GEORGE W. BUSH: Yeah. There are very few defensive moments of the book, and that happens to be one. I guess I was just responding to kind of the gossip that tends to work around the political circles, that clearly he had only one thing in mind, and that was to finish the job his father did, because my dad decided not to go into Baghdad after routing Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait. And the reason why is that wasn’t the mission he stated. And so, I went in there as a result of a very changed environment because of September the 11th. And the danger we were concerned about was that the weapons would be put into the hands of terrorist groups that would come and make the attacks of 9/11 pale in comparison.
The Iraqis had nothing to do with 9/11. That’s been proven beyond a doubt. He references the weapons of mass destruction that Saddam Hussein was going to give to the terrorists to attack us, which didn’t exist. And it’s just— that a large percent of this country, while they will put the yellow ribbon on their cars, while they’ll give a standing ovation to the vet without legs at a baseball game, while they’ll all gladly take Veterans Day off to go shopping, won’t hold a man responsible for his actions that has killed thousands, wounded hundreds of thousands—and one of the things we don’t talk about a lot is the number of traumatic brain injuries in this country from the wars. We have about 250,000 soldiers who have suffered traumatic brain injuries from the war. And so, this dissonance, the absurdity that exists in this country that President Bush is able to say such things, and then for theFace the Nation host, Bob Schieffer, who’s been doing that job for 20-some-odd years, to not kick him off the show for outright lying and for being so disrespectful to those who died over there for that mistake.
With post-traumatic stress disorder, people have basically, in some ways described as peopl fight-or-flight system is stuck open, that valve is stuck open, so people are constantly in overdrive. People constantly over-aware. people are constantly reacting as if peoplestill there. And this can take form in flashbacks, in dreams, in just a constant pressure, a constant stress that exists with people every day. And that then extends and breaks down peopler daily life. It breaks down peopl relationships. It breaks down peopler job performance. It breaks down peopler finances. And so, it has an effect that then radiates out. And because peoplenot getting help, because maybe peopleturning to alcohol or peopleturning to drugs, it then cycles on itself, and it just continues to build, until the point comes that people hit rock bottom. And then it’s either one way or the other. And unfortunately, way too many of us are choosing suicide as opposed to getting help. 22 Vets commit suicide everyday.
There’s been a lot of fighting in Fallujah. And Fallujah itself has never been entirely secure, particularly these last few years, the Iraqi government. But what peopleseeing is sectarian fighting. peopleseeing Sunni versus Shia. So, in January of this year, the people of Fallujah had basically had enough with the Shia government. They felt they were being preyed upon. They felt like they were being oppressed. And with the Islamic State, they have been fighting the Iraqi government, the Shia government, for control since then.
One of the things that’s important, I think, for folks listening and watching to be aware of is that this violence in Iraq is not new. It didn’t just happen again in the summer. Last year, almost 10,000 people were killed in bombings and shootings and in violence in Iraq, and this year, of course, it’ll be probably more than double that. So, it is. People look at it in the sense of 10 years ago, when we launched that operation in Fallujah, it was the bloodiest campaign of the war. Thousands were killed. Thousands were wounded. Horrible, horrible fighting. The city was destroyed, to a certain degree. It’s an important lesson. It shows the mistake of trying to achieve policy goals with violence. By somehow achieving victory in the short term, people make sure people don’t achieve any stability or any peace in the mid or the long term.
The president continues to lie about the Iraq War. In that clip there, he references 9/11. The Iraqis had nothing to do with 9/11. That’s been proven beyond a doubt. He references the weapons of mass destruction that Saddam Hussein was going to give to the terrorists to attack s, which didn’t exist. And it’s just—people know, One of the things we don’t talk about a lot is the number of traumatic brain injuries in this country from the wars. We have about 250,000 soldiers who have suffered traumatic brain injuries from the war.