03/28/2008 02:45 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Bush Wednesday: I Understand Iraq "Consequences Firsthand"

The following is excerpted from an Interview of the President by RTL and N-TV, German TV:

Q Do you think there's a point where you'd say only a military option is a possibility for us?

THE PRESIDENT: I would never say that. I would say that we would always try to try diplomacy first. In other words, I -- I've committed our troops into harm's way twice, and it's not a pleasant experience because I understand the consequences firsthand. And so I owe it to the American people to say that I've tried to solve this problem diplomatically. And that's exactly what I intend to do. And I believe we can do it, so long as the world works in concert. And Chancellor Merkel understands the dangers and she wants to solve this issue peacefully.

Q The U.S. has imposed some harsh sanctions on some parts of the Iranian government.


Q The Russians were pretty much against that. Do we see a new rift growing between Russia, on the one hand, and the United States on the other hand?

THE PRESIDENT: No, I don't think so. I mean, look, there's going to be -- there's places where we disagree. No, it's a complicated relationship with Russia.

Q Why that?

THE PRESIDENT: Why is it? Just because we've got a history. It's not easy to eradicate history overnight. You might remember, we were quite antagonistic to each other for years. And so I've tried to work hard with Vladimir Putin to put the Cold War behind us, and focus on a positive future. There are still suspicions about U.S. intentions inside the Russian system.

Read entire transcript.