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Posted: 8/31/2004 6:10:30 PM EDT
Via Michelle Malkin's blog:

Lauer: “You said to me a second ago, one of the things you'll lay out in your vision for the next four years is how to go about winning the war on terror. That phrase strikes me a little bit. Do you really think we can win this war on terror in the next four years?”
President Bush: “I have never said we can win it in four years.”

Lauer: “So I’m just saying can we win it? Do you see that?”

President Bush: “I don't think you can win it. But I think you can create conditions so that those who use terror as a tool are less acceptable in parts of the world –- let's put it that way. I have a two pronged strategy. On the one hand is to find them before they hurt us, and that's necessary. I’m telling you it's necessary. The country must never yield, must never show weakness [and] must continue to lead. To find al-Qaida affiliates who are hiding around the world and … harm us and bring ‘em to justice – we're doing a good job of it. I mean we are dismantling the al-Qaida as we knew it. The long-term strategy is to spread freedom and liberty, and that's really kind of an interesting debate. You know there's some who say well, ‘You know certain people can't self govern and accept, you know, a former democracy.’ I just strongly disagree with that. I believe that democracy can take hold in parts of the world that are now non-democratic and I think it's necessary in order to defeat the ideologies of hate. History has shown that it can work, that spreading liberty does work. After all, Japan is our close ally and my dad fought against the Japanese. Prime Minister Koizumi, is one of the closest collaborators I have in working to make the world a more peaceful place.”

Lauer: “Your daughters are how old now?”

President Bush: “Twenty-two.”

Lauer: “Twenty-two years old. They’re approaching the age, President Bush, [when] they're going to have their own children. And when their kids are teenagers are they going to those kids – your grandchildren – be reading about al-Qaida in the newspaper every day?”

President Bush: “I know if steadfast, strong and resolute — and I say those words very seriously — it's less likely that your kids are going to live under the threat of al-Qaida for a long period of time. I can't tell you. I don't have any … definite end. But I tell you this, when we succeed in Iraq and Afghanistan, it's the beginning of the end for these extremists. Because freedom is going to have a powerful influence to make sure your kids can grow up in a peaceful world. If we believe, for example, that you can't win, and the alternative is to retreat … I think that would be a disaster for your children. I'll tell you why. If al-Qaida and their ideologues were able to secure a nuclear arsenal, then your children would grow up under the threat of nuclear blackmail. I think you would look back and say, ‘Why did George Bush not hold the line?’ We cannot show weakness in this world today, because the enemy will exploit that weakness. It will embolden them and make the world a more dangerous place.”

Link Posted: 8/31/2004 6:14:34 PM EDT
This means that this AP writer is deliberately lying...

]Bush Now Says 'We Will Win' Terror War
Speaks to Vets a Day After Suggesting All-Out Victory Impossible

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Aug. 31) -- President Bush said repeatedly on Tuesday that the United States will win its war against terrorism, trying to contain political damage from the doubt he expressed a day earlier.

''We may never sit down at a peace table, but make no mistake about it, we are winning and we will win,'' Bush told 6,500 veterans at an American Legion convention.

''We will win by staying on the offensive, we will win by spreading liberty,'' Bush told the veterans.

The president was trying to douse the criticism he touched off Monday when NBC aired an interview in which he was asked if the United States could win the war on terror and he answered, ''I don't think you can win it.''

He added, in the interview, ''I think you can create conditions so that those who use terror as a tool are less acceptable in parts of the world.''

Democrats hit hard at Bush's comment for a second day.

''The president has gone from mission accomplished to mission miscalculated to mission impossible on the war on terror,'' said Phil Singer, a spokesman for Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry.

''George Bush might be able to read a speech saying we can win the war on terror, but as we saw (Monday), he's clearly got real doubts about his ability to do so, and with good reason.''

Bush made the remark in an interview with NBC's Matt Lauer.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., campaigning through Tennessee at Bush's side, saw no problem.

''What he meant was, we're never going to have a peace signing on the Missouri, we're never going to have a signing at Panmunjom,'' McCain said.

McCain was referring to the battleship where the Japanese signed surrender papers that ended World War II, and the ''truce village'' where adversaries met to sign the armistice that halted the Korean War.

Bush himself said in a radio interview with talk show host Rush Limbaugh, ''I probably needed to be more articulate.''

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The anti-terrorism campaign dominated Bush's travels through Tennessee, Iowa and Pennsylvania on Tuesday, just as they dominated the Republican National Convention where he will accept the party's nomination for a second term in New York City Thursday night.

Bush planned to visit firefighters and supporters in New York Wednesday night.

On the campaign trail, Bush defended his decision to make the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks the centerpiece of his re-election effort.

''Sept. 11 is a defining moment in our history, and it's certainly a defining moment in my presidency, and the question is whether or not we learned the lessons,'' Bush told Limbaugh.

The president added a new warning: ''One of the most dangerous parts of this new war is that if the enemy were ever to acquire the capacity to use a weapon of mass destruction it would make Sept. 11 - it would pale in comparison.''

Bush's speech to the American Legion came in his 10th trip to Tennessee and marked his latest attempt to court the millions of U.S. veterans.

Democrat Kerry, a senator from Massachusetts, has emphasized his military service in the Vietnam War, and he was to speak to the Legionnaires on Wednesday.

Several veterans said in interviews here that they favored Bush, who served in the Texas Air National Guard during the Vietnam years.

''Right now I believe the captain of the ship is guiding us and I don't feel we should change captains in the middle of a war,'' said Delfo Barabani, an American Legion member from Chicopee, Mass. Barabani said he believed Kerry had gone to Vietnam to lay the groundwork for his future political career.

The president told the veterans what many of them most wanted to hear: that he supports a constitutional amendment ''to protect the flag from desecration.'' The group listed the issue at the top of its legislative priorities.

''Our fighting men and women are serving America under a proud flag, and that flag should be cherished and protected,'' Bush said, drawing his longest, loudest ovation.

From Tennessee, Bush flew to Alleman, Iowa - his 15th trip to the state he lost in 2000 - where his re-election campaign staged a rally near the annual Farm Progress Show.

Then he was off to Pennsylvania, another state he lost four years ago, for the 33rd time of his presidency - for a late-night ''family-style picnic.'' While there, Bush was making his first ''appearance'' at the New York convention. Using a videoconference device, he was introducing wife Laura for her speech to the delegates.

08-31-04 19:48 EDT

Copyright 2004 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. All active hyperlinks have been inserted by AOL.

Love the internet, it makes transcripts and stuff so much more accessable. When are reporters going to learn...
Link Posted: 8/31/2004 6:26:59 PM EDT
The the President would speak so candidly just goes to his honesty...this means a lot when you compare him to the opposition.
Link Posted: 8/31/2004 6:34:06 PM EDT
I saw the interview and he said that you can't win IT. He emphasized the word "it" meaning that this is not conventional.
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