In a February 7, 2004 interview with NBC’s Tim Russert, George W. Bush said:
I’m a war president. I make decisions here in the Oval Office in foreign-policy matters with war on my mind. Again, I wish it wasn’t true, but it is true. And the American people need to know they got a president who sees the world the way it is. And I see dangers that exist, and it’s important for us to deal with them.
Now it turns out that Bush may have had a very different understanding of his role as a “war president.” In an interview with former Argentine president Néstor Kirchner, Oliver Stone learned that Bush claimed that waging war was a formula for economic growth. Here’s the key exchange:
kirchner: I said that a solution for the problems right now, I told Bush, is a Marshall Plan. And he got angry. He said the Marshall Plan is a crazy idea of the Democrats. He said the best way to revitalize the economy is war. And that the United States has grown stronger with war.
stone: War, he said that?
kirchner: He said that. Those were his exact words.
stone: Is he suggesting that South America go to war?
kirchner: Well, he was talking about the United States: “The Democrats had been wrong. All of the economic growth of the United States has been encouraged by wars.” He said it very clearly.
Here’s the video.
The interview was done for Stone’s new documentary, South of the Border, which is set for its theatrical release in June. The interview provides evidence that all those crazed leftists who claimed that Bush was pursuing war with Iraq for economic reasons perhaps weren’t so crazy after all.