Skip to comments.What I Really Said About Iraq
Posted on 10/08/2004 8:25:49 AM PDT by Kaslin
n recent days, attention has been focused on some remarks I've made about Iraq. The coverage of these remarks has elicited far more heat than light, so I believe it's important to put my remarks in the correct context.
In my speeches, I have said that the United States paid a price for not stopping the looting in Iraq in the immediate aftermath of major combat operations and that we did not have enough troops on the ground to accomplish that task. The press and critics of the war have seized on these remarks in an effort to undermine President Bush's Iraq policy.
This effort won't succeed. Let me explain why.
It's no secret that during my time in Iraq I had tactical disagreements with others, including military commanders on the ground. Such disagreements among individuals of good will happen all the time, particularly in war and postwar situations. I believe it would have been helpful to have had more troops early on to stop the looting that did so much damage to Iraq's already decrepit infrastructure. The military commanders believed we had enough American troops in Iraq and that having a larger American military presence would have been counterproductive because it would have alienated Iraqis. That was a reasonable point of view, and it may have been right. The truth is that we'll never know.
But during the 14 months I was in Iraq, the administration, the military and I all agreed that the coalition's top priority was a broad, sustained effort to train Iraqis to take more responsibility for their own security. This effort, financed in large measure by the emergency supplemental budget approved by Congress last year, continues today. In the end, Iraq's security must depend on Iraqis.
Our troops continue to work closely with Iraqis to isolate and destroy terrorist strongholds. And the United States is supporting Prime Minister Ayad Allawi in his determined effort to bring security and democracy to Iraq. Elections will be held in January and, though there will be challenges and hardships, progress is being made. For the task before us now, I believe we have enough troops in Iraq.
The press has been curiously reluctant to report my constant public support for the president's strategy in Iraq and his policies to fight terrorism. I have been involved in the war on terrorism for two decades, and in my view no world leader has better understood the stakes in this global war than President Bush.
The president was right when he concluded that Saddam Hussein was a menace who needed to be removed from power. He understands that our enemies are not confined to Al Qaeda, and certainly not just to Osama bin Laden, who is probably trapped in his hide-out in Afghanistan. As the bipartisan 9/11 commission reported, there were contacts between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein's regime going back a decade. We will win the war against global terror only by staying on the offensive and confronting terrorists and state sponsors of terror - wherever they are. Right now, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a Qaeda ally, is a dangerous threat. He is in Iraq.
President Bush has said that Iraq is the central front in the war on terror. He is right. Mr. Zarqawi's stated goal is to kill Americans, set off a sectarian war in Iraq and defeat democracy there. He is our enemy.
Our victory also depends on devoting the resources necessary to win this war. So last year, President Bush asked the American people to make available $87 billion for military and reconstruction operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The military commanders and I strongly agreed on the importance of these funds, which is why we stood together before Congress to make the case for their approval. The overwhelming majority of Congress understood and provided the funds needed to fight the war and win the peace in Iraq and Afghanistan. These were vital resources that Senator John Kerry voted to deny our troops.
Mr. Kerry is free to quote my comments about Iraq. But for the sake of honesty he should also point out that I have repeatedly said, including in all my speeches in recent weeks, that President Bush made a correct and courageous decision to liberate Iraq from Saddam Hussein's brutality, and that the president is correct to see the war in Iraq as a central front in the war on terrorism.
A year and a half ago, President Bush asked me to come to the Oval Office to discuss my going to Iraq to head the coalition authority. He asked me bluntly, "Why would you want to leave private life and take on such a difficult, dangerous and probably thankless job?" Without hesitation, I answered, "Because I believe in your vision for Iraq and would be honored to help you make it a reality." Today America and the coalition are making steady progress toward that vision.
L. Paul Bremer III, former chairman of the National Commission on Terrorism, was the administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq from May 2003 to June 2004.
It was, excerpted. I can't give the Clymers at the Slimes a hit so thanks for the full article....
Excellent. Thanks for posting it.
Please, please, please, Mr. Bremer, get out in front of the cameras and microphones and work HARD to correct the harm that has been done by those using your words to attack our country and our President.
Shoud be posted everyday until the elections!
Well stated by Mr. Bremmer. Anyone care to bet that ot won't see 30 seconds of air time on any of the networks? One step further, now that he's come out with this statement, think we'll see Mr. Bremmer being interviewed? Wish he had sprung this one when he started getting the requests from the MSM for interviews.
Reading this makes me feel better.
The only way Bremer's going to be able to counter the media propaganda is to do the interview circuit.
Too Late Bremer
You should have realized the press was going to seize on your remarks about the troops
Sometimes I think these people are living in some dream world
Damage has been done and the MSM TV isn't going to give you the time of day now
You were used
But we know it won't be. It will be hardly mentioned if at all.
I don't either, but I used my secret weapon
He needs to call a Press Conference now... and he needs to specifically state how sorry he is that the liberal media and critics of the war twisted his comments out of context... The Media will stop at nothing to get Kerry elected...
Doesn't matter if MSM doesn't pick this up. This article completely disarms any mention by Kerry in the debate tonight of Bremer's comments - especially the second to last paragraph [Bush should memorize it].
Too bad the MSM isn't interested in the truth.
Great post! See that it gets to St. Louis asap!
IMO, Cheney should have rebuffed the Bremer quotes in the deabte. Edwards hit him with that one more than once and Cheney ignored it.
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