"It almost seems like everything sort of leads back to Iran"

When a reporter has an agenda.

By Tim Grieve
January 17, 2008 8:58PM (UTC)
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Fox's Greta Van Sustern scored an interview with George W. Bush while he was in Abu Dhabi this week. Here are the questions she asked:

"Mr. President, nice to see you, sir ... This is a historic journey, at least for you as president, to go to Israel, your first trip to Israel as president."


"Yesterday in your speech here -- it was interesting how you talked about Iran. It almost seems like everything sort of leads back to Iran. The problems in Israel lead back to Iran. Is -- do you think that?"

"But when you talk about Iran and the peace process -- and I also want to talk about the nuclear weapons issue -- if [the Iranians] are funding Hamas, and if Hamas is a giant problem in trying to get the Palestinian state and Israelis to work together, it seems that this is quite a challenge."

"In order to understand this conflict, it is complicated ... And it has been a daunting task for many presidents. If you're sitting back home, and this is such an important issue, and you just haven't followed this -- but sitting back home in the United States, how do you tell the American people that this is so important and why it is that we try again to get these two sides to talk?"


"What struck me though yesterday from listening to your speech is that it seems like with Iran out there poisoning the peace process in the Gaza Strip and with the Palestinians and Israelis with funding, that we really have to pay more attention. I am not saying that you're not paying attention, but that Iran really is a giant issue for the world."

"Do you believe -- in December there was an intelligence report that Iran had stopped its nuclear weapons program as of 2003. Do you believe that?"

"But, as a practical matter, you will no longer be the president in January, 2009 ... So, you can take [the Iranian threat] seriously, but if it is larger world problem, are other countries getting on board and having the same thought? Are you talking to them about this?"


"We have not had diplomatic relations with Iran since 1979, since the incident at the American Embassy there. Is there any vision of speaking to them? We speak to them indirectly through the Swiss, I guess, and through our allies here, but is diplomacy a possibility?"

"Do you think the January 6 incident in the Strait of Hormuz, was that sort of a gesture toward you, do you think, by the Iranian speedboats coming on our Navy?"


"Mr. President, it is gorgeous out here in front of the Persian Gulf. In addition to your speech here in the Middle East about democracy, you visited many religious places in Israel ... You have high hopes and high expectations that we can do something in the next 12 months ... You are optimistic."

"You met with a bunch of sailors and soldiers?"

"I really thought it was interesting, that encounter with the Iranian speedboats, that they held their fire, especially in light of the USS Cole."


"Do you get called when this happens, right as it happens? When do you hear about it?"

"You said that you speak, you also speak to the Iranian people when you're here. Do you have a message for the Iranian people if they are watching?"

"Mr. President, thank you, sir. Thank you very much; it is always nice to see you, sir. Thank you."

Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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Fox News George W. Bush Iran Middle East War Room