Saturday, April 17, 2004
Q: (Egyptian President) Hosni Mubarak is saying the new U.S. policy on the West Bank could escalate violence. How do you respond to his concerns?
BUSH: Yes, I think this is a fantastic opportunity.
Which got me intersted, so I looked up the transcript.
First let's look at how the question/answer session opens
BUSH: Thank you, sir.
We will take three questions a side. So why don't you ask one question to each of us?
Q: Mr. President, did you ask Secretary (of Defense Donald H.) Rumsfeld to draw up war plans against Iraq in November 2001, just as the military action was getting under way in Afghanistan? Why couldn't Iraq wait?
And, Mr. Prime Minister...
BUSH: No, I thought we had one question apiece. Not one questioner, one question apiece.
BUSH: But the impression I got from having sat with the man right upstairs here in the White House was he views it as a hopeful moment as well and made it clear that it's a part of the road map process, and knows what I know: that as we gain confidence in a Palestinian leadership and a Palestinian state that committed itself to peace, further progress will be made - further progress will be made on territory.
And therefore at the final status discussions - and I repeat, which are not being prejudged by the American government, as stated clearly on Wednesday - will be easier to deal with. And that's what's important.
Seize the moment is what the prime minister's saying.
That's the Palestinian fear, I believe.
You have to check out the last question "Q: Mr. President, if I could just ask you about Iraq again, the fact of the matter is that weapons of mass destruction have not been found and that a link between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaida has not been proved and that a year on, troop numbers are coming up, not coming down. So however determined you are to make a better Iraq, isn't the awkward fact for both of you that you misled your peoples in taking troops to war and shedding blood as a result?"
And Blair dives in with a long and thoughtful reaction even though it was directed at Bush -- Bush says, "Good job, prime minister." And we wonder why he want to meet the commission with Cheney. Sheesh.