President Bush spoke today at the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia today about the Iraq and the War on Terror. One notable difference between this speech and his previous ones? He took questions from the audience, including a hostile question from someone questioning his previously stated connections between 9-11 and the war in Iraq. [emph added]Imagine calling that a hostile question! It's a legitimate question, a crucial question, an awkward question, an as-yet officially unanswered question. If it's perceived as hostile, it's only because we already know what the answer is and how that answer exposes the absolute rottenness of the Bush administration.
Here's the full exchange.
Q Mr. President, I would like to know why it is that you and others in your administration keep linking 9/11 to the invasion of Iraq when no respected journalist or Middle Eastern expert confirmed that such a link existed.So, did Bush answer the question? Fuck no.
THE PRESIDENT: What did she -- I missed the question. Sorry. I didn't -- I beg your pardon, I didn't hear you. Seriously.
Q I would like to know why you and others in your administration invoke 9/11 as justification for the invasion of Iraq --
THE PRESIDENT: Yes --
Q -- when no respected journalists or other Middle Eastern experts confirm that such a link existed.
THE PRESIDENT: I appreciate that. 9/11 changed my look on foreign policy. I mean, it said that oceans no longer protect us, that we can't take threats for granted; that if we see a threat, we've got to deal with it. It doesn't have to be militarily, necessarily, but we got to deal with it. We can't -- can't just hope for the best anymore.
And so the first decision I made, as you know, was to -- was to deal with the Taliban in Afghanistan because they were harboring terrorists. This is where the terrorists planned and plotted. And the second decision, -- which was a very difficult decision for me, by the way, and it's one that I -- I didn't take lightly -- was that Saddam Hussein was a threat. He is a declared enemy of the United States; he had used weapons of mass destruction; the entire world thought he had weapons of mass destruction. The United Nations had declared in more than 10 -- I can't remember the exact number of resolutions -- that disclose, or disarm, or face serious consequences. I mean, there was a serious international effort to say to Saddam Hussein, you're a threat. And the 9/11 attacks extenuated that threat, as far as I -- concerned.
And so we gave Saddam Hussein the chance to disclose or disarm, and he refused. And I made a tough decision. And knowing what I know today, I'd make the decision again. Removing Saddam Hussein makes this world a better place and America a safer country. (Applause.)
Did he babble defensively? Fuck yes.
Did he work in the guaranteed-to-get-applause line? Of course.
And Bush being Bush, he immediately segued into some folksy goofiness.
Last question. I've actually got something to do. (Laughter.) You're paying me all this money, I'd better get back to work. (Laughter.)Could the solution be as simple as that? If we stopped paying Bush, would he just go away?