Wednesday, January 26, 2005

George W. Bush, conquering his own little Iwo Jima.
the fundamental question is: Can we advance that history? And that's what my inauguration speech said. It said, yes, we can. I firmly planted the flag of liberty, for all to see that the United States of America hears their concerns and believes in their aspirations.
Another golden moment from today's press conference was when Bush once again demonstrated that he doesn't read anything, even major public statements from his own top foreign policy advisors in the most prominent and influential foreign relations publication in the country.
Q Mr. President, Dr. Rice again -- quoting your future Secretary of State, wrote in "Foreign Affairs Magazine" in 2000, outlining what a potential Bush administration foreign policy would be, talked about things like security interests, free trade pacts, confronting rogue nations, dealing with great powers like China and Russia -- but promotion of democracy and liberty around the world was not a signature element of that prescription. I'm wondering what's changed since 2000 that has made this such an important element of your foreign policy.

THE PRESIDENT: I'm the President; I set the course of this administration. I believe freedom is necessary in order to promote peace, Peter. I haven't seen the article you're referring to. I can assure you that Condi Rice agrees with me that it's necessary to promote democracy. I haven't seen the article, I didn't read the article. Obviously, it wasn't part of her job interview. (Laughter.)
When did wanton ignorance become an attractive personality trait? It should be no time before one of my students tries the "I haven't seen the article, I didn't read the article" line out on me. I mean, how can anyone look their students in the eye and tell them that they must do the readings, after they see the president of the United States say things like this to the entire nation on television? Mr. President, what will we tell the children?

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