First, someone asked, Hey, Bozo -- how come you ignored pre-war intelligence reports that invading Iraq would benefit Iran and al Qaeda -- y'know, our, like, enemies?
To which the Leader of the Free (sic) World responded, Blah blah, doubledy blah, did not, I know you are but so am I, TERRA!, Saddam, September Eeeeeleventh!
Later, in answer to another question, he said this:
And in a war against extremists and radicals like these, we ought to be listening carefully to what they say. We ought to take their words seriously. There have been moments in history where others haven't taken the words of people seriously and they suffered. So I'm taking them seriously.So let me get this straight. Some dude in a cave somewhere posts a video to al-YouTube saying he wants to blow stuff up real good and force the infidels to bow toward Mecca five times a day = OHMYGOD Terror Terror Terror Listen! Go! War! Fight! These are serious people with, like, agendas and stuff!
U.S. Intelligence services say, Hey, Nation X would be stronger if they didn't have to worry about their mortal enemy, Nation Y, currently led by Deranged International Tyrant No. 3,432; oh, and so would Teh Terrorists, who are incidental enemies of Nation Y = Eh, throw the report on the table over there; I'll have Condi look at it on the way to Crawford next month. Or not. And pass the pretzels.
But those exchanges came at the beginning and end of his press conference. Much like an Oreo cookie, the best stuff was in the middle. There were two sequences that were just, well, insane. Here's the first:
Q Thank you, Mr. President. You say you want nothing short of victory, that leaving Iraq would be catastrophic; you once again mentioned al Qaeda. Does that mean that you are willing to leave American troops there, no matter what the Iraqi government does? I know this is a question we've asked before, but you can begin it with a "yes" or "no."
THE PRESIDENT: We are there at the invitation of the Iraqi government. This is a sovereign nation. Twelve million people went to the polls to approve a constitution. It's their government's choice. If they were to say, leave, we would leave.
Q -- catastrophic, as you've said over and over again?
THE PRESIDENT: I would hope that they would recognize that the results would be catastrophic. This is a sovereign nation, Martha. We are there at their request. And hopefully the Iraqi government would be wise enough to recognize that without coalition troops, the U.S. troops, that they would endanger their very existence. And it's why we work very closely with them, to make sure that the realities are such that they wouldn't make that request -- but if they were to make the request, we wouldn't be there.
So we're engaged in the defining existential fight of our generation, in which Iraq is the central front, we can't leave until the mission is, finally, accomplished.*
*But, like a summer lawn party in Kennebunkport, we'll leave if our "hosts" ask us to.
Second, someone finally, finally, finally, asked not only WHERE'S BIN LADEN, but, AND WHY IS HE THERE? Bush's response:
THE PRESIDENT: I would say that five years ago, like I said, we're going to pursue him, and we are pursuing him. And he's hiding. He is in a remote region of the world. If I knew precisely where he is, we would take the appropriate action to bring him to justice. He is attempting to establish a base of operations in Iraq. He hasn't established a base in operations. My points yesterday were, here was his intentions, but thankfully, of the three people I named, all of them no longer are a part of his operation.
My point is, is that -- I was making the point, Jim, as I'm sure you recognized, that if we leave, they follow us. And my point was, was that Osama bin Laden was establishing an external cell there, or trying to, and he's been unable to do it. Precisely my point. That's why we've got to stay engaged. Had he been able to establish an internal cell that had safe haven, we would be a lot more in danger today than we are. His organization is a risk. We will continue to pursue as hard as we possibly can. We will do everything we can to bring him and others to justice.
We have had good success in the chief operating officer position of al Qaeda. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Ramzi al Rabium -- there's a lot of names, some of whom I mentioned yesterday, that are no longer a threat to the United States. We will continue to work to bring him to justice -- that's exactly what the American people expect us to do -- and in the meantime, use the tools we put in place to protect this homeland.
We are under threat. Some may say, well, he's just saying that to get people to pay attention to him, or try to scare them into -- for some reason -- I would hope our world hadn't become so cynical that they don't take the threats of al Qaeda seriously, because they're real. And it's a danger to the American people. It's a danger to your children, Jim. And it's really important that we do all we can do to bring them to justice.
Q Mr. President, why is he still at large?
THE PRESIDENT: Why is he at large? Because we haven't got him yet, Jim. That's why. And he's hiding, and we're looking, and we will continue to look until we bring him to justice. We've brought a lot of his buddies to justice, but not him. That's why he's still at large.
...and here I'm going to interrupt the president's "answer." Now, it may have been slightly incongruous to refer to bin Laden's fellow al Qaeda operatives as "his buddies," but it's really not all that surprising or out of character for this president. But this little malapropism is just a hiccup, a speed bump on the line, giving little indication of how violently and suddenly this particular rhetorical train is about to jump the tracks. Here's the rest of his floundering gibberish:
He's not out there traipsing around, he's not leading many parades, however. He's not out feeding the hungry. He's isolated, trying to kill people to achieve his objective.
Seriously: WTF? "Traipsing around?" Leading parades? Feeding the hungry? What The Fuck is Dubya trying to say here? And why is he trying to say it? ANSWER THE QUESTION!