TRANSCRIPT: Charles Gibson Interviews President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush

But there is a difference, and that is, this has been military rule since 1962 or something, and when there were democratic elections in the early nineties, they were never recognized by the military regime, and in fact the leader of the party, the National League for Democracy, that won those elections, has been under house arrest for most of the time since then, Aung San Suu Kyi. And the, what everyone in the world looked at in the, protest by the Buddhist monks was the violent, crack down on the, on the monks themselves.

PRESIDENT GEORGE BUSH: Yeah, there is a difference in that, Pakistan has been on the road to democracy, Burma hadn't been. And um, I'm real proud of Laura's, she's learned that her voice can be pretty loud in international politics, and has really called the world's attention to the plight of Aung San Suu Kyi and the Burmese people.

One of the interesting stories, if I might, not to be Mister Interrupter here, but uh, was after my speech at the United Nations where it was pretty clear about Burma, and she got an email from a human rights activist on the Thai border that had gotten to know Laura, heard the comments that I had made at the UN, and emailed Laura as a, as kind of a conduit into the White House. So it's a, she's, her role has been very impressive and very important.

CHARLES GIBSON: Just one more question on Pakistan, are the, are the nuclear weapons, in your mind, safe from Islamic radicals, and can you be sure?

PRESIDENT GEORGE BUSH: I certainly hope so. We feel pretty comfortable at this moment in time. And of course we'll pay very close attention to, to any, country that has got nuclear weapons. And, but yeah, I feel good about it right now.

CHARLES GIBSON: Let me turn to Iran, Admiral Fallon, the head of CentCom, said in a recent newspaper interview, he said the military strike against Iran is not in the offing. It would be a strategic mistake. Do you agree?

PRESIDENT GEORGE BUSH: I think it's very important for us to pursue our objectives diplomatically. I also know it's important for all options to remain on the table, and they are on the table.

CHARLES GIBSON: Including military?


CHARLES GIBSON: So he's wrong?

PRESIDENT GEORGE BUSH: As the Commander in Chief, all options are on the table --

CHARLES GIBSON: When he says it's a strategic mistake?

PRESIDENT GEORGE BUSH: My, my objective is to solve this issue diplomatically, and I fully intend to, and I believe we can. But diplomacy is effective when all options are available to a president, and all options are available. No one wants to use military force to achieve any objective. But, but it's important for all parties to understand that, you know, while I'm optimistic we can solve it diplomatically, options are available to the president.

CHARLES GIBSON: There's been a lot of bellicose rhetoric that has been aimed at Iran, and you yourself, at a news conference recently, raised the specter of, of World War III if there was a nuclear armed Iran. Just my curiosity, why not turn the rhetoric around and smother them with kindness, call their bluff and say, look, if you're seriously interested in nuclear power, we'll build the nuclear power plants for you?

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