...[I]magine a world in which Saddam Hussein was there, stirring up even more trouble in a part of the world that had so much resentment and so much hatred that people came and killed 3,000 of our citizens.
You know, I've heard this theory about everything was just fine until we arrived, and kind of "we're going to stir up the hornet's nest" theory. It just doesn't hold water, as far as I'm concerned. The terrorists attacked us and killed 3,000 of our citizens before we started the freedom agenda in the Middle East.
Q What did Iraq have to do with that?
THE PRESIDENT: What did Iraq have to do with what?
Q The attack on the World Trade Center?
THE PRESIDENT: Nothing, except for it's part of -- and nobody has ever suggested in this administration that Saddam Hussein ordered the attack. Iraq was a -- the lesson of September the 11th is, take threats before they fully materialize, Ken. Nobody has ever suggested that the attacks of September the 11th were ordered by Iraq. I have suggested, however, that resentment and the lack of hope create the breeding grounds for terrorists who are willing to use suiciders to kill to achieve an objective. I have made that case.
And one way to defeat that -- defeat resentment is with hope. And the best way to do hope is through a form of government.
- Fifteen of the nineteen hijackers in the 9-11 attacks were from Saudi Arabia. I guess it depends on what you consider "a part of the world that had so much resentment and so much hatred that people came and killed 3,000 of our citizens." None of the 19 were from Iraq.
- Last week, a plot to blow up airplanes was thwarted when 22 people were arrested in... England. What is it about British parliamentary democracy that causes "resentment and the lack of hope" and creates "the breeding grounds for terrorists who are willing to use suiciders to kill to achieve an objective"? The 7-7 bombers were also homegrown Brits. Is it because they still celebrate Guy Fawkes Day?
- Earlier this year, a plot to blow up buildings in the U.S. was thwarted when 7 people were arrested in... Miami. Is it any coincidence that people who closely witnessed the Florida recount in 2000 would feel resentment and the lack of hope?
- Aside from 9-11, the most violent and deadly terrorist attack in this country was carried out by... a right wing Republican NRA member and Gulf War veteran. Imagine a world where the leaders of those movements could stir up even more trouble in a part of the world that had so much resentment and so much hatred that people came and killed our citizens.
- More than 2,600 of our citizens have now been killed in Iraq.
What is he talking about? Hamas, which has been responsible for much of the violence in Gaza, won the Palestinian territory's parliamentary elections. Hezbollah, which started its recent war with Israel, holds a substantial minority of seats in Lebanon's parliament and would probably win many more seats if a new election were held tomorrow. Many of the militants waging sectarian battle in Iraq have representation in Baghdad's popularly elected parliament.
The key reality that Bush fails to grasp is that terrorism and democracy are not opposites. They can, and sometimes do, coexist. One is not a cure for the other.