Thursday, June 05, 2008

Bush Reveals US In Iraq For Four Decades

From a previously unreleased President George W. Bush interview come some amazing revelations :

When NBC News correspondent Richard Engel sat down with President Bush last year for an interview, he had little idea how much Bush would reveal about his true intentions and his real sentiments about the war on terror and America’s allies and enemies.

Among the excerpts of the interview captured in Engel’s new book, “War Journal: My Five Years in Iraq”:

- “‘This is the great war of our times. It is going to take forty years,’” [Bush told Engel]. “Bush said in forty years the world would know if the war on terrorism, and conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, had reduced extremism, helped moderates, and promoted democracy.”

- Bush admits to Engel that going to war was a decision based on his personal instinct and not on any long-range strategy for the Mideast:

“I know people are saying we should have left things the way they were, but I changed after 9/11. I had to act. I don’t care if it created more enemies. I had to act.”

- Bush tells Engel that the election of Hamas was actually a positive development because it pressured Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas to make reforms:

I think the election of Hamas was a good thing. It proved to Abbas he was failing. I told Abbas, ‘You lost the election because you aren’t providing for your people, jobs, education, what people want.’ Now they know they have to compete.”

- And he says that Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is an obstacle to peace in the region:

The problem is Olmert. This is a man who came to power on a promise that he was going to unilaterally define a Palestinian state. You can’t pressure democracies.”

- Bush also explains that he’s open to meeting with Iran, describing the administration’s attempt at dialogue with Syria, but that he’s doubtful it would be effective:

We can have meetings. Talking is not the problem. We can talk to Iran. But Iran wants nuclear weapons and I’m not going to let that happen. Not on my watch. We tried to have dialogue with Syria, right after the war, didn’t get much.

[Syrian President Bashar] Asad didn’t deliver. We’d ask for ten al-Qaeda guys. They’d give us one.”