Bush explains that the violence at Najaf was ’caused by Sunni Arabs like al-Qaida’
George W. Bush said in an interview with NPR on Jan 29, 2007 that the violence in Najaf was the fault of Sunni Arab organizations such as Qa’edat al-Jihad which Bush persists in referring to as Al-Qaida. Al-Qaida, or “the base” was the “other government agency” informal name for the MAK base near Khost during the Saudi and US-financed “Contra” war against the Afghan government in the 1980’s.
Salient points follow:
JUAN WILLIAMS: Mr. President, we can’t say thank you enough for giving NPR this time, so thank you.
PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: You bet.
MR. WILLIAMS: All right, Mr. President, the reports that 300 militants were killed, an American helicopter shot down yesterday in Najaf – that’s one of the deadliest battles of the war, what can you tell us?
PRESIDENT BUSH: You know, Juan, I haven’t been briefed by the Pentagon yet. One of the things I’ve learned is not to react to first reports off the battlefield. I will tell you, though, that this fight is an indication of what is taking place, and that is the Iraqis are beginning to take the lead, whether it be this fight that you’ve just reported on where the Iraqis went in with American help to do in some extremists that were trying to stop the advance of their democracy, or the report that there’s militant Shia had been captured or killed [emphasis mine–HH]. In other words, one of the things that I expect to see is the Iraqis take the lead and show the American people that they’re willing to the hard work necessary to secure their democracy, and our job is to help them.
So my first reaction on this report from the battlefield is that the Iraqis are beginning to show me something [emphasis mine–HH].
MR. WILLIAMS: Well, now, one of the concerns might be that you have – the gunmen were trying to assassinate clerics and pilgrims – Shia pilgrims. So I’m wondering if that’s an indication of a civil war – a term that, you know, you’ve been reluctant to use.
PRESIDENT BUSH: Well, I think it’s an indication that there are murderers who will kill innocent people to stop the advance of a form of government that is the opposite of what they believe. You know, we can debate terms, but what can’t be debated is the fact that Iraq is violent, and the violence is caused by Sunni Arabs like al-Qaida, [emphasis mine–HH] who have made it clear that they want to create chaos and drive the United States out so they can have safe haven, and then they could launch attacks against America.
Full Transcript: NPR Interview with President Bush , National Public Radio (US) Jan 29, 2007. Link to audio of interview.
See also: Keyword ‘Najaf’ on scanlyze
Copyright © 2007 Henry Edward Hardy
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