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You owe us, Bush says


In amongst admitting that maybe they’d made a few mistakes in Iraq, President Bush also dropped this assessment of his country’s efforts in Iraq: "(The) Iraqi people owe the American people a huge debt of gratitude." (...) I am proud of the efforts we did. We liberated that country from a tyrant. I think the Iraqi people owe the American people a huge debt of gratitude, and I believe most Iraqis express that. I mean, the people understand that we’ve endured great sacrifice to help them. That’s the problem here in America. They wonder whether or not there is a gratitude level that’s significant enough in Iraq....

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You owe us, Bush says

Tim Dunlop

raid11.jpg

January 15, 2007

In amongst admitting that maybe they’d made a few mistakes in Iraq, President Bush also dropped this assessment of his country’s efforts in Iraq:

"(The) Iraqi people owe the American people a huge debt of gratitude."

Mmmmm.  CNN Correspondent Arwa Damon probably wasn’t aware of Mr Bush’s comment when she posted this story on the CNN blog In the Field:

"Baghdad is dying, we are all just waiting in line." Khaled—not his real name to protect his life—one of our Iraqi employees, said the words softy, his eyes glossing over.

It was during a conversation with our Bureau Chief Cal Perry, talking about work in the bureau, and I was helping out translating. But the conversation had quickly shifted from business to life.

"It’s so hard for me Arwa. This skull won¹t absorb English," he said, smacking both palms against his head. "I just have too much on my mind. I’m supporting three families, most of them women, each time my phone rings my heart sinks thinking that one of them was killed."

Khaled is a well-built man, proud and softly spoken. But like too many others, utterly broken by the hardship of life in the capital. Helpless in the face of the violence. Moving mechanically through each day, just hoping to reach tomorrow.

There absolutely nothing to say. Reassuring words ring hollow. And so I just said "I know." And his eyes glossed over even more.

Iraqis are strong and proud. You won’t often see their suffering in their actions or in their voices. You see it in their eyes. Baghdad is dying.

Something tells me Khaled isn’t feeling "a huge debt of gratitude".

UPDATE: Here’s an actual transcript of what the President said.  So much for the public diplomacy the US spends millions on:

SCOTT PELLEY: Do you think you owe the Iraqi people an apology for not doing a better job?

BUSH: That we didn’t do a better job or they didn’t do a better job?

PELLEY: Well, that the United States did not do a better job in providing security after the invasion.

BUSH: Not at all. I am proud of the efforts we did. We liberated that country from a tyrant. I think the Iraqi people owe the American people a huge debt of gratitude, and I believe most Iraqis express that. I mean, the people understand that we’ve endured great sacrifice to help them. That’s the problem here in America. They wonder whether or not there is a gratitude level that’s significant enough in Iraq.

PELLEY: Americans wonder whether . . .

BUSH: Yeah, they wonder whether or not the Iraqis are willing to do hard work.

Good God.  The man is delusional.


:: Article nr. 29783 sent on 15-jan-2007 11:12 ECT

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Link: blogs.news.com.au/news/blogocracy/index.php/news/comments/you_owe_us_bush_says/



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