I heard President Bush’s press conference on the radio as I was driving home tonight, and I thought that his answers to the questions he was asked were full of Bartlett’s-worthy material. I would guess that most press reports will focus on the president’s statement of his intention to protect the American people whether or not he has the express permission of the UN Security Council.
But the press conference was of interest in its entirety. For a transcript of the press conference, click here.
For a moron, he was incredibly articulate: “The risk of doing nothing, the risk of hoping that Saddam Hussein changes his mind and becomes a gentle soul, the risk that somehow inaction will make the world safer, is a risk I’m not willing to take for the American people.”
For a bastard, he was incredibly gracious to President Clinton (in a way I have never heard him treated by Clinton): “We’ve tried bilateral negotiations with North Korea. My predecessor, in a good-faith effort, entered into a framework agreement. The United States honored its side of the agreement; North Korea didn’t.”
He was even eloquent: “Saddam Hussein is a threat to our nation. September the 11th changed the strategic thinking, at least as far as I was concerned, for how to protect our country. My job is to protect the American people. It used to be that we could think that you could contain a person like Saddam Hussein, that oceans would protect us from his type of terror. September the 11th should say to the American people that we are now a battlefield, that weapons of mass destruction in the hands of a terrorist organization could be deployed here at home. So therefore I think the threat is real. And so do a lot of other people in my government. And since I believe the threat is real and since my most important job is to protect the security of the American people, that’s precisely what we will do.”
And he connected with the American people in a powerfully genuine manner: “One thing that’s really great about our country is that there are thousands of people who pray for me who I’ll never see and be able to thank. But it’s a humbling experience to think that people I will never have met have lifted me and my family up in prayer. And for that I’m grateful. It’s been a comforting feeling to know that is true.”
My favorite line: “We love freedom, and we aren’t changin’.”
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“Arise and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time.” Winston Churchill
“Proclaim Liberty throughout All the land unto All the Inhabitants Thereof.” Inscription on the Liberty Bell