Q You will be in the region very soon -- Israel, Saudi Arabia, then Egypt. The question is, maybe there are 250 million Arabs who think that President Bush has added to their suffering and problems during his administration. How would you adjudicate this?
THE PRESIDENT: I would just ask them to wait for history to answer the question. There's an advent of a young democracy in Iraq. Ask those people what it's like to live under a freer society, rather than the thumb of a tyrant or a dictator; or the people that we're trying to help in Lebanon by getting the Syrians out through a U.N. Security Council resolution; or the Palestinians who -- for whom I've articulated a state.
In other words, I understand people's opinions. All I ask is that when history is finally recorded, judge whether or not I've been a contributor to peace or not.
Q Do you think history will be in your side?
THE PRESIDENT: I think history will say George Bush clearly saw the threats that keep the Middle East in turmoil, and was willing to do something about it, was willing to lead, and had this great faith in the capacity of democracies and great faith in the capacity of people to decide the fate of their countries; and that the democracy movement gained impetus and gained movement in the Middle East. Yeah, I think people will say, he had a difficult set of circumstances to deal with, and he dealt with them, with a sense of idealism.
Idealism? I don't think he knows the meaning or the philosphy behind the word. What a fool.