Dreams and other matters
From the "who would want to make this shit up?" file, on Thursday Bush said:
The government has got a solemn duty to protect America. And that's why we created the Department of Homeland Security. That's why we put out the Patriot Act, so our FBI and CIA can share intelligence to make sure we know who's here to hurt us. That's why the great United States military is on the offensive against -- (applause). The best way to protect us is to stay on the offensive and to find terrorists before they try to harm us again. And they will. That's what they're trying to do. Our solemn duty is to protect America.
There's a commission going on in Washington, D.C. It's a very important commission. It's a commission determined to look at the eight months of my administration and the eight years of the previous administration to determine what we can learn, what we can do to make sure we uphold our solemn duty. Had I known that the enemy was going to use airplanes to strike America, to attack us, I would have used every resource, every asset, every power of this government to protect the American people. (Applause.)
And then we found out we had some corporate leaders that didn't tell the truth. And it hurt us. It was another obstacle to overcome. You see, business numbers and accounting all depend upon honesty, and the fact that there were some in our society who were irresponsible citizens and who didn't tell the truth, it cost a lot of people jobs. It hurt our confidence. It was yet another hurdle to overcome. We reacted strongly, I want you to know. We passed tough laws. Perhaps you've seen on your TV screens some of the people that forgot to be responsible citizens getting their day in court. The message is -- should be loud and clear to people in the business world: We're not going to tolerate dishonesty in the boardrooms of America.
Part of the war on terror is to -- is broader than just al Qaeda. The war on terror encompasses other theaters, as well. You see, the lesson of September the 11th is we must deal with threats before they fully materialize. You can't just see a threat and hope it goes away. That's the lesson of September the 11th. Remember, prior to September the 11th, we thought oceans could protect us. But the strategic calculations of America must shift in order to do our duty to keep this country safe.
I saw a threat; the Congress saw a threat; the United Nations Security Council saw a threat in the form of Saddam Hussein. He was not only a threat to people in the Middle East because of terrorist ties; he's a threat to America or anybody else who loved freedom. He's a threat to his own people. He had torture chambers and mass graves.
And so I went to the United Nations. I think you might remember that -- (laughter) -- and said, deal with the guy. He's been out there for 11 years, defying every time you have said, disarm for the sake of peace, for the sake of freedom. And he ignored it. And so I said, we'll give him one more chance. And we did. The United Nations Security Council voted unanimously to say to Saddam, disarm or face serious consequences. And he was defiant once again. And given the lessons of September the 11th, I had a choice: You either take the word of a madman, a guy who had gassed his own people at one point in time, or defend America. I'll defend our country every time. (Applause.)
Thank you all. Thanks.
During the run up to the liberation of Iraq, on our TV screens you see, "March to War." That's hard to the business world. It's hard for job creators. It's not a very -- it's not -- you don't get a lot of confidence when you think your country is marching to war. War is negative. I did what I thought was right. Now we're marching to peace. But we overcame that part.
I am convinced that none of this is real and it is all a bad dream.
BTW, last night I apparently had a dream within a dream where I was at a table outside in a park sitting next to Bush and across from Kerry. I was having a delicious falafel, hummus and tomato sandwich. I do not recall what, if anything, Bush and Kerry were having but they were going on about whatever it is that they talk about. Before they could reach "on and on," however, I started screaming at them. Words weren't coming from me, just shrieks.
"The Whole Iraq" is my latest Press Action piece.
food for thought
Noam Chomsky has a blog.
I may get around to talking about Richard Clarke, but for now go watch Jon Stewart.
John F. Burns and Thom Shanker of The New York Times report on Iraqi democracy, freedom and all good things:
With fewer than 100 days to go before Iraq resumes its sovereignty, American officials say they believe they have found a legal basis for American troops to continue their military control over the security situation in Iraq.
After months of concern about the legal status of the 110,000 American troops who are expected to remain here after the occupation formally ends on June 30, the officials say they believe an existing United Nations resolution approving the presence of a multinational force in Iraq, approved by the Security Council in October, gives American commanders the authority needed to maintain control after sovereignty is handed back.
Showing his confidence that the approach was grounded in international law, L. Paul Bremer III, the chief of the occupation authority, issued an executive order this week specifying that the newly formed Iraqi armed forces be placed under the operational control of the American commander, Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez, who has been named to lead American and allied forces after the transfer of political authority to the Iraqis.
I hear that outside of the U.S. "freedom" is defined as being told what to do by the U.S. They like it that way.