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Bush: Iraqis ‘Owe Us Gratitude’

Posted on Jan 15, 2007
Bush on
CBS News

President Bush on “60 Minutes” this past Sunday.

In a “60 Minutes” interview, the president dismissed the suggestion that America owes Iraq an apology for not securing the country after the invasion, saying instead that Iraqis owe America “a huge debt of gratitude” for our efforts.

  • Full streamed interview and transcript
  • Partial transcript from CBS News:

    In his speech, the president mentioned that mistakes had been made. Asked what mistakes he was talking about, Bush tells Pelley, “Abu Ghraib was a mistake. Using bad language like, you know, ‘Bring them on’ was a mistake. I think history is gonna look back and see a lot of ways we could have done things better. No question about it.”

    “The troop levels…,” Pelley remarks.

    “Could have been a mistake. I…,” the president replies.


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    “Were not—could have been a mistake?” Pelley asks.

    “Yeah. And the reason I brought up the mistakes is, one, that’s the job of the commander-in-chief; and, two, I don’t want people blaming our military. We got a bunch of good military people out there doing what we’ve asked them to do. And the temptation is gonna be to find scapegoats. Well, if the people want a scapegoat, they got one right here in me ‘cause it’s my decisions,” Bush says.

    “Fair to say there were not enough American troops on the ground to provide security for Iraq?” Pelley asks.

    “There’s not enough troops on the ground right now to provide security for Iraq. And that’s why I made the decision I made,” Bush replies.

    Asked if he thinks he owes the Iraqi people an apology for not doing a better job, Bush says, “Well I don’t, that we didn’t do a better job or they didn’t do a better job?”

    “Well, that the United States did not do a better job in providing security after the invasion?” Pelley clarifies.

    “Not at all. I think 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. That’s the problem here in America. They wonder whether or not there is a gratitude level that’s significant enough in Iraq,” Bush replies.

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    By RJ, January 17, 2007 at 10:17 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Bush is a war criminal.. and Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rove etc..

    Report this

    By Sheriff Ali, January 17, 2007 at 12:31 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)


    Freedom just to live in peace
    For many, this world is a mighty beast
    An ideological despot in messianic thought
    Wyvern he is, and full of wroth

    Calling on the Soldiers for more sacrifice
    Whilst mammon and power is his avarice,
    Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) damaged his brain
    Lucidity he has not, it went down the drain

    Luetic (lues) his speech and ludicrous his logic
    His myopia is mute, he is not prolific
    Promulgating he is a war time President
    Six years and counting, he is twisted and bent

    “We the people” must impeach this dictator
    His internecine policies created a world-wide disaster,
    If gold diadems were given for stupidity
    This President would own The Forth Knox Treasury!

    © Sheriff Ali 2007

    Author’s Comments

    “The only thing new in this life is the part of history that we do not know.” (President Harry Truman) “An error does not have to become a mistake if it is corrected.” (President John F. Kennedy) “The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for people to say or do nothing.” (From the movie TEARS OF THE SUN)

    Report this

    By Ed, January 16, 2007 at 9:51 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    So let’slevel off,the country has a deranged,seemingly mentally ill &
    incompetent president,...
    any arguement here?
    A clan of thugs,liars and extortionists holding him in place….
    any arguement here?
    The country has the constitution,the law,the backing of the international community,and above all the discontent of the people,the illigitimate slaughter of some of their finest sons and daughters,and countless innocent iraquis…
    Amazing how history repeats itself time and again
    what’s more so, the people of the most powerful,free,supposedly humane civilization,are sitting like an animal waiting to be slaughtered in sacrifice to this creature’s,so called president,God.When will I wake up from this looooooooooooooong horrific nightmare?

    Report this

    By Kathlyn, January 16, 2007 at 7:43 pm Link to this comment
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    By Edward Bigman, January 16, 2007 at 10:01 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    It is, and it always has, been my opinion that we should never have made a pre-emptive invasion of Iraq.  This war is just about earning profits for the interests of a president, vice president and their associates.  A war was created so that corporations such as Halliburton could obtain no bid contracts to rip off the tax dollars of Americans.  The rich get richer at the expense of poor men in women who die for a cause that they do not fully comprehend, believing that they are only fighting for “freedom”.

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    By Anthony, January 16, 2007 at 9:29 am Link to this comment
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    By Skruff, January 16, 2007 at 7:00 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Since the Iraqi’s have failed to “thank” George for his efforts, I decided to try to put myself in the position of an Iraqi, and write their thank you for them:

    Dear Mr. George.

    I wanted to sit down and write a note to express my gratitude for the American invasion. Sorry, this note took so long, but since the destruction of my home during the invasion in 2003, I’ve been living in a hole, and it’s hard to find a pencil or pen without electricity.

    Thank you for the death of my children, we couldn’t afford to feed them anyway, as I have lost my place of employment during the war effort.  But it was worth it. I’m sure you have to sacrifice for your people too.

    Thank you for our new leadership.  Is this what democracy looks like?  Since all the leaders are from another tribe, I’m not hoping for anything special, but I do hope they get the food distribution system back up soon, I just ate my neighbor’s dog… Hope he dosesn’t find out he’s Iranian, and has lots of friends in Jalal TALABANI government (Do you really think a Kurdish patriot can pull the country together?).  But I guess that’s OK. We will get our day sometime… right?

    So my land is decimated, the oil revenue is going to “reparations” the infrastructure will take ten years to rebuild AFTER the war finally ends, and I’m hoping to live to see the new Iraq you envision…..maybe I’ll find another dog…

    So thanks a bunch.. Saddam is gone, but so is my health, wealth, and the future of my family… excuse me now I’m going to try and find my wife. She’s suppose to be at an aid station in Sadr City.
    Good luck in Iran and North Korea.

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    By DM, January 16, 2007 at 3:45 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    You know ... it always seems that George doesn’t really get the concept of personal responsibility.  After Katrina, he “accepted personal responsbility” for poor government response.  That didn’t mean that he did anything about it ... just that no-one else should be blamed.

    Now here he is claiming that it’s his responsibility that things in Iraq have gone wrong and please don’t blame the military (as if anyone would). 

    Well how’s this for taking responsibility?  This escalation is supposed to cost (initially anyway) $8Billion.  How about that get funded out of the Bush family fortune instead of taxpayer’s money?  They will have made far more than that war-profiteering and taking advantage of sky-high oil prices anyway. 

    Why not commit to funding that extra contingent of troops for the duration of the war?  I don’t expect Jenna to front up in army boots any time soon so why not get the President to feel the hurt where he and his family care the most ... in their wallets.  Maybe all he needs is to feel some small incentive to end the war sooner like the ongoing cost of 20,000 troops!

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    By DM, January 16, 2007 at 3:16 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    W volunteering to be “a scapegoat” for the Iraq War??!??!!  To save the military where people were supposed to go looking for a scapegoat for some reason??!???  What the ...??!

    Priceless really ... the dictionary defines a scapegoat as “someone punished for the errors of others” ... Don’t worry George, no-one is looking at the military accusingly.  The reason for this debacle rests totally and unequivocally with you and the team you lead.  You may have been led astray by some neo-con hard-liners who have now abandoned you but you ignored all other advice. 

    So, you don’t have to protect the troops, the military or anyone else.  The blame is yours and you’d be lucky if anyone was looking for “a scapegoat” anywhere else.

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    By Maricia, January 16, 2007 at 2:04 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Yeah! The Iraqis owes Bush a great deal of gratitude for all his lies and for all those innocent Iraqis who have been killed!!!!

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    By Greg Rice, January 16, 2007 at 1:34 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    “BUSH: I’d say, first of all, to him, “You’ve made terrible choices for your people. You’ve isolated your nation. You’ve taken a nation of proud and honorable people, and you’ve made your country the pariah of the world. You’ve threatened countries with nuclear weapons. You’ve said you want a nuclear weapon. You’ve defied international accord. And you’re slowly but surely isolating yourself.”“

    Umm…  I’m confused… is chicken hawk Bush talking about himself here?

    Report this

    By GW=MCHammered, January 16, 2007 at 12:20 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Ugh, my stepfather was a clinical narcissist. I recognize the same gestures in Bush, the self-righteous contempt, the same bottomless self-involvement and entitlement, the grandiose self-image, the total shame-avoidance, shame-dumping and blame-projection, the shallowness and utter incapability of any true empathy, exploitive idealization and violation of other’s personal space and rights, the addiction to creating volatile circumstance just to see others squirm… shallow, arrogant, vacuumous and destructive. A true demonic crusader birthed of our sad delusional culture.

    But know this, he is driven to escalation and no risk is too great so long as it staves off routine and promotes his sense of superiority. Cheney shares the same deep affliction. They will leave this country in ruin and due wholly to a transparent developmental disorder. They belong in therapy, NOT in the White House.

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    By Tobiaz, January 15, 2007 at 10:30 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    There ya go sir. In classic ... uh ... In classic neo-conservative/religious zealot/I may have done the crime but I wont do the time cause it wasn’t my fault fashion ... blame the victim.

    Oh, I forgot you said it was your fault ... sort of. Sorry about that.
    Well not really, I mean you didn’t actually use those words, but you did own up to the fact that it was your fault ...  decision, yeh that’s it, decision. It was your decision. Awfully white of you old chap.

    Damn those Iraqis anyway. You’d think just because we killed a few hundred thousand of their kids instead of obliterating their entire country with a nuke ... they’d show a little gratitude, huh?

    Course had we done that ... dropped a nuke I mean, there goes the war-profiteers. There goes the oil control. There goes the trial and the hanging and all the other stuff this war was started for ... right?

    So, I guess maybe we should all show a little more gratitude.
    Thanks sir, for not starting a nuclear holocaust ... yet.

    Must be hard being a “war president” must be hard for you to understand. The lack of gratitude I mean.
    Let me help you, if I can.

    See here in your kingdom, er ... I mean country, some folks are eager ... then grateful for the opportunity of sacrificing kids (usually someone else’s) to your cause ... the pain falls on a select few. Hundreds of thousands of kids, indiscriminately taken from EVERY family don’t die. Just a select few. Meanwhile, everybody else still has their cars and their TV’s and electricity and running water and working sewers and their other oh-so-important creature comforts. Not to mention a few bucks left over to buy a yellow ribbon.

    But over there ... well, hunting through a pile of body parts looking for your kids is bad enough, but when you factor in they cant even count on water to wash them with, or lights to do it by ... now that’s got to be tough!

    But not to worry sir.
    Like you said, You’ve got a pretty thick hide.
    You keep right on believing you’ll succeed.
    Just because you haven’t yet doesn’t mean you can’t.

    Besides, sooner or later, you’ll be moving and someone else can try.
    Sooner ... I hope.

    In the meantime, if you really want to get the people behind you, may I humbly offer a few suggestions?

    First, ask Mr. Cheney to resign.

    Then ask Putin and Harper, and Hinojosa and whoever is actually in charge in Iran and whoever actually represents the 16,000 or so Saudi Royals, and (gasp) Chavez and all the “Bosses” in all the countries who have oil and/or belong to OPEC, and anyone in charge of the distribution, pipes and refineries in any other countries that depend on oil revenues, and all their respective clients (us being number one of course) to sit down and hammer out a solution that will keep the oil flowing, guarantee a descent profit to one and all and, stop the stupid bloodshed.

    Maybe, but how d’ya know if you don’t try?

    Course there’ll be a few catches. Everyone has to agree to pitch in some money to rebuild Iraq. And everyone has to agree to cooperate on developing alternative fuels. And, most important everyone has to agree to go back to nuclear non-proliferation ...
    including you.

    Oh, I almost forgot. Israel has to promise to get along with their Semite neighbors, and tear down that wall.

    Meanwhile, the folks who build big guns and bombs can start building constructive stuff, like homes for the homeless, hospitals for the sick, colleges for the poor, theme parks and museums to bring back our tourist industry, some new method to figure out what’s intellegence so them what does it, has it ... and ... oh I don’t know, plowshares?

    I mean, I sure don’t want to imply I talk to God, but reading the New Testament, don’tcha think maybe that’s what Jesus would do?

    Anyhow, for sure sir, please ask Cheney to resign.
    Nice talkin atcha.

    Report this

    By Mac McKinney, January 15, 2007 at 9:26 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Iraqis owe Bush as much gratitude as the Jews owed Hitler. What a twisted soul he has, arrogant, vain, sadistic in the extreme. Divine justice has a place waiting for him far, far below.

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    By Nancy E. Rodgers, January 15, 2007 at 9:19 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Brand New Math:  George W. Bush plus hubris equals dishonor and disgrace for this nation.  I despair.

    Report this

    By John Hanks, January 15, 2007 at 7:45 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    War is not a football game.  It is Monopoly.  When we leave at last, we won’t be missed.

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    By trantieungoc, January 15, 2007 at 7:11 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    That’s not speaking. That’s BARKING ! try it again my dear President !

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    By Kwagmyre, January 15, 2007 at 6:18 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Certifiably delusional!

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    By Trigger finger, January 15, 2007 at 4:47 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Mr. President has the mental capacity of a retarded 3 year old.

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    By DennisD, January 15, 2007 at 4:38 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Unless Bu$h cut himself shaving thinking about Iraq he hasn’t spilled a drop of blood or spent a dollar of the Bu$h fortune to be owed anything.

    We’re there to monopolize and control the flow of oil, nothing more. Democracy isn’t ours to force or bestow on anyone as if it’s our divine right to do so. We can’t give others what we no longer have for ourselves. Hypocrisy yes, democracy no.

    Put the Neocon “true believers” on point and we’ll see how many really believe - if they live.

    Report this

    By john, January 15, 2007 at 2:50 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Buski truly is an idiot.

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    By Alfonso Alvarez Rodriguez, January 15, 2007 at 1:19 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Bush doesn’t know if he comes or goes. A couple months ago he send $550. million dollars to Iraq.
    Do you think he paid the Iranians so they can bomb the Americans. I was in Vietnam during 1965. Lost my right leg. We lost the war!! WRONG!!! The politicians did lose it!! Now this time, how many politicians have their sons in the front???

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