QUESTION: A lot of the consequences you mentioned for pulling out seem like maybe they never would have been there if we hadn’t gone in. How do you square all of that?
BUSH: I square it because imagine a world in which you had Saddam Hussein, who had the capacity to make a weapon of mass destruction, who was paying suiciders to kill innocent life, who had relations with Zarqawi.
You know, I’ve heard this theory about, you know, everything was just fine until we arrived [in Iraq] and — you know, the stir-up-the-hornet’s- nest theory. It just doesn’t hold water, as far as I’m concerned.
The terrorists attacked us and killed 3,000 of our citizens before we started the freedom agenda in the Middle East. They were …
QUESTION: What did Iraqi have to do with that?
BUSH: What did Iraq have to do with what?
QUESTION: The attacks upon the World Trade Center.
BUSH: Nothing. . . . .Except for it’s part of — and nobody’s ever suggested in this administration that Saddam Hussein ordered the attack. Iraq was a — Iraq — the lesson of September the 11th is: Take threats before they fully materialize...