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