If you missed this morning’s presidential press conference, be sure to read the transcript. I caught bits of it while driving and found myself cheering. This is the Bush those of us who want plain, clear talk about the threat of terrorism want to hear more often.
Q Thank you, Mr. President. Mr. President, former Secretary of State Colin Powell says the world is beginning to doubt the moral basis of our fight against terrorism. If a former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and former Secretary of State feels this way, don’t you think that Americans and the rest of the world are beginning to wonder whether you’re following a flawed strategy?
THE PRESIDENT: If there’s any comparison between the compassion and decency of the American people and the terrorist tactics of extremists, it’s flawed logic. I simply can’t accept that. It’s unacceptable to think that there’s any kind of comparison between the behavior of the United States of America and the action of Islamic extremists who kill innocent women and children to achieve an objective, Terry.
My job, and the job of people here in Washington, D.C., is to protect this country. We didn’t ask for this war. You might remember the 2000 campaign. I don’t remember spending much time talking about what it might be like to be a Commander-in-Chief in a different kind of war. But this enemy has struck us and they want to strike us again. And we will give our folks the tools necessary to protect the country; that’s our job.
It’s a dangerous world. I wish it wasn’t that way. I wish I could tell the American people, don’t worry about it, they’re not coming again. But they are coming again. And that’s why I’ve sent this legislation up to Congress, and that’s why we’ll continue to work with allies in building a vast coalition, to protect not only ourselves, but them. The facts are, is that after 9/11, this enemy continued to attack and kill innocent people.
I happen to believe that they’re bound by a common ideology. Matter of fact, I don’t believe that, I know they are. And they want to impose that ideology throughout the broader Middle East. That’s what they have said. It makes sense for the Commander-in-Chief, and all of us involved in protecting this country to listen to the words of the enemy. And I take their words seriously. And that’s what’s going to be necessary to protect this country, is to listen carefully to what they say and stay ahead of them as they try to attack us.Be sure to read the part about the Detainee Treatment Act. I did not excerpt it here because it was a bit lengthy.