Na semana passada, pouco depois de ter perdido o controlo de algumas das principais cidades iraquianas, George W. Bush tomou a iniciativa excepcional de promover uma conferência de imprensa para se explicar. Mas quando os jornalistas insistiram em perguntar que erros tinham sido cometidos, o Presidente balbuciou: "Tenho a certeza de que alguma coisa me virá à ideia no meio desta conferência de imprensa, com toda esta pressão de tentar arranjar uma resposta, mas ainda não veio. Eu ainda não... vocês põem-me aqui debaixo dos projectores e talvez eu não seja rápido... tão rápido quanto devia para arranjar uma". Bush concluiu que era melhor que lhe tivessem dado previamente a pergunta por escrito.A conferência de imprensa encontra-se transcrita nas páginas de Casa Branca. Transcrevo a parte tra(duz)ida por Louçã:
Ao assistir a esta cena patética, alguns terão pensado nas semelhanças entre Bush e Nixon. Muitos mais têm argumentado que a história se repete sempre como tragédia e que o Iraque é um novo Vietname. Estão enganados: o Iraque é muito pior.
Q: Thank you, Mr. President. In the last campaign, you were asked a question about the biggest mistake you'd made in your life, and you used to like to joke that it was trading Sammy Sosa. You've looked back before 9/11 for what mistakes might have been made. After 9/11, what would your biggest mistake be, would you say, and what lessons have you learned from it?Para Louçã, vale tudo.
THE PRESIDENT: I wish you would have given me this written question ahead of time, so I could plan for it. (Laughter.) John, I'm sure historians will look back and say, gosh, he could have done it better this way, or that way. You know, I just -- I'm sure something will pop into my head here in the midst of this press conference, with all the pressure of trying to come up with an answer, but it hadn't yet.
I would have gone into Afghanistan the way we went into Afghanistan. Even knowing what I know today about the stockpiles of weapons, I still would have called upon the world to deal with Saddam Hussein. See, I happen to believe that we'll find out the truth on the weapons. That's why we've sent up the independent commission. I look forward to hearing the truth, exactly where they are. They could still be there. They could be hidden, like the 50 tons of mustard gas in a turkey farm.
One of the things that Charlie Duelfer talked about was that he was surprised at the level of intimidation he found amongst people who should know about weapons, and their fear of talking about them because they don't want to be killed. There's a terror still in the soul of some of the people in Iraq; they're worried about getting killed, and, therefore, they're not going to talk.
But it will all settle out, John. We'll find out the truth about the weapons at some point in time. However, the fact that he had the capacity to make them bothers me today, just like it would have bothered me then. He's a dangerous man. He's a man who actually -- not only had weapons of mass destruction -- the reason I can say that with certainty is because he used them. And I have no doubt in my mind that he would like to have inflicted harm, or paid people to inflict harm, or trained people to inflict harm on America, because he hated us.
I hope I -- I don't want to sound like I've made no mistakes. I'm confident I have. I just haven't -- you just put me under the spot here, and maybe I'm not as quick on my feet as I should be in coming up with one.