Press Conference, The White House, December 2007
Reporter: Mr. President, over the Thanksgiving weekend, the Pentagon reported that less than 2% of the people under detention by the military in Iraq are non-Iraqis. Specifically of the 25,000 detainees, fewer than 1000 are from other countries, and they are mainly from Saudi Arabia and Libya. Only a few Iranian nationals are included in the count.
President Shrub: Yes I have seen that report
Reporter: this information seems to suggest, sir, that the violence in Iraq is of a domestic nature, and it also would call into question if our military efforts there are having an impact on what you refer to as "The War on Terror." With the insurgents almost entirely Iraqi nationals, not outsiders attempting to form terror cells such as Al Queda in Iraq, are we in fact dealing with a civil war among the Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish factions in Iraq? And how much impact are we having on the war on terror if most of our military resources are deployed to deal with the civil insurrection going on there? And does it suggest that any linkage between the situation in Iraq with Iranian influences is a relatively unimportant factor in the conflict there, and should not be viewed as a reason to consider military engagement with Iran?
President Shrub: those are good questions, tough questions. What happened to good will toward men, including the President, around the holiday season. Heh, heh, jest kiddin'.
First of all, Iraq is better off with Saddam Hussein gone. And General Paterus' surge is working, Violence is down in Anbar province in recent weeks, back to 2006 levels. And if Congress wants to impose a timetable on bringing the troops home, I will veto it, and Congress will be held accountable for not supporting our troops, giving them what they need to get the job done.
Second, if we don't take the fight to the terrorists, they will bring the fight here to America. That's why we will continue to fight the war on terror in Iraq as long as I am President.
Third, Iran is part of the axis of evil. Some day, they might have nuclear capability. They have openly stated that. I have thought about the consequences of Iran having nuclear capability, and I don't like what I see. I do like what I see if I choose to use the military option against Iran, because it will set back their nuclear program for several years. Look, I can only be patient for so long, we have been trying to figure out how to talk with the Iranians for a few months now, how much longer can this go on? Time's a wastin'.
Reporter: Sir, respectfully, none of those responses address the specific questions that I asked you…
President Shrub: Hey, it was a 3 part question, and I remembered all 3 parts! Let's move on, I want to give the rest of you a chance to ask me about how democracy is taking hold around the world, and how proud I am to have Pakistani President Musharraf as a friend I can look in the eye. His efforts to provide the Pakistani people with a democratic government, to have a nuclear program that is for peaceful purposes and is secure, and his vigilance in rooting out the Taliban and Al Queda terrorists that dwell along his country's border with Afghanistan are among some of my proudest achievements during my time here in Washington
Press Secretary: Thank you Mr. President, may God bless America.