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Quotes - Dubya at War (2006)
(On Iraq, Afghanistan, terrorists and other things he likes to blow up)
I really do want the new Secretary of Defense to have time to get to know people and hear people and be a part of this deliberation. And he will not be sworn in until next Monday. I also — one of the interesting things about this experience is that there's a lot of ideas and a lot of opinions. And I want to make sure I hear from as many of those ideas and opinions as possible. Today I heard from some opinions that matter a lot to me, and these are the opinions of those who wear the uniform.
People, ideas, opinions... all animate objects capable of conversation. Washington, D.C., Dec. 13, 2006
Make no mistake about it, I understand how tough it is, sir. I talk to families who die.
Dubya's attempt to explain that he understands the tough sacrifices being made in the Iraq war, Washington, D.C., Dec. 7, 2006
We stand together because we understand the only way to secure a lasting peace for our children and grandchildren is to defeat the extremist ideologies and help the ideology of hope, democracy, prevail. ...Sixty-five years ago this day, America was jolted out of our isolationism and plunged into a global war that Britain had been fighting for two years. In that war, our nation stood firm. And there were difficult moments during that war, yet the leaders of our two nations never lost faith in the capacity to prevail. We will stand firm again in this first war of the 21st century. We will defeat the extremists and the radicals. We will help a young democracy prevail in Iraq. ...I believe we'll prevail. Not only do I know how important it is to prevail, I believe we will prevail. I understand how hard it is to prevail. ...And I want to tell you, I see the threat and I believe it is up to our governments to help lead the forces of moderation to prevail. It's in our interests. ...As you can tell, I feel strongly about making sure you understand that I understand it's tough. But I want you to know, sir, that I believe we'll prevail. I know we have to adjust to prevail, but I wouldn't have our troops in harm's way if I didn't believe that, one, it was important, and, two, we'll succeed. ...I like to remind people it's akin to the Cold War in many ways. There's an ideological clash going on. And the question is, will we have the resolve and the confidence in liberty to prevail? ...I do believe there is a — I know there's a change of attitude. And now the fundamental question is, can we help the moderates prevail?
Dubya delivers a prevail-laden message in a joint press availability with British PM Tony Blair, Washington, D.C., Dec. 7, 2006
Somehow it seeped in their conscious that my attitude was just simply stay the course. Stay the course means let's get the job done, but it doesn't mean staying stuck on a strategy or tactics that may not be working. So perhaps I need to do a better job of explaining that we're constantly adjusting.
Hmm, I wonder why people got the impression that Dubya just wanted to stay the course? White House, Nov. 8, 2006
Amid this time of change, I have a message for those on the front lines. To our enemies: Do not be joyful. ...To the people of Iraq: Do not be fearful. ...To our brave men and women in uniform: Don't be doubtful.
Dubya's instructions to the enemies, Iraqi citizens and U.S. troops on how to deal with the Democratic victory in the 2006 midterm elections. White House, Nov. 8, 2006
I believe Iraq will be able to defend, govern and sustain itself. Otherwise, I'd pull our troops out.
I thought the whole premise was leaving the troops in until Iraq is able to defend and govern itself, not conditionally upon whether Dubya believes that is possible. White House, Oct. 25, 2006
The stakes are high. As a matter of fact, they couldn't be higher. ...The strategic goal is to help this young democracy succeed in a world in which extremists are trying to intimidate rational people in order to topple moderate governments and to extend a caliphate. The stakes couldn't be any higher, as I said earlier, in the world in which we live. ...Our policy is to help this country succeed, because I understand the stakes. I'm going to repeat them one more time. As a matter of fact, I'm going to spend a lot of time repeating the stakes about what life is like in the Middle East. ...And so Iraq is an important part of dealing with this problem. And my vow to the American people is I understand the stakes, and I understand what it would mean for us to leave before the job is done. And I look forward to listening how — what Jimmy Baker and Lee Hamilton say about how to get the job — I appreciate them working on this issue because I think they understand what I know, and the stakes are high. And the stakes are high when it comes to developing a Palestinian state so that Israel can live at peace. And the stakes are high when it comes to making sure the young democracy of Lebanon is able to fend off the extremists and radicals that want to crater that democracy. ...I understand how hard it is. And I also understand the stakes. ...We'll change tactics when we need to change tactics to help this young democracy succeed. But the stakes are high if we were to leave. ...The stakes are really high.
There are stakes... and they're high. White House, Oct. 11, 2006
It gives me great comfort to be able to tell the loved ones of those who wear our uniform that if you get hurt you will receive first class, compassionate care from the United States military.
It's great to know that Dubya is able to remain comfortable, Washington, D.C., Sep. 29, 2006
Five years after 9/11, the worst attack on American homeland in our history, the Democrats offer nothing but criticism and obstruction, and endless second-guessing. The party of FDR and the party of Harry Truman has become the party of cut-and-run.
Dubya expressing shock and dismay that there is an entire political party whose members might sometimes disagree with him, Birmingham, Alabama, Sep. 28, 2006
Some people have guessed what's in the report and have concluded that going into Iraq was a mistake. I strongly disagree. I think it's naïve. I think it's a mistake for people to believe that going on the offense against people that want to do harm to the American people makes us less safe. The terrorists fight us in Iraq for a reason. They want to try to stop a young democracy from developing, just like they're trying to fight another young democracy in Afghanistan. And they use it as a recruitment tool, because they understand the stakes. They understand what will happen to them when we defeat them in Iraq.
If I'm not mistaken, the terrorists are able to fight us in Iraq because Dubya removed Saddam Hussein and created a power vacuum there. White House, Sep. 26, 2006
The information that the Central Intelligence Agency has obtained by questioning men like Khaleikh Sheikh Mohammed has provided valuable information and has helped disrupt terrorist plots, including strikes within the United States. For example, Khaleikh Sheikh Mohammed described the design of planned attacks of buildings inside the U.S. and how operatives — were directed to carry 'em out.
There's nothing quite like information that provides valuable information... It would have been nice if Dubya had gotten Khalid Sheikh Mohammed's name right, though. White House, Sep. 15, 2006
This debate is occurring because of, umm, the Supreme Court's ruling that said that, uhh, we must conduct ourselves under the Common Article III of the Geneva Convention. And that Common Article III says that there, you know, will be no outrages upon human dignity. Uhh, it's, uhh, it's, it's a, like, it's very vague. What does that mean? Outrages upon human dignity. Tha, tha, that's a statement that, uhh, is, is wide open to interpretation.
If Dubya needs to have "outrages upon human dignity" explained to him, we're a lot worse off than we all feared. White House, Sep. 15, 2006
I would hope people aren't trying to rewrite the history of Saddam Hussein — all of a sudden, he becomes kind of a benevolent fellow. He's a dangerous man. And one of the reasons he was declared a state sponsor of terror was because that's what he was. He harbored terrorists. He paid for families of suicide bombers. Never have I said that Saddam Hussein gave orders to attack 9/11.
Apparently "9/11" has been attacked... White House, Sep. 15, 2006
DUBYA: You can't expect me and people in this government to do what we need to do to protect you and your family if we don't have the tools that we think are necessary to do so.
MATT LAUER (NBC): Well that's an interesting point. And you said within the law.
LAUER: And yet you admitted that there were these CIA secret facilities. Okay?
DUBYA: So what? Why is that not within the law?
LAUER: The head of Amnesty International says secret sites are against international law.
DUBYA: Well, we disagree, disagree with them. And plus, my job is to protect you. And most American people — if I said that we had the, wha, who we think's the mastermind of the 9/11, they would say, why don't you see if you can't get information out of 'em, without torturing 'em? Which is what we did.
LAUER: Were, were you made personally —
DUBYA: My job is to protect this country, Matt. And, uhh, I'm goin' to, within the law.
LAUER: These —
DUBYA: And it gets second-guessed all the time by people who don't live in the United States, but let me remind you, September the 11th for them was a bad day. For us, it was a change of attitude.
"Change of attitude" would be an understatement, given the perspective on international law, extraordinary renditions and torture he is outlining here. White House, Sep. 11, 2006
There — it's — you know, one of the hardest parts of my job is to connect Iraq to the war on terror.
Yes, we've been noticing... Interview with Katie Couric (CBS News), White House, Sep. 6, 2006
In some cases, we determine that individuals we have captured pose a significant threat, or may have intelligence that we and our allies need to have to prevent new attacks. Many are al Qaeda operatives or Taliban fighters trying to conceal their identities, and they withhold information that could save American lives. In these cases, it has been necessary to move these individuals to an environment where they can be held secretly, questioned by experts, and — when appropriate — prosecuted for terrorist acts.
The White House website marked "secretly" with the [sic] notation, so apparently Dubya was supposed to say "securely" or something else less accurate than what he said. White House, Sep. 6, 2006
I'll explain the strategy we're pursuing to protect America, by defeating the terrorists on the battlefield, and defeating their hateful ideology in the battle of ideas. The terrorists who attacked us on September the 11th, 2001, are men without conscience — but they're not madmen. They kill in the name of a clear and focused ideology, a set of beliefs that are evil, but not insane.
Speaking in direct contradiction with statements he's made at least four times in the past, Washington, D.C., Sep. 5, 2006
It's important to have members of the United States Senate who understand the call of history and are willing to stand strong in the face of an enemy who is relenting.
Wrong word, Dubya. This one means the opposite of what you were probably trying to say. Salt Lake City, Utah, Aug. 31, 2006
WILLIAMS: Do you have any moments of doubt that we fought the wrong war, that there's something wrong with the perception of America overseas?
DUBYA: Well, those are two different questions. Did we fight the wrong war, and the absorally — I have no doubt. The war came to our shores, remember that. We were — we, we had a foreign policy that basically said let's hope calm works. And we were attacked.
WILLIAMS: But those weren't Iraqis.
DUBYA: No, no — they weren't — they, they weren't, uhh — no, I agree they weren't Iraqis, nor did I ever say that Iraq ordered that attack, but they're a part of, Iraq is part of the struggle against the terrorists.
"I have no doubt" gives the unintended impression that Dubya agrees with war critics, but his ill-worded defense moments later reasserts his position. Interview with Brian Williams (NBC). New Orleans, Louisiana, Aug. 29, 2006
DUBYA: Imagine a world in which Saddam Hussein was there, stirring up even more trouble in a part of the world that had so much resentment and so much hatred that people came and killed 3,000 of our citizens. You know, I've heard this theory about everything was just fine until we arrived, and kind of we're going to stir up the hornet's nest theory. It just doesn't hold water, as far as I'm concerned. The terrorists attacked us and killed 3,000 of our citizens before we started the freedom agenda in the Middle East.
REPORTER: What did Iraq have to do with that?
DUBYA: What did Iraq have to do with what?
REPORTER: The attack on the World Trade Center?
DUBYA: Nothing. Except for it's part of — and nobody has ever suggested in this administration that Saddam Hussein ordered the attack.
Perhaps, but if you want to see a severely blurred distinction between Saddam Hussein and the September 11 hijackers, have another look at the beginning of this quote. Also, Dubya should really try to remember that 1 in 6 of the nearly 3,000 people killed in the September 11 attacks were non-Americans. White House, Aug. 21, 2006
What's very interesting about the violence in Lebanon and the violence in Iraq and the violence in Gaza is this. These are all groups of terrorists who are trying to stop the advance of democracy.
Yes, violence... interesting... that's the right adjective for it. White House, Aug. 21, 2006
We, uhh — I made my position clear — about this war on terror. I, uhh — and, and by the way, the enemy made their position clear yet again when they — when — when, umm — when we were able ta — stop 'em, see. And, uhh, I, I — the American people expect us to protect 'em. And therefore, I put this program in place, we believe, strongly believe it's constitutional. And if Al Qaeda is callin' into United States, we wanna know why they're callin'. And so I made my position clear, be interesting to see what other policymakers — how other policymakers react.
Dubya uhhs and umms his way through what should be an important policy explanation, and one he characterizes as being clear. Camp David, Maryland, Aug. 18, 2006
You know, when you have resentment and anger, that breeds hatred. That breeds recruiting grounds for people to become a suicider. Imagine the mentality of somebody willing to kill for an ideology that just doesn't — is not hopeful, and yet I believe a lot of it has to do with the fact that parts of the world breed resentment.
Ummm... by any chance, do you mean parts of the world such as the part you are in charge of? You know, the part of the world that is occupying Iraq? (Note the use of suicider again, too, complete with singular/plural disagreement) Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Aug. 15, 2006
And there's some good people in our country who believe we should cut and run [from Iraq]. They're not bad people when they say that. They're decent people. I just happen to believe they're wrong. And they're wrong for this reason. This would be a defeat for the United States in a key battleground in the global war on terror. It would create a — leaving before we complete our mission would create a terrorist state in the heart of the Middle East, a country with huge oil reserves that the terrorist network would be willing to use to extract economic pain from those of us who believe in freedom. If we were to leave before the mission is complete, it would hurt U.S. credibility. Who would want to stand with the United States of America if we didn't complete the mission, and a mission that can be completed and will be completed? If we cut and run, if we don't complete the mission, what would that say to those brave men and women who have volunteered to wear the uniform of the United States of America? If we leave before the mission is complete, if we withdraw, the enemy will follow us home.
Dubya drops oil back into the mix with a new spin on it, but what is even more interesting is that he declares the mission in Iraq incomplete. Perhaps declaring "Mission Accomplished" in May 2003 was premature after all... Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Aug. 15, 2006
The recent arrests that our fellow citizens are now learning about are a stark reminder that this nation is at war with Islamic fascists who will use any means to destroy those of us who love freedom to hurt our nation.
Dubya declares that the "war on terror" is actually the "war on Islamic fascists", which simultaneously puzzles and offends, Green Bay, Wisconsin, Aug. 10, 2006
Isn't it interesting, as a democracy takes hold in Iraq, that al Qaeda steps up its efforts to murder and bomb in order to stop the democracy? And so one of the things that the people in the Middle East must understand is that we're working to create the conditions of hope and opportunity for all of them.
"Interesting" is not the word I would have chosen, White House, Jul. 28, 2006
[The Supreme Court was] silent on whether or not Guantánamo — whether or not we should have used Guantánamo. In other words, they accepted the use of Guantánamo, the decision I made.
Not really, since the case was not about the legality of the Guantánamo detention facilities themselves. Chicago, Illinois, Jul. 7, 2006
These are historic times in which we live, and it is essential that we have people in the United States Senate who are clear-eyed realists who see the world the way it is, not the way we would hope it would be ...There's a group in the opposition party who are willing to retreat before the mission is done. They're willing to wave the white flag of surrender. And if they succeed, the United States will be worse off, and the world will be worse off. These are historic times. We will defeat the enemy by, one, bringing them to justice before they hurt us again, and we will defeat the enemy, we will defeat their hateful ideology by spreading liberty.
All right, so is Dubya lining himself up with the clear-eyed realists, or those who see things the way they hope it would be? I'm getting confused here... St. Louis, Missouri, Jun. 28, 2006
REPORTER: Is the tide turning in Iraq?
DUBYA: I think — tide turning — see, as I remember — I was raised in the desert, but tides kind of — it's easy to see a tide turn — did I say those words?
Wow. White House, Jun. 14, 2006
See, Iraq is a part of the global war on terror. It's not the global war on terror, it's a theater in the global war on terror. And if we fail in Iraq, it's going to embolden al Qaeda types. It will weaken the resolve of moderate nations to stand up to the Islamic fascists. It will cause people to lose their nerve and not stay strong. And so I look forward to taking the debate — that's not quite right — kind of getting warmed up as a result of your question — the timing is not right for me to get out there yet. But I think the Democrat economic policy of raising people's taxes isn't going to work either. I know they'll couch it in all kinds of language, but really what they're saying is we're going to raise your taxes.
Another instance in which Dubya makes reference to Islamic fascists, apparently without any concern for the implication of this choice of phrase, White House, Jun. 14, 2006
These people are totalitarians. They're Islamic fascists. They have a point of view, they have a philosophy, and they want to impose that philosophy on the rest of the world. And Iraq just happens to be a — one of the battles in the war on terror.
Early use of the phrase "Islamic fascists" in explaining his war in Iraq, White House, May 25, 2006
If one were to measure progress on the number of suiciders, if that's your definition of success, I think it gives — I think it will — I think it obscures the steady, incremental march toward democracy we're seeing. In other words, it's very difficult — you can have the most powerful army of the world — ask the Israelis what it's like to try to stop suiciders. ...That's the — but that's one of the main — that's the main weapon of the enemy, the capacity to destroy innocent life with a suicider. ...Trying to stop suiciders — which we're doing a pretty good job of on occasion — is difficult to do. And what the Iraqis are going to have to eventually do is convince those who are conducting suiciders who are not inspired by al Qaeda, for example, to realize there's a peaceful tomorrow.
Dubya unleashes the made-up word "suicider" 5 times in quick succession — a new record, White House, May 23, 2006
As you know, I've made the tough decision to commit American troops into harm's way. It's the toughest decision a President can ever make, but I want you to know that I tried diplomacy — in other words, a President has got to be able to say to the American people, diplomacy didn't work.
Well as long as the president can say it, that must make it true. Sun City Center, Florida, May 9, 2006
I need people in Congress who understand the nature of this enemy. There are some that kind of feel like maybe these folks are just kind of angry citizens of the world who occasionally lash out. No, these folks are bound by a common ideology. They're totalitarian in nature.
One of many instances where Dubya has referred to terrorists poised to attack the U.S. as "folks". Las Vegas, Nevada, Apr. 24, 2006
REPORTER: Mr. President, you've made it a practice of not commenting on potential personnel moves —
DUBYA: Of course I did.
REPORTER: — of calling it speculation —
DUBYA: You can understand why —
REPORTER: But on five —
DUBYA: — because we've got people's reputations at stake. And on Friday I stood up and said I don't appreciate the speculation about Don Rumsfeld. He's doing a fine job. I strongly support him.
REPORTER: But what do you say to critics who believe that you're ignoring the advice of retired generals, military commanders, who say that there needs to be a change?
DUBYA: I say, I listen to all voices, but mine's the final decision. And Don Rumsfeld is doin' a fine job.
Dubya gets testy in his defense of Don Rumsfeld. For full effect, listen to the audio clip. White House, Apr. 18, 2006
STUDENT: My question is in regards to private military contractors. Uniform Code of Military Justice does not apply to these contractors in Iraq. I asked your Secretary of Defense a couple months ago what law governs their actions.
DUBYA: I was going to ask him. Go ahead. Help.
STUDENT: I was hoping your answer might be a little more specific. Mr. Rumsfeld answered that Iraq has its own domestic laws which he assumed applied to those private military contractors. However, Iraq is clearly not currently capable of enforcing its laws, much less against — over our American military contractors. I would submit to you that in this case, this is one case that privatization is not a solution. And, Mr. President, how do you propose to bring private military contractors under a system of law?
DUBYA: I appreciate that very much. I wasn't kidding — I was going to — I pick up the phone and say, Mr. Secretary, I've got an interesting question. This is what delegation — I don't mean to be dodging the question, although it's kind of convenient in this case, but never — I really will — I'm going to call the Secretary and say you brought up a very valid question, and what are we doing about it? That's how I work. I'm — thanks.
Dubya shows how not to answer an important question about the rule of law in occupied Iraq. If he actually did call up Secretary Rumsfeld, the response never saw the light of day. Johns Hopkins University, Washington, D.C., Apr. 10, 2006
The advance of democracy frightens the totalitarians that oppose us. Mr. Zarqawi, who is there in Iraq, is al Qaeda. He's not Iraqi, by the way. He is there representing the al Qaeda network, trying to stop the advance of democracy. It's an interesting question, isn't it, why would somebody want to stop democracy? Like, what's wrong with democracy? Mister, why are you afraid of it? Are you threatened by the fact that people get to speak and you don't get to dictate? Are you threatened by the fact that people should be able to worship the Almighty freely?
Dubya's onslaught of rhetorical questions is frightening me, Charlotte, North Carolina, Apr. 6, 2006
I strongly believe what we're doing is the right thing. If I didn't believe it — I'm going to repeat what I said before — I'd pull the troops out, nor if I believed we could win, I would pull the troops out.
I believe him when he claims this isn't the first time he's said something like this, Charlotte, North Carolina, Apr. 6, 2006
You know, we used to think we were secure because of oceans and previous diplomacy, but we realized on September the 11th, 2001, that killers could destroy innocent life.
First, that's not much of a realization, as realizations go, and second, how does that tie in with the oceans and the diplomacy? White House, Mar. 21, 2006
What we're doing is difficult work. And one — the interesting thing that's happening is, is that imagine an enemy that says we will kill innocent people because we're trying to encourage people to be free.
Dubya has a "we" (sorry, couldn't resist...) bit of a pronoun reference mismatch here, White House, Mar. 21, 2006
Q: Do you believe this, that the war in Iraq and the rise of terrorism are signs of the apocalypse? And if not, why not?
DUBYA: Hmmm, uhh, hah — ummm — I, the answer is — I haven't really thought of it that way, heh, heh. Heh. Here's how I think of it. Ummm — heh heh. First I've heard of that, by the way, I, ah — uhh — the, uhh — I, I guess I'm more of a practical fella. Uhh. I vowed after September the 11th that I would do everything I could to protect the American people. And, uhh — my attitude, of course, was affected by the attacks. I knew we were at a war. I knew that the enemy, obviously, had to be sophisticated, and lethal, to fly hijacked airplanes, uhh, into — facilities that would, we would, killing thousands of people, innocent people, doin' nothing, just sittin' there goin' to work.
The White House transcript is considerably more generous in its accounting of this exchange, which is peppered with false starts, snickers, and umms. I reckon this wasn't the sort of question he was expecting, since he never actually answered it, even after the 73 seconds that expired here. Cleveland, Ohio, Mar. 20, 2006
REPORTER: Before we went to war in Iraq we said there were three main reasons for going to war in Iraq. Weapons of mass destruction, the claim that Iraq was sponsoring terrorists who had attacked us on 9/11, and that Iraq had purchased nuclear materials from Niger. All three of those turned out to be false. My question is, how do we restore confidence that Americans may have in their leaders and to be sure that the information they are getting now is correct?
DUBYA: That's a great question. First, just if I might correct a misperception. I don't think we ever said — at least I know I didn't say that there was a direct connection between September the 11th and Saddam Hussein. We did say that he was a state sponsor of terror — by the way, not declared a state sponsor of terror by me, but declared by other administrations. We also did say that Zarqawi, the man who is now wreaking havoc and killing innocent life, was in Iraq. And so the state sponsor of terror was a declaration by a previous administration. But I don't want to be argumentative, but I was very careful never to say that Saddam Hussein ordered the attacks on America.
1) The reporter never suggested that Dubya had claimed Saddam Hussein ordered the September 11 attacks. 2) This is what Dubya said on the matter on Jun. 17, 2004: "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." I'll let you draw your own conclusion. Cleveland, Ohio, Mar. 20, 2006
After the bombing, most Iraqis saw what the — perpetuators of the, of this attack were trying to do.
Stumbling through his analysis of the motivation of the "perpetuators" behind the bombing of the Golden Mosque in Samarra, Iraq. George Washington University, Washington, D.C., Mar. 13, 2006
The third part of our plan is to develop new technologies to defend against IEDs. We're puttin' the best minds in America to work on this effort. The Department Defense recently garnered some 6 — gathered 600 leaders from industry and academmia, the national laboratories, the National Academy of Sciences, all branches of the military, and every — uhh, relevant government agency to discuss technology solutions to the IED threat.
Dubya's truncated variation of the Department of Defense, use of the word "garnered" instead of "gathered", and mispronunciation of "academia"... All missing from the official White House transcript. George Washington University, Washington, D.C., Mar. 13, 2006
REPORTER: Mr. President, what are our plans if civil war breaks out in Iraq?
DUBYA: Yes. Step one is to make sure — do everything we can that there not be one. Secondly, I believe the Iraqi people have made a choice. It wasn't all that long ago that 11 million people went to the polls. It may seem like an eternity, but that was last December that people defied assassins, car bombers, threats and said, we want a democracy. Secondly, the first real test for an interim government occurred when the Shia's shrine was blown up, the holy site. And while there's — as I said earlier, there was — no question there was violence and killing, the society took a step back from the abyss. And people took a sober reflection about what a civil war would mean.
Besides using "secondly" twice, Dubya never actually answers the question of what the U.S. will do if civil war breaks out in Iraq, Washington, D.C., Mar. 10, 2006
On September the 11th, 2001, nearly 3,000 innocent people were murdered in my country, including more than 30 who were born in India. Just over three months ago, terrorists struck the Parliament House here in Delhi, an attack on the heart of Indian democracy.
Actually, at the time of this speech (in the Indian capital in New Delhi), the attack on the Indian Parliament was just under four years and three months in the past. Who's counting, right? New Delhi, India, Mar. 3, 2006
The leaders of Iraq rejected this notion that a suicider and a thug and a terrorist can create civil war.
Is he talking about three specific people here? He could have done so much more (and been intentionally funny) with "A suicider and a thug and a terrorist walk into a bar..." Washington, D.C., Feb. 27, 2006
I know our governors are worried about the troop levels in Iraq. Here's my response. I will determine the troop levels in Iraq, one, necessary to achieve victory based upon the recommendations of our commanders, not based upon politics in Washington, D.C.
Is that supposed to reassure the governors? Washington, D.C., Feb. 27, 2006
You know, one of the interesting measurements early on was when the enemy started bombing recruiting stations. I don't know if you remember that, but they'd drive by with a suicider or an IED and destroy people standing in line trying to serve their nation.
Umm... yeah, that's... interesting, Dubya... Lake Buena Vista, Florida, Feb. 17, 2006
My job as your President is to look at the world the way it is. And I clearly see the threats to America. My job is to worry about those threats. That's not your job. We got a lot of people in government worrying about those threats on your behalf, so you can go about your life. That's what we want.
I think I'm even more worried than I was before I read this, Grand Ole Opry House, Nashville, Tennessee, Feb. 1, 2006
The enemy is a — a bunch of cold-blooded killers — that have taken a, a great religion — taken parts of a great religion and converted it into a, a, an ideology that is, they perverted a great religion, and they have an ideology.
I said, before we do anything, I want to make sure it's legal. And so we had our lawyers look at it — and as part of the debate, discussion with the American people as to the legality of the program. There's no doubt in my mind it is legal.
I think he had it right the first time with "debate", White House, Jan. 26, 2006
And so this is a time where we've been in theater for — been in this war against terror for five years.
I guess he's rounding (way) up from the amount of time that has passed since Sep. 11, 2001, White House, Jan. 26, 2006
REPORTER: The FISA law was implemented in 1978 in part because of revelations that the National Security Agency was spying domestically. What is wrong with that law if you feel you have to circumvent it and, as you just admitted, expand presidential power?
DUBYA: May I — if I might, you said that I have to circumvent it. There — wait a minute. That's a — there's something — it's like saying, you know, you're breaking the law. I'm not. See, that's what you've got to understand. I am upholding my duty, and at the same time, doing so under the law and with the Constitution behind me. That's just very important for you to understand. Secondly, the FISA law was written in 1978. We're having this discussion in 2006. It's a different world. And FISA is still an important tool. It's an important tool. And we still use that tool. But also — and we — look — I said, look, is it possible to conduct this program under the old law? And people said, it doesn't work in order to be able to do the job we expect us to do.
I like the concept: If the law seems out of date, just ignore it. I think I'm going to start driving 100 MPH on the freeway because it's 2006.. White House, Jan. 26, 2006
They've got a — they have no heart, no conscience. They kill innocent men, women and children to achieve their objective. These folks cannot be appeased. We can't hope that nice words will change their point of view. And so the decision I made right off the bat is we will find them, and we will hunt them down, and we will bring them to justice before they hurt America again.
Dubya can't help referring to terrorists as folks, and also vows as he has many times in the past to hunt them down, Manhattan, Kansas, Jan. 23, 2006
The [Iraqi] government is now — they're beginning to form. In other words, you're seeing a lot of sharp elbows, probably kind of like American politics seem to some people, a lot of throwing of sharp elbows. You didn't see a lot of elbows, political elbows being thrown under the tyrant, did you? That's because tyrants don't allow for the political process to evolve.
I'm wondering if this discussion is going to evolve beyond elbows, Manhattan, Kansas, Jan. 23, 2006
One of the interesting moments will come here this year when Saddam Hussein's trial is brought forth for the world to see, to see the butcherer, the person who brutalized many people or ordered the brutality of many people here at this table, get his due justice under rule of law.
Well, I guess you know what he's trying to say. White House, Jan. 18, 2006
We are dismantling the operators. And when we find them, we bring them to justice as quickly as we can. That's the short-term strategy. There's also the strategy of making it clear, if you harbor a terrorist — the short-term strategy of dealing with threats before they come to hurt us — I say, before they fully materialize.
Dubya does his best Foghorn Leghorn impersonation, Louisville, Kentucky, Jan. 11, 2006
In order to safeguard the civil liberties of the people, we have this [NSA domestic eavesdropping] program fully scrutinized on a regular basis. It's been authorized, reauthorized many times. We got lawyers looking at it from different branches of government.
So he had judicial branch and legislative branch lawyers looking at it, too? I'm skeptical. Louisville, Kentucky, Jan. 11, 2006
I fully expect in a democracy — I expect and, frankly, welcome the voices of people saying, you know, Mr. President, you shouldn't have made that decision, or, you know, you should have done it a better way. I understand that. What I don't like is when somebody said, he lied. Or, they're in there for oil. Or they're doing it because of Israel. That's the kind of debate that basically says the mission and the sacrifice were based on false premise. It's one thing to have a philosophical difference — and I can understand people being abhorrent about war. War is terrible. But one way people can help as we're coming down the pike in the 2006 elections, is remember the effect that rhetoric can have on our troops in harm's way, and the effect that rhetoric can have in emboldening or weakening an enemy.
Dubya sets the parameters of a debate that doesn't sound much like a debate, and "being abhorrent about war" doesn't make sense. Louisville, Kentucky, Jan. 11, 2006
As you can probably see I was injured myself, not here at the hospital but in combat with a cedar. I eventually won.
Statement offered in the presence of servicemen and women wounded in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan (rather than by brush on Dubya's ranch), Brooke Army Medical Center, San Antonio, Texas, Jan. 1, 2006
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