Jawdropping Press Briefing on Iraq from the White House

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Press Briefing from the White House a few days ago:

Q At the earlier briefing, Ari, you said that the President deplored the taking of innocent lives. Does that apply to all innocent lives in the world? And I have a follow-up.

MR. FLEISCHER: I refer specifically to a horrible terrorist attack on Tel Aviv that killed scores and wounded hundreds. And the President, as he said in his statement yesterday, deplores in the strongest terms the taking of those lives and the wounding of those people, innocents in Israel.

Q My follow-up is, why does he want to drop bombs on innocent Iraqis?

MR. FLEISCHER: Helen, the question is how to protect Americans, and our allies and friends --

Q They're not attacking you.

(it gets better; read on ....)

MR. FLEISCHER: -- from a country --

Q Have they laid the glove on you or on the United States, the Iraqis, in 11 years?

MR. FLEISCHER: I guess you have forgotten about the Americans who were killed in the first Gulf War as a result of Saddam Hussein's aggression then.

Q Is this revenge, 11 years of revenge?

MR. FLEISCHER: Helen, I think you know very well that the President's position is that he wants to avert war, and that the President has asked the United Nations to go into Iraq to help with the purpose of averting war.

Q Would the President attack innocent Iraqi lives?

MR. FLEISCHER: The President wants to make certain that he can defend our country, defend our interests, defend the region, and make certain that American lives are not lost.

Q And he thinks they are a threat to us?

MR. FLEISCHER: There is no question that the President thinks that Iraq is a threat to the United States.

Q The Iraqi people?

MR. FLEISCHER: The Iraqi people are represented by their government. If there was regime change, the Iraqi --

Q So they will be vulnerable?

MR. FLEISCHER: Actually, the President has made it very clear that he has not dispute with the people of Iraq. That's why the American policy remains a policy of regime change. There is no question the people of Iraq --

Q That's a decision for them to make, isn't it? It's their country.

MR. FLEISCHER: Helen, if you think that the people of Iraq are in a position to dictate who their dictator is, I don't think that has been what history has shown.

Q I think many countries don't have -- people don't have the decision -- including us.

In the rest of the briefing there are more laughs or scares, depending on how cynical you are already.

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If you still aren't convinced that we are facing war in the middle east very shortly, this transcript from a Read More

Bomb others as you would have them bomb you from Tread lightly on the things of earth on January 11, 2003 12:37 PM

Ask notes a "jawdropping press briefing on Iraq from the White House" (original briefing here). For me, the exchange highlights U.S. policy schizophrenia -- a commitment against "the taking of innocent lives" alongside an obsession with bombing Iraq. C... Read More


Wow, I thought you were joking when this was posted. A hypothetical conversation, or, ohh god, *something make believe.* :-)

Yes, it would make for great satire if it wasn't true.

What's sad is that a "reporter" would be so unprofessional, to compare Iraq to the United States. Who does she think she's kidding? No objective observer could agree with the sentiment. Pretty shabby.

And as to the Iraqi people ... what's her point? That innocent people die in war, that war sucks? Oh, that's a newsflash. I doubt she would have asked those questions of Rumsfeld, because he would have given her the answers, and she didn't want answers, she just wanted to put Ari in an uncomfortable position. Pretty shabby.

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This page contains a single entry by Ask Bjørn Hansen published on January 9, 2003 4:57 PM.

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