And Bush failed to answer her question. He tried to sidestep it by talking about Afghanistan. When he didn't get away with that, he lied about Iraq.
"HELEN: I'd like to ask you, Mr. President, your decision to invade Iraq has caused the deaths of thousands of Americans and Iraqis, wounds of Americans and Iraqis for a lifetime. Every reason given, publicly at least, has turned out not to be true."She's right. Every reason given HAS turned out not to be true.
"HELEN: My question is, why did you really want to go to war?"DAMNED good question.
"HELEN: From the moment you stepped into the White House, from your Cabinet -- your Cabinet officers, intelligence people, and so forth -- what was your real reason? You have said it wasn't oil -- quest for oil, it hasn't been Israel, or anything else. What was it?"
"BUSH: I think your premise -- in all due respect to your question and to you as a lifelong journalist -- is that -- I didn't want war. To assume I wanted war is just flat wrong, Helen, in all due respect --"
Here Bush conveniently forgets that he's on film, pumping his fists and saying "feels good" about the war starting. He conveniently forgets that the Project for the New American Century talked about wanting to invade Iraq back in 2000.
HELEN: Everything --
BUSH: Hold on for a second, please.
HELEN: -- everything I've heard --
BUSH: Excuse me, excuse me. No President wants war. Everything you may have heard is that, but it's just simply not true. My attitude about the defense of this country changed on September the 11th. We -- when we got attacked, I vowed then and there to use every asset at my disposal to protect the American people. Our foreign policy changed on that day, Helen. You know, we used to think we were secure because of oceans and previous diplomacy. But we realized on September the 11th, 2001, that killers could destroy innocent life. And I'm never going to forget it. And I'm never going to forget the vow I made to the American people that we will do everything in our power to protect our people.
Part of that meant to make sure that we didn't allow people to provide safe haven to an enemy. And that's why I went into Iraq -- hold on for a second --
HELEN: They didn't do anything to you, or to our country.
BUSH: Look -- excuse me for a second, please. Excuse me for a second. They did. The Taliban provided safe haven for al Qaeda. That's where al Qaeda trained --
This is one of the clearest examples of Bush just mushing Iraq and Al Qaeda together. If he's serious, he's nuts. He says that Iraq did do something to our country - the Taliban provided safe haven for Al Qaeda. Well, Iraq isn't the Taliban, you sad, pathetic creature. Either you know that - in which case, you are lying - or you think they ARE the Taliban - in which case you should be under 24-hour psychiatric supervision.
HELEN: I'm talking about Iraq --
BUSH: Helen, excuse me. That's where -- Afghanistan provided safe haven for al Qaeda. That's where they trained. That's where they plotted. That's where they planned the attacks that killed thousands of innocent Americans.
I also saw a threat in Iraq. I was hoping to solve this problem diplomatically. That's why I went to the Security Council; that's why it was important to pass 1441, which was unanimously passed. And the world said, disarm, disclose, or face serious consequences --
Disarm WHAT? THEY HAD NO WMDs. And you STILL haven't explain how the hell Al Qaeda being in Afghanistan had something to do with invading Iraq.
Holy crap, it really has gotten like listening to a babbling lunatic.
HELEN: -- go to war --
BUSH: -- and therefore, we worked with the world, we worked to make sure that Saddam Hussein heard the message of the world. And when he chose to deny inspectors, when he chose not to disclose, then I had the difficult decision to make to remove him. And we did, and the world is safer for it.
And this is a plain lie. Hussein did NOT deny the inspectors, he allowed them in. In fact, Bush ordered them to leave so he could invade. And, in fact, those weapons inspectors told him that the claims of WMDs didn't seem to be panning out. Bush's response was to try and discredit them and order them to leave Iraq, because he was going to invade, whether they had been allowed in or not.
And Helen Thomas' excellent question remains unanswered: Why did Bush REALLY start this war?