Bush: ‘I’m the decision maker’

President Bush, on a collision course with Congress over Iraq, said Friday “I’m the decision-maker” about sending more troops to the war. He challenged skeptical lawmakers not to prematurely condemn his buildup.

“I’ve picked the plan that I think is most likely to succeed,” Bush said in an Oval Office meeting with senior military advisers.

The president had strong words for lawmakers on both sides of the aisle who are lining up to support resolutions opposing his decision to send 21,500 troops to Iraq. He challenged them to put up their own ideas.

“I know there is skepticism and pessimism and that some are condemning a plan before it’s even had a chance to work,” the president said. “They have an obligation and a serious responsibility therefore to put up their own plan as to what would work.”

Despite doubts in Congress and among the public about his strategy, Bush said lawmakers agree that failure in Iraq would be a disaster and that he chose a strategy that he and his advisers thought would help turn the tide in Iraq.

The president met with Army Lt. Gen. David Petraeus, newly confirmed by the Senate to command U.S. troops in Iraq.

“My instruction to him was `Get over to the zone as quickly as possible, and implement a plan that will achieve our goals,'” Bush said.

“You’re going into an important battle in the war on terror,” he told Petraeus.

Bush talked about Patraeus later in the day at a retreat with House Republicans at Cambridge on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

“As the president I must make sure he has everything he needs, that he thinks he needs, to succeed in the mission that we have sent him on,” the president said. “I look forward to working with you to make sure that our generals and our troops that we put into harm’s way have the support of the United States Congress.”

Earlier in the Oval Office, Bush was asked about stepped-up activities in Iraq against Iranian activities thought to be fueling the violence.

Bush defended the policy, but said it is no indication that the United States intends to expand the confrontation beyond Iraq’s borders.

“That’s a presumption that’s simply not accurate,” Bush said.

But added: “Our policy is going to be to protect our troops. It makes sense.”

Bush also said he was confident that the dispute over Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved diplomatically.

On the sidelines of the World Economic Forum, Mohamed ElBaradei, the head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency, said Friday that Iran expects to start installing thousands of centrifuges in an underground facility next month. He said the installation would pave the way to large-scale uranium enrichment, a potential means of making nuclear weapons.

“I understand that they are going to announce that they are going to build up their 3,000-centrifuge facility … sometime next month,” ElBaradei said.

Meanwhile, Bush also called Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to thank her for her support in the global war on terror. The president commended Arroyo for actions against the al-Qaida-linked group, Abu Sayyaf. Philippine officials say DNA test results have confirmed that the leader of the group was killed in a clash with Philippine troops in September, officials said Saturday.

Copyright © 2007 The Associated Press


  1. SEAL


    Thanx for pointing out the truth about the scalps. That’s always been a sore point with me. You beat me to it.

    I have news for Bush. If he were to actually read that “GD piece of paper” he would learn that he is not, in fact, the decider. The American people are the decider. What it says is that the people of each state will choose representatives and senators they trust to be honest with them and represent their wishes at the national level.

    Considering that the wishes of two-thirds of the people of this nation is that our involvement in the war in Iraq must end expediciously (sp?), any of those represenatives or senators who do not do everything in their power to make that happen should not expect to be reelected next time around. In any case where the administrative officers refuse to obey the wishes of the real deciders, those real deciders expect their representatives and senators to fire them and get someone in that position who WILL impliment their wishes.

  2. Jennifer

    Excellent comments. Keith you quoted some of his comments. Before, Shock & Awe, Helen Thomas was on the Phil Donahue Show MSNBC, and I have the tape. She said then Bush never could have passed Engish 101. Your rant proves that. After that show, Phil was cancelled and ever since Helen, has trully being treated with disrespect. A couple of months ago , Bush was telling her to SHUT UP,on LIVE TV, amazing the audacity of this narrow-minded,despicable man, who feels he is a “god”.

    He’s talking about people condemning this plan and of course he still talks to god. Which god is he talking to? maybe in the mirror. That’s a scary thought to ponder, considering all of our plight, all of humanities plight, today!

    His point about “displaying scalps” truly pisses me off. This wasn’t a American Indian thing to start with, the Dutch did it first and then the rich in Europe(mostly England) paid good money for our scalps…then WE DID IT TO THEM!

    I wish I had a crystal ball and could see the future, but I do beleive in and know American Indian prophecy and good does win.

    Peace to you all!

  3. Kent Shaw

    SEAL said: “The defense contractors have spread their plants and the subsidiaries that feed them all over the country. Senators can’t go back to their home districts and explain that they voted to destroy their ecomomy and make hundreds or thousands unemployed.”

    Yes, this is a huge problem that won’t be fixed in a day. The United States now exists under a state of militarism. I recently read (sorry, I don’t remember the source) the 60 MILLION people in this country are directly dependant upon the defense industry for their jobs, and the United States is the largest exporter of arms in the world. If we continue in this fashion our forces will be fighting other “insurgencies” armed with weapons manufactured here. Probably happens already. And it will certainly be true if we start a war with Iran. Will we ever learn? Can we ever change?

  4. SEAL

    This administration is the military industrial complex. Bush is Carlyle, etc. and Cheney is Haliburton, etc. The majority of congress is beholden to or dependent upon the military industrial complex. The defense contractors have spread their plants and the subsidiaries that feed them all over the country. Senators can’t go back to their home districts and explain that they voted to destroy their ecomomy and make hundreds or thousands unemployed.

    So, don’t expect our military industrial government to stop the war.