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Bush: 'We Stand With Democracies'

"One philosophical question that many have that I'd like you to respond to, if you could, is that U.S. policy, vis-à-vis Iraq, and the United States' close alliance with Israel have galvanized terrorists worldwide. In other words, these policies have created more terrorists than they have eliminated," Couric said to the president.

"Yeah," Mr. Bush said.

Asked how he responds to that, the president told Couric: "Well, the first thing I would tell people that — we weren't in Iraq on September the 11th, 2001, when 19 killers killed 3,000 Americans in the most brutal attack on our — on our soil — ever."

"But they were from Saudi Arabia," Couric pointed out.

"No, but they're — but — but they share the same jihadist mentality, this radicalism," Mr. Bush said. "And so my first answer is on Iraq, the notion that somehow defending ourselves create — is — it's created, made us more vulnerable, just — I just don't agree with it. Secondly, of course we stand with democracies and our friend Israel. If the United States ever says, 'Oh, my goodness, I don't wanna defend democracy because somebody might harm us,' we will have lost our soul.

"Look. Let me just share something with you, what I strongly believe. I believe a mother in America and a mother — a Muslim mother in the Middle East — share the same concerns for their children. And that is, they want peace. And they want their children to grow up in a hopeful world. That's what I believe. That's why I can say the extremists are in a minority in the Middle East. And I strongly believe we have a duty to help those who, who recognized that, you know, this, this quagmire, this, this kind of swamp of resentment can be drained by liberty."

Click here to read Part I of the Couric interview with President Bush.