This morning on Fox News, anchor Jon Scott and Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-MI) focused much of their discussion about President Bush’s Iraq trip on the six-minute helicopter ride from the Baghdad airport to the Green Zone.
After saying a top U.S. goal is “to take the battle to where radical Islam would plan and strategize” for an attack, Hoekstra said “today the President is going in their face” by traveling to Iraq. Scott added, “[C]learly a trip like this is not without risk,” since Bush “had to jump on a helicopter and fly at low altitudes. … The fact he was willing to undertake some of those risks says a lot about his confidence in the future.”
Full transcript below:
SCOTT: Well, and you get the impression from reading the polls, that a lot of the American public has soured on the war in iraq and said, you know, thrown up their hands and said we can’t win. This is the President saying good guys can win, right?
HOEKSTRA: Well, not only can the good guys win, the good guys have to win. … This is a global war on terror. There are those in the radical Islamic movement who want to attack us on the homeland, and our objective is to win this war on terror, to take the battle to where radical Islam would plan and strategize and train for an attack against the United States, and today the President is going in their face with the elected government in Iraq and saying, “We’re going to win this and it’s essential that we win it. We have no choice.”
SCOTT: And from your position as a member of the Intelligence Committee — I mean, clearly a trip like this is not without risk. The President had to land in Baghdad, middle of the afternoon there, had to jump on a helicopter and fly at low altitudes and here we see the view from the press chopper that was accompanying the President, flying low altitudes into the Green Zone. The fact he was willing to undertake some of those risks says a lot about his confidence in the future.
HOEKSTRA: Oh, absolutely. I’ve made that trip a number of times from the Baghdad airport down to the Green Zone. The President is willing to take those risks because he understands the risk of not winning this global war on terror. You know, there are some in Congress who are willing to cut and run and the President knows that’s exactly the wrong thing to do. If we allow these people to have a safe haven in Iraq or somewhere else, they will use the opportunity not to build a free and better Iraq and Middle East. They will use it to plan, to train, and to finance attacks against our interests around the world, but most importantly our interests here in the United States.