In-case you missed the Bush interview on 60 Minutes allow me to sum it up: I'm the Prez, so fuck off. The President answered questions on the only things that matter to anyone, anywhere, anymore: the war in Iraq, terrorism, mistakes, and how the world is a better place without dictators who have a tenuous grasp on reality (hypothetically, of course).
The questioning began on the current lack of support for the war in Iraq. Bush said failure in Iraq would embolden the enemy. It would provide a safe heaven for terrorists. It would empower Iran. If we fail in Iraq the enemy would follow us here.
(Interviewer Scott Pelley gave Bush a good deal of time to dole out enough rope to hang himself by. If losing in Iraq is that dangerous, if Iraq is that essential to global security, shouldn't we have given it a little more thought from the beginning? And that is exactly where the interview went.)
PELLEY: But wasn't it your administration that created the instability in Iraq?
And then the President tried to explain how Iraq was unstable before we invaded.
BUSH: He was a significant source of instability.
PELLEY: It's much more unstable now, Mr. President.
BUSH: Well, no question decisions have made things unstable. But the question is can we succeed. And I believe we can.
(The President had just defined "success" as not empowering Iran, not providing a safe haven for Iraq. Before we invaded Iraq was Iran's sworn enemy, and a secularist country most terrorists hated.)
After discussion various Presidential mistakes Pelley asked if we didn't owe the Iraqi people an apology.
BUSH: That we didn't do a better job or they didn't do a better job?
PELLEY: Well, that the United States did not do a better job in providing security after the invasion.
BUSH: Not at all. I am proud of the efforts we did. We liberated that country from a tyrant. I think the Iraqi people owe the American people a huge debt of gratitude, and I believe most Iraqis express that. I mean, the people understand that we've endured great sacrifice to help them. That's the problem here in America. They wonder whether or not there is a gratitude level that's significant enough in Iraq.
Then Pelley asked Bush about al-Sadr, who every expert knows is running the Maliki government.
PELLEY: You don't fear that al-Sadr's actually running the show?
BUSH: He may wanna be but, no, I don't think he is.
Then Pelley went to the video of Saddam's execution. Saddam's was executed to shouts of "Muqtada!" But Bush didn't make the subtle connection that while the Maliki government hanged Saddam, the Iraqi people themselves saw it as the hand of al-Sadr moving. Also, the President, who governed over 131 executions in the state of Texas, seemed uncomfortable viewing capital punishment at work.
PELLEY: Well, you keep saying "parts of it." What do you mean you didn't wanna watch the whole thing?
BUSH: I wasn't sure what to anticipate beyond the yelling and stuff like that. And I didn't . . .
PELLEY: You didn't wanna see him go through the trapdoor.
BUSH: Yeah. Yes. I didn't.
(Yeah, capital punishment is unwatchable isn't it?)
Then, the conversation turned to The President's new plan.
PELLEY: Do you believe that the House has the constitutional authority to prevent you from the troop build-up? Can they stop you?
BUSH: By not funding the troops I suspect is what you're referring to.
PELLEY: That would be one . . .
BUSH: I assume that's one of their options. I will fight that, of course. 'Cause I think when you got a soldier in harm's way, they deserve a full support.
(In other words, if, hypothetically, a delusional president ordered the invasion of a country, and that move turned out to be such a disastrous mistake he ordered more troops in to correct it, he has a blank check from congress.)
Bush then talked about how the Democrats have no plan and that, ironically, it's not the Democrats's responsibility to have a plan but he wants the Democrats to explain why their plan will work.
Pelley told Bush that most Americans feel he hasn't been straightforward with the country.
"On which issue?" the President asked.
And Pelley started to rattle off issue after issue until the President stopped him.
(Ohhhh, those issues? Bush, of course, then rejected the entire line of thought.)
PELLEY: You seem to be saying that you may have been wrong but you weren't dishonest.
BUSH: Oh, absolutely.
PELLEY: When was it that you first found out or it dawned on you that, indeed, there were no weapons of mass destruction? And I wonder, did you think, "What have I done?"
BUSH: I wondered what went wrong, because you can't conduct this war on terror unless you've got good intelligence. And so the first thing I did was I put a commission together to take a good, hard look at what did go...
(Actually, civilians came up with the idea of the 9/11 Commission, which the president rejected. The Democrats picked it up and finally the President caved and agreed to let the commission go forward. After that the President gave CIA Director George Tenent the Medal of Freedom.)
PELLEY: I wonder if you feel like you've been ill-served by your Cabinet members, [Defense Secretary] Mr. [Donald] Rumsfeld, perhaps even Vice-President [Dick] Cheney. Wrong on WMD. Wrong on the connection between 9/11 and Iraq. And now you're in a fix. And I wonder if you look back and wonder who let you down.
BUSH: Let me correct something on this connection between Saddam Hussein and 9/11. That was never the case in this administration. You know, I always said we never had evidence that Saddam Hussein ordered the attacks on 9/11. And so I don't know who continues to say that.
PELLEY: The vice-president suggested there was a connection, not necessarily 9/11, but certainly to al-Qaeda.
BUSH: [Al Qaeda’s Abu Musab] al-Zarqawi was in Iraq. But rather than debating the past, let me get back to the question.
PELLEY: Yes, sir.
BUSH: The vice-president's been a great vice-president. And Don Rumsfeld did a really find job as Secretary of Defense. Quite the contrary, I feel like this country is blessed to have those kind of people serving.
PELLEY: Vice-president involved in these war plans?
PELLEY: As much as he ever has been?
BUSH: Oh, yeah, sure. I mean, I rely upon my National Security Council, and I expect everybody to make contributions, and I expect to hear everybody's opinions. And when I make up my mind, I expect them to salute and say, "Yes, sir, Mr. President."
PELLEY: Final question. How can you escalate the war when so many people in this country seem to be against it?
BUSH: The best way to succeed at this point in time is to increase troops in Baghdad to stop the sectarian violence so that a political process, an economic process . . . so that the will of the 12 million people that voted in Iraq can be realized.
(The will of 12 million Iraqi's trumps the will of the American people.)
BUSH: Scott, sometimes you're the commander-in-chief, sometimes you're the educator-in-chief, and a lot of times you're both when it comes to war.
(Did Bush has just appointed himself Educator-in-Chief? Sweet Jesus...life is now officially worse than middle school!)
BUSH: I believe there ought to be a Palestinian democracy.
(There is a Palestinian democracy. Just no Palestinian state.)
BUSH: I think it's interesting that in the midst of all the troubles, that there are people who are actively fighting a form of government which is beneficial to people, and that's democracy. We are in an ideological struggle, and it's a really classic ideological struggle, and Iraq is part of it. And it's very important for me to not only continue to explain why I believe we can be successful in Iraq but explain to people that what happens in the Middle East will affect the future of this country.
(BUSH: Cheney sings that to me when he tucks me in at night.)
he entire 60 Minutes transcript
The Shameless President on 60 Minutes
I found one dissent:
What Liberal Media?