to "disarm", but forgot to take down the video of the event. Charleston, West Virginia, Jul. 4, 2004
The Prime Minister brought up the Abu Garef —— si — situation.
The reason I keep insisting that there was a relationship between Iraq and Saddam and Al Qaeda, because there was a relationship between Iraq and Al Qaeda.
Dubya's answer when asked why he insists there was a relationship between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda when the September 11th Commission says that there wasn't one, Washington, D.C., Jun. 17, 2004
REPORTER: So when you say that you want the U.S. to adhere to international and U.S. laws, that's not very comforting. This is a moral question. Is terr — torture ever justified?
DUBYA: Look, I'm gonna say it one more time. I can — if I can — maybe — maybe I can be more clear. The instructions went out to our people to adhere to law. That oughtta comfort you. We — we're a nation of law. We adhere to laws. We have laws on the books. You might look at those laws. And that might provide comfort for you. And those were the instructions out of — from me to the government.
REPORTER: Thank you, Mr. President. You do have now the personal gun of Saddam Hussein. Are you willing to give it to President al-Yawar as a symbolic gift, or are you keeping it?
DUBYA: What she's referring to is a — members of a Delta team came to see me in the Oval Office and brought with me — these were the people that found Saddam Hussein, the dictator of Iraq, hiding in a hole. And, by the way, let me remind everybody about Saddam Hussein, just in case we all forget. There were mass graves under his leadership. There were torture chambers. Saddam Hussein — if you — we had seven people come to my office. Perhaps the foreign press didn't see this story. Seven people came to my — they had their hands cut off because the Iraqi currency had devalued. And Saddam Hussein needed somebody to blame, so he blamed small merchants. And their hands were chopped off, their right hand.
Wow, that must have been torture to listen to (no pun intended), Savannah, Georgia, Jun. 10, 2004
And there are a lot of nations working in Afghanistan and in Iraq to not only deal with terror — the immediate effects of terror — and that is, finding people before they hurt somebody again — but also to spread freedom. Free societies are peaceful societies, free societies are hopeful societies. And there's a lot of nations working to get her to do so.
Did I miss something? Who or what is "her"? Interview with Paris Match Magazine, Rome, Italy, Jun. 4, 2004
Like the Second World War, our present conflict began with a ruthless, surprise attack on the United States.
Actually, a few other things happened before Pearl Harbor, such as Germany's invasions of Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Denmark, Norway, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Romania, Yugoslavia and Greece, and the 'Blitz' attacks over the U.K., and Japan's invasions of Korea, Manchuria, China and French Indochina, but close enough, I guess. United States Air Force Academy, Jun. 2, 2004
Given the recent increase in violence, we'll maintain our troop level at the current 138,000 as long as necessary. This has required extended duty for the 1st Armored Division and the 2nd Light Calvary Regiment.
Dubya has yet to ever correctly pronounce "cavalry", United States Army War College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, May 24, 2004
And I call upon the Iraqi people to reject violence, band together to insist that the country move toward a peaceful tomorrow. Iraq is changing for the better. I mean, look at the soccer team.
Yes, he's actually pointing to the success of the Iraqi national soccer team as progress in Iraq, Washington, D.C., May 20, 2004
I respect people. I respect their religion. I respect human rights. I respect human dignity. And that's the kind of society I know will grow up in Iraq.
Dubya coming across as Iraq's daddy, Washington, D.C., May 20, 2004
We're encouraged to see more Iraqs take responsibility for resolving the standoff in Najaf.
Soldiers from the 2nd Light Calvary Regiment are conducting reconnaissance to learn the precise strength and location of enemy forces.
Mr. Secretary, thank you for your hospitality, and thank you for your leadership. You are courageously leading our nation in the war against terror. You're doing a superb job. You are a strong Secretary of Defense, and our nation owes you a debt of gratitude.
I wouldn't have listed this one if the "debt of gratitude" line had been left out, but that completely tipped the scales, Washington, D.C., May 10, 2004
Freedom will prevail, so long as the United States and allies don't give the people of Iraq mixed signals, so long as we don't cower in the face of suiciders, or do what many Iraqis still suspect might happen, and that is cut and run early, like what happened in '91.
Dubya takes on his own father's foreign policy and goes on the record with the fictional word suicider, as quoted in the Washington Times, May 10, 2004
Because we acted, torture chambers are closed.
Only to open again... Prairie Du Chien, Wisconsin, May 7, 2004
Iraqis are sick of foreign people coming in their country and trying to destabilize their country.
Said without any hint of irony, Washington, D.C., May 5, 2004
And so the people in the Middle East must understand that this [the abuse of Iraqi prisoners] was horrible.
I don't think Dubya needs to tell them that, Washington, D.C., May 5, 2004
I saw a threat in Afghanistan. I looked at the intelligence and saw a threat. The Congress looked at the intelligence. Members of both political parties looked at that same intelligence and saw and threat. The United Nations Security Council looked at the intelligence and it saw a threat. The United Nations Security Council, like me, remembered — we saw more than a threat, we remembered that Saddam Hussein had used weapons of mass destruction against his own people and against his neighborhood, that Saddam Hussein professed hatred for America, that he had terrorist ties, that he paid suiciders to kill innocent citizens in the Middle East. We remembered all that.
I'll leave Dubya's repeat usage of the non-word "suicider" alone this time, and instead direct your attention to the first sentence of the quote, Lebanon, Ohio, May 4, 2004
You see, what that meant is — if you got a wire tap by court order — and, by the way, everything you hear about requires court order, requires there to be permission from a FISA court, for example. ...And they're an important tool for those who are on the front line of using necessary means, with court order, to find these terrorists before they hurt us, look, what I'm telling you is — is that the Patriot Act made it easier for people we've tasked to protect America. That's what we want. We want people to have the tools necessary to do the job we expect them to do.
A statement cast in a totally different light by the revelation in January 2006 that at the time of this speech (aimed at renewing the Patriot Act), Dubya had already initiated a covert program that bypassed the FISA courts and ordered wire taps under his own authority, Hershey, Pennsylvania, Apr. 19, 2004
This is the war that other Presidents will be facing as we head into the 21st century.
By the year 2004, I'd say we're pretty much done with the "heading into" part, Prime Time Press Conference #3, White House, Apr. 13, 2004
Obviously, every day I pray there is less casualty, but I know what we are doing in Iraq is right.
Is he making a stand for the less-common phrase "less casualty" or is he just goin' Dubya on us again? Fort Hood, Texas, Apr. 11, 2004
I just met with Specialist Chris Hill's family from North Carolina. You know, I told the family how much we appreciated his sacrifice — he was killed in Iraq — and assured him that we would stay the course.
Come on, Dubya, could you at least get your pronouns right when you are talking about the bereaved families of fallen soldiers? Charlotte, North Carolina, Apr. 5, 2004
I looked at the intelligence and saw a threat in Iraq. The United States Congress looked at the same intelligence, and they saw a threat. The United Nations Security Council looked at the intelligence, and it saw a threat. In fall of 2002, I went back to the United Nations, I said, look, why don't we deal with this threat together? We all see a threat, so why don't we get Saddam Hussein to do what the world has been demanding to do for over a decade, which is to reveal the weapons programs and get rid of him, for the sake of the security of the world. Your choice, Mr. Saddam. He said, no, I'm not interested. You see, given that choice whether to trust the word of a madman, a man who had used chemical weapons on his own people, or to defend our country, I will choose to defend America every time.
Unfortunately, Dubya's example here doesn't suggest that choice at all. Instead it suggests that we struck Mr. Saddam for his defiance. Albuquerque, New Mexico, Mar. 26, 2004
The best way to protect us is to stay on the offensive and to find terrorists before they try to harm us again. And they will.
Wow! That's reassuring. Nashua, New Hampshire, Mar. 25, 2004
Saddam Hussein said, I'm not going to expose my weapons, I'm not going to get rid of my — I'm not going to allow inspectors in, he said. But this is the same man who had used them. So I had to make a decision — do I trust the word of madman, or do I remember the lessons of September the 11th?
Did Dubya not believe that Hussein wouldn't let inspectors in? I'm confused. Louisville, Kentucky, Feb. 26, 2004
Laura reminded me, in July of 2002, on the television screens came to the notation, "America is Marching to War."
As is often the case, I have an idea of what Dubya's trying to say, but he isn't quite saying it, is he? Louisville, Kentucky, Feb. 26, 2004
Marching for war doesn't instill a lot of confidence in the future.
I hear that, Dubya, Washington, D.C., Feb. 18, 2004
More Muslims have died at the hands of killers than — I say more Muslims — a lot of Muslims have died — I don't know the exact count — at Istanbul. Look at these different places around the world where there's been tremendous death and destruction because killers kill.
Yes, he's absolutely right: killers do kill, Washington, D.C., Feb. 18, 2004
I'm dealing with a world in which we have gotten struck by terrorists with airplanes, and we get intelligence saying that there is, you know, we want to harm America.
I'm hoping this was a misstatement on Dubya's part, on NBC's "Meet the Press", Feb. 8, 2004
What we don't know yet is what we thought and what the Iraqi Survey Group has found, and we want to look at that.
Sounds good. Washington, D.C., Feb. 2, 2004
We're on an international manhunt for those who would do harm to America, or for anybody else who loves freedom.
Dubya inadvertently declares war on all those who love freedom, Roswell, New Mexico, Feb. 2, 2004
I remember talking to the country after September the 11th, and reminding people that this would be a different kind of war we faced. Sometimes you'd see action, and sometimes you wouldn't, that we'd be on a manhunt to find the terrorists who destroyed us.
I had no idea that America was destroyed, but I'll have to take Dubya's word for it, Roswell, New Mexico, Jan. 22, 2004
The world is more peaceful as a result of Saddam Hussein not being in power.
Yeah, it's amazing how peaceful the world is now, Monterrey, Mexico, Jan. 12, 2004
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