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Happy Stories About Iraq Are At The Forefront On Fox Again

Reported by Donna - March 20, 2006

In monitoring Fox New Live from 12 noon to 1 p.m. we got a dose of Happy Iraq stories from Bill Hemmer who was reporting from Camp Fallujah. He spoke with Major General Richard Zilmer about all of the progress that's being made in Iraq and how great the morale of the troops was.

However, the segment was cut short by President Bush's speech in Cleveland at the City Club of Cleveland . His speech was filled with the wonderful story of the city of Tal Afar. But that wasn't telling. What was telling was how President Bush, during the question and answer session, either didn't choose to answer or didn't understand the question. I caught one of the questions at the end of my monitoring time. The question was surprising, the answer was shocking. The President completely didn't understand or chose not to answer the question and instead started to ramble about 9/11 and the war on terror.

The first question came from a woman in the audience and her question was: "Thank you for coming to Cleveland, Mr. Prresident and the Cleveland Club. My question is that author and former Nixon administration official, Kevin (it sounded like 'Captain', thanks to reader Max for the correction) Phillips ,in his latest book, American Theocracy, discusses what has been called radical Chritianity and it's growing involvement into government and politics. He makes the point that members of your administration have reached out to prophetic Christians who see the war in Iraq and the rise in terrorism as signs of the apocalypse. Do you believe this? That the war in Iraq and the rise in terrosim are signs of the apocalypse. And, if not, why not?"

President Bush: Um..uh...er...(laughter from audience and Bush)...um..uh... I....the answer is...I haven't really thought of it that way (heh, heh) (crowd laughs). Here's how I think of it. Um...first, I've heard of that by the way. I..uh.. the...uh..I, I guess...um...I'm more of a practical fellow. I vowed after September 11th that I would do everything I could to protect the American people. And...uh...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 hijcacked airplanes...uh...into facilities of people, innocent people doing nothing, just sitting there going to work. I also knew this about this war on terror that...uh..that uh....the farther we got away from September 11th the more likely that people would, you iknow, seek comfort and not think about this global war on terror as a global war on terror. And, that's good, by the way.

It's hard to take risks if you're a small business owner, for example, if you're worried that the next attack is going to come tomorrow. (heh) I understand that. (Comment: Excuse me, but what the hell is he talking about and why mention small business owners all of the time?)

But I also understand that my most important job, the most important job of any president today and I predict, down the road, is to protect America. And so..uh..I...uh..told the American people that we would..um...find the terrorists and bring them to justice. And we needed to defeat them overseas so we wouldn't have to face them here at home.

I also understood that the war on terror required some clear doctrine. And one of the doctrines that I laid out was that if you harbor a terrorist you're equally as guilty as the terrorist. (Comment: Unless you're Saudi Arabia or Pakistan, or.......) And...and..uh...and...so...uh..the first time that doctrine was really challenged was in Afghanistan. Now, I guess the Taliban didn't believe us, or me. And so we acted. 25 million people now are free. And Afghanistan is no longer a safe haven for the terrorists. (Comment: Taliban factions are still in Afghanistan and heroin production has gone up from 74 metric tons under the Taliban to now, under U.S. control, 3600 metric tons, an amount that is equal to 90 percent of the world's supply)

And the other doctrine that's really important and it's a change of attitude. It's going to require a change of attitude for a while in that when you see a threat you've got to deal with it before it hurts you. (heh-heh) (Comment: What's with the nervous laugh all of the time?)

Foreign policy used to be dictated by the fact that we had two oceans to protect us. Even if we saw a threat (we) could deal with it if we needed to, or not. But we would be safe. My most important job is to protect you. It's to protect the American people. Therefore when we see threats given the lesson of September 11th, we've got to deal with thm. That does not mean militarily (pause) necessarily.

Obviously the first job of a president has got to be diplomacy. That's what you're watching in Iran right now. I see a threat in Iran. I'm kinda getting off subject here, not because I don't want to answer your question (Comment: Does he even know or understand the question?) but I guess that's what happens in Washington. We get a little long winded. (Comment: Or maybe you don't understand or want to answer the question?) (laughter from audience)

But, now that I'm on Iran (more laughter from audience, smiling smirk from the president). The threat to Iran, of course (heh from President, laughter from the audience). The threat of Iran, of course, their stated objective is to destroy our strong ally, Israel. That's a threat, a serious threat. It's a threat to world peace. It's a threat, in essence, to..to..a long alliance. I made it clear and I'll make it clear again that we will use military might to protect our ally, Israel.

And, um...(applause) at any rate, our objective is to solve this issue diplomatically and so our message must b a united message. A message not only from the United States, but from Great Britain and France and Germany as well as Russia, hopefully, and China.

In order to say to Iran loud and clearly that, this is unacceptable behavior. Your desire to have a nuclear weapon is unacceptable.

And so, to answer your question, (Comment: finally) I take a practical view of doing the job that you want me to do which is how do we defeat an enemy that still wants to hurt us. And how do we deal with threats before they fully materialize? What do we do to protect us (pause) from harm? That's my job. and that job came home on September the 11th for me. Loud and clear.

And I think about my job of protecting you everyday. Every single day of the presidency. I'm concerned about the safety of the American people.

Comments: The next question was in regard to WMD's, Iraqi and 9/11 ties and Iraq trying to find uranium in Niger as all found out as false and why should the American people trust the intelligence now. President Bush said, 'I don't think I ever said there was a direct link to 9/11 and Iraq." But, I'll let the News Hound who covers our 1 to 2 p.m. coverage tell you about that.

My point was this was a 'happy Iraqi' segment. But, I had to share the question that came at the end of my monitoring duties to show you how the president not only didn't answer the question but started rambling about 9/11 and protecting the American people. Maybe someone can explain how he could take a question like that and answer it in the manner that he did -- I'm at a loss. And if he said one more time about 'my job is protecting Americans' I think I was going to lose it. What did that have to do with whether he and this administration are involved with radical Chritianity?

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