Foreign Policy Watch

British TV interview with Dear Leader...actual journalism!

Here is an edited transcript of an interview between Mr. Bush and Tonight's Sir Trevor McDonald to be aired this evening in the UK.

TONIGHT: Have you still - do you still think that you may have mismanaged, or do you think you may have mismanaged public expectations about a quick victory and a decisive ending to this war? You've talked in optimistic terms. But now, as you say, the carnage on the screens night after night seems - tell a different story.
PRESIDENT BUSH: Well, certainly that's a very powerful weapon for the terrorists, is to kill innocent men, women and children, and try to shake our will and conscience. And on the other hand, there is progress being made in Iraq.

Remember, it wasn't all that long ago that 8 million people went to the polls to vote. And you might remember the discussions prior to the vote. I had a lot of people saying, 'Well, they don't know what they're doing, the people don't want to be free, certain people can't - they're not going to - what makes you think they want democracy?' And all of a sudden, when given the chance, 8 million people voted. And now the political process is moving in parallel with the security process. And our strategy is to help the Iraqis stand up a viable government, to encourage them to get their constitution written, and to have the elections, to ratify the constitution, as well as a government under the constitution, and, at the same time, train Iraqis so they can fight. That's our strategy. And we're making good progress.

TONIGHT: Is the administration at sixes and sevens about the insurgency in Iraq? The vice-president said that we're in the last throes, or seeing the last throes of the insurgency. Donald Rumsfeld comes up and says we could be there for five, eight, 10, 12 years. Which is it? Which do you believe?

PRESIDENT BUSH: I believe that we will succeed in Iraq, because, one, the Iraqis want to live in a free society.


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TONIGHT: But how long will it take, Mr President?

PRESIDENT BUSH: And, two, that the Iraqis want to take the fight to the enemy. And people want me to put a timetable on things; that's a huge mistake. Putting a timetable on this - on our stay there in Iraq simply emboldens the enemy and discourages our friends. And so, therefore, my answer is just, quickly as possible, and we are making progress.

TONIGHT: Do you ever think maybe this was not such a good idea?

PRESIDENT BUSH: No, I'm actually confident it's the right thing to do.

PRESIDENT BUSH: Well, certainly that's a very powerful weapon for the terrorists, is to kill innocent men, women and children, and try to shake our will and conscience. And on the other hand, there is progress being made in Iraq.

Remember, it wasn't all that long ago that 8 million people went to the polls to vote. And you might remember the discussions prior to the vote. I had a lot of people saying, 'Well, they don't know what they're doing, the people don't want to be free, certain people can't - they're not going to - what makes you think they want democracy?' And all of a sudden, when given the chance, 8 million people voted. And now the political process is moving in parallel with the security process. And our strategy is to help the Iraqis stand up a viable government, to encourage them to get their constitution written, and to have the elections, to ratify the constitution, as well as a government under the constitution, and, at the same time, train Iraqis so they can fight. That's our strategy. And we're making good progress.

TONIGHT: Is the administration at sixes and sevens about the insurgency in Iraq? The vice-president said that we're in the last throes, or seeing the last throes of the insurgency. Donald Rumsfeld comes up and says we could be there for five, eight, 10, 12 years. Which is it? Which do you believe?

PRESIDENT BUSH: I believe that we will succeed in Iraq, because, one, the Iraqis want to live in a free society.

TONIGHT: But how long will it take, Mr President?

PRESIDENT BUSH: And, two, that the Iraqis want to take the fight to the enemy. And people want me to put a timetable on things; that's a huge mistake. Putting a timetable on this - on our stay there in Iraq simply emboldens the enemy and discourages our friends. And so, therefore, my answer is just, quickly as possible, and we are making progress.

TONIGHT: Do you ever think maybe this was not such a good idea?

PRESIDENT BUSH: No, I'm actually confident it's the right thing to do.
TONIGHT: You have never had any doubts at all about it?

PRESIDENT BUSH: I am absolutely confident that we made the right decision. And not only that, I'm absolutely confident that the actions we took in Iraq are influencing reformers and freedom lovers in the greater Middle East. And I believe that you're going to see the rise of democracy in many countries in the broader Middle East, which will lay the foundation for peace.

 
[ed. note: go read the whole transcript...just amazing

 
 
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TONIGHT: You have never had any doubts at all about it?

PRESIDENT BUSH: I am absolutely confident that we made the right decision. And not only that, I'm absolutely confident that the actions we took in Iraq are influencing reformers and freedom lovers in the greater Middle East. And I believe that you're going to see the rise of democracy in many countries in the broader Middle East, which will lay the foundation for peace.

[ed. note: go read the whole transcript...just amazing

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