Bush: ‘Just give my Iraq war more time’

President George W. Bush insisted Saturday his new war strategy in Iraq showed promise but needed more time to bear fruit as the White House fought to rebuff calls for a withdrawal of US troops.

“We are still in the early stages of our new operations,” Bush said in his weekly radio address. “But the success of the past couple of months have shown that conditions on the ground can change — and they are changing.”

In a clear jab at critics demanding a drawdown of US troops, Bush added: “We cannot expect the new strategy we are carrying out to bring success overnight.”

The president said that every month since January, US forces have killed or captured on average more than 1,500 Al-Qaeda fighters and other insurgents in Iraq.

Bush’s positive portrayal of the unpopular war, part of a broader campaign by the White House to fend off calls for an early withdrawal of US forces, came despite a plea by a prominent Republican senator to begin at least a symbolic pullout of troops.

John Warner, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee and an influential voice on military issues, jolted the White House on Thursday when he called for a withdrawal of up to 5,000 US troops to “send a sharp and clear message” to the Baghdad government that the US commitment was not open-ended.

Bush has not responded directly to Warner’s call, but in his radio address he said security had improved in Iraq since his “surge strategy” deployed an extra 30,000 troops earlier this year.

Recent operations had cleared “terrorists out of population centers” and given “families in liberated Iraqi cities a safer and more normal life,” Bush said.

“As security improves, more Iraqis are stepping forward to defend their democracy,” he said, adding that more Iraqi men were signing up for the army and that Iraqi police were patrolling streets.

Bush hopes to shore up support for the war effort among Republicans ahead of a crucial report to Congress by the top US military commander in Iraq, General David Petraeus, and US Ambassador Ryan Crocker.

The two are to present a progress report in mid-September on US efforts to quell violence and promote political stability with about 160,000 US troops now in the country.

In contrast to Bush’s upbeat assessment on Iraq, an analysis by US intelligence agencies presented Thursday offered a more pessimistic outlook. Democratic leaders in Congress cited the analysis as proof the president’s approach was a failure.

The declassified estimate confirmed some important yet fragile gains on security, but said the country’s political scene was still riven by sectarian suspicions.

“Iraqi political leaders remain unable to govern effectively” and sectarian violence “probably will intensify,” the intelligence report said.

The US military leadership also appeared divided over the right course of action in Iraq, amid reports top officers in Washington favored a major reduction of US forces soon while commanders on the ground wanted a more gradual drawdown.

The outgoing chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Peter Pace, denied a report that he was poised to urge Bush to cut US force levels in Iraq by nearly half next year to ease the strain the war has placed on the military.

In Iraq, US Army Major General Rick Lynch said any withdrawal this year in his area of operations around Baghdad would be “a giant step backwards,” allowing insurgents to regain sanctuaries wrested from them in tough fighting.

In Washington, Democratic lawmakers kept up calls to begin a withdrawal of US troops as they hoped for defections among moderate Republicans.

“Further pursuit of the administration’s flawed escalation strategy is not in our nation’s best interests,” Jim Manley, spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, told the Washington Post.

“The conflict in Iraq is an Iraqi political problem, not a US military problem,” said former senator and Vietnam war veteran Max Cleland in a radio address.

More than 3,700 US troops have been killed in Iraq since the 2003 invasion.

“Despite this enormous sacrifice, we find ourselves mired in a civil war with no end in sight and Iraqis unable or unwilling to make the political decisions necessary to end this conflict,” Cleland said.

Bush was expected to renew his defense of his war plan on Tuesday when he addresses members of the American Legion in Reno, Nevada.

The president lashed out at war critics in an address last week, warning a US pullout from Iraq could trigger a catastrophe similar to what occurred in Southeast Asia after the US debacle in Vietnam a generation ago.


  1. pacplyer

    We’ve got to get this monkey off our back! He’s just trying to milk more haliburton cash to Cheney his organ-grinder. This chimp? Is the champion of Democracy?

    There is no more democracy in Iraq than there is in the U.S. using compromised diebold voting machines.

    Helll, I might as well go down and vote at the casino; I’d have better odds.

    It is time to get rid of these people, by hook or by crook. The easy first step is to quit buying things and let this mess of an economy go down the toliet where it belongs. Just stay home and blog on the net. Once the bottom line craps out for the monkey’s fortune-500 masters, then he will loose any corporate owned media protection and we can commit him as unfit to hold office.


  2. Carl Nemo

    A parody on what Bush is really saying as extracted from the Agence France Presse article:

    ‘Halliburton, KBR, and Blackwater Security, et. al are still in the early stages of their newly devised long range taxpayer rip-off operations; but the success of the past couple of years or so have shown that conditions on the ground can change for the contractors benefit — and the changes are becoming even more lucrative than ever’…!

    Recent operations have enfranchised ‘terrorists in all the population centers” and given families in Iraqi cities a less safe and more fearful life.’

    ‘As security devolves, more Iraqi’s are stepping forward to defend Islam and the Koran, adding that more Iraqi men were signing up for the army and that Iraqi police were patrolling streets in hopes of nailing more Americans with easy backshots.’… : |

    Carl Nemo **==

  3. acf

    More time? Was he not given a summary of the election results from November 2006? Back then, I voted to change the majority party in Congress, eliminating the rubber stamp approval he got most of his term. I also said that this was the end. It wasn’t an invitation for him to come out with one more excuse, another plan, stay the course, nothing. We’re finished, period, no more discussion. Start preparing the withdrawal. I don’t care what he could come up, for me, the game is over.

  4. SEAL

    SEAL says: Yanno, pacplyer, the people have no conception of the impact just one month of no one going to work, making no payments, or spending any money except for absolute necessities would have. I’m not good enough to explain it all but the financial blow would be devastating to the corporations. The ecomony is running on such a fine margin that stopping the normal cash flow for only that short period of time would hit the country like a sledgehammer. Wall street would panic.

    I would suggest drawing all of your cash out of the bank first. Imagine the bank’s panic when all their depositors are lined up withdrawing all the money. Banks do not have a lot of cash, they have assets. We could break them very quickly. Hey, no bank – no payment to be made. I would love to be a fly on the wall of the oval office when Bush is told, “Mr. president our banks are under attack by the depositors. All the money is gone.” You think the 11 second freeze was something? No KKKarl to hold his hand. Cerainly, I would fall off the wall laughing.

    Most people could survive if they missed one month of work. If everyone did it, that would protect the individual. No company would fire ALL of its employees (no employees – no company) and no bank or leasing agency would attempt to foreclose or evict everyone. Besides, you won’t be forclosed or evicted for missing only one month.

    The people would just have to give up the twinkies and be economical with their life for a while to get caught up. This action should be accompanied by a list of demands and the declaration that if the demands were not met within six months there would be a TWO month strike.

    This is the power the people have over our corporate government. They just don’t know it and they are afraid. It is the corporations that should be afraid of us. Without our payments every month they have nothing. However, whomever goes public and proposes this should have plenty of insurance and a couple of my old teams living with them 24/7.

  5. www.nazilieskill.us

    America has always been a collection of moral and intellectual peasants. Like every other country, it is nothing but a bunch of crooks, suckers, and lazy cowards. Killing fields and concentration camps remain invisible. Reagan sure looked good, but he gave us the clap.

    John Hanks, Laramie, Wyoming

  6. www.nazilieskill.us

    Republicans get richer from every war – win or lose. This one is the mother lode. Oil, Weapons, Opium, Graft, Art Treasures and Theft. No racket should ever be abandoned when there is still something left to steal.

    John Hanks, Laramie, Wyoming

  7. Steve Horn

    As commander in chief perhaps he should head to Iraq, don his uniform and lead from the front …

  8. LurkingFromTheLeft

    Not as long as…

    …he has other people’s children, significant others, siblings, etc –

    …he wasn’t brave enough to go first time around – he certainly won’t do it now –


  9. Cashel Boylo

    To the tune of The Streets of Laredo

    My Surge In Baghdad

    The direction of the fighting’s beginning to shift
    The good news is giving me quite a lift
    There are still horrific attacks in Iraq
    But shoot, we’re winnin’, we’re hittin’ ’em back

    Incremental gains day by day in Baghdad
    The news on my surge, it sure ain’t all bad
    The high casualty rates will likely continue
    Our expectations are coming out true

    Winning block by block we are in Baghdad
    Sure the rest of Iraq is looking quite sad
    Terrorists and insurgents mount terrible attacks
    You can trust me to keep giving you all the facts

    We’re taking Iraq back one street at a time
    And after all I’ve got plenty of time
    You can’t get me out, I’ll keep decidin’ fine
    You can’t replace me till two thousand and nine

    Cashel Boylo

  10. Nogood

    If this “lunatic” was not the President, he would be in some mental hospital. Any sane person would change “the words of the song”, but not this moron, he keeps preaching the same message, “more time, more time”. What has “more time” produced??????

  11. gene

    God..give me a break…for just one day (please!!!!!) Mr. President. (Nogood) you are so right “If this ‘lunatic’ was not the President, he would be in some mental hospital”.

    I agree but would he? (be in a mental hospital that is).
    Actually I see him not hardly being noticed assuming he was in the general public of this nation. All I see are “lunatics” (brain dead) rushing around trying to make ends meet at the end of the month. Most are in debt because they like most assumed they deserved the “american dream” just because they are US citizens

    So now they have their 3 to 5 thousand sq ft home in suburbia with their 2 brand new SUVS parked in the drive way. I could go on forever with this but I will stop here.

    Bush can do whatever he wants to simply because the majority of (brain dead) citizens could care less. Their only concern now is (survival) since most have put themselves in debt up to their necks and beyond.

    We don’t have long to wait before the effects of this subprime melt down filters into every aspect of our society.

    Again,who cares what Bush does when you have lost your job and have no way to support your family.

    Thats where many americans are today and the numbers are growing rapidly.

  12. bryan mcclellan

    Everything is lollipops and butterflies to the smirk while the Troops are mired in a purgatory of brimstone and sulfur.Mr history major should get someone to read the story of Hamburger Hill to him. No pet goats,only soldiers precious blood,washing down a hillside ,half a world away, on a field afar….PMFOT…

  13. shonen

    It seems to me Bush would have at least some credibility is one of his kids went over to Iraq and served their country. Maybe then he would be less eager to send others there for “just a little more time.”

  14. keith

    To borrow a phrase from the fighter pilots, the credibility of President Bush and his ever-shifting policy toward Iraq is now “out of airspeed and altitude”.

    This is a President who heads an Administration that invaded that sovereign nation without anything approaching “just cause” and whose legions have been absolutely stalemated since that time (for over four years now) in their occupation of a country with a pre-war GDP less than that of Fairfax County, Virginia.

    Yet, when asked what his exit strategy was, all we heard for years was that we must “stay the course”. Then, we were told that it was never about “stay the course”. Nowhere did he define just what that “stay the course” meant, nor how or when we would know that we’ve arrived at the end of that “course”.

    And, we STILL don’t know! Even now, our President tells us that we are still in the “early stages” of a “new operation” in Iraq and that “more time” is needed to see results. All of which now begs the question as to just how much “more time” will be required.

    Could it simply be that the military doctrine Mr. Bush and his Cabal have now adopted HAS no exit strategy because the wars these people have started are INTENDED to be endless?

    Think not? Think again. This is a President who now heads an Administration that officially and radically altered our decades-long military doctrine from one of “retaliating if attacked” to one centered on “pre-emptive, total war”. In the process he has now run our once proud and ready military into the ground to the point that fully two thirds of our nation’s regular Army are no longer combat ready and the REST of them are off fighting his so-called “wars of pre-emption” somewhere.

    Unfortunately, this President’s unquenched thirst for successively invading other sovereign nations has now left our own nation all but defenseless to quickly combat any number of other, FAR more lethal threats that could very well emerge against our country in other parts of the world. Such threats include a growing, and ever-more military adventurous China…a country that now has the capability to shoot down our satellites at will…as well as rouge nuclear powers like North Korea.

    Our Constitution clearly states that, “The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it”. Our country is not being invaded, nor are we in a rebellion. In fact, more people die annually from simply falling out of bed in our country than die from terrorist attacks.

    Yet, this same President, along with his willing accomplices in the US Congress, forced the passage of sweeping new laws which effectively ripped the heart out of our Constitution’s fundamental habeas corpus protections that, for centuries, have been afforded to ALL persons who have come under our care, both citizen and non-citizen alike.

    But, even before he effectively nullified all but one of the basic freedoms that USED to be unquestionably guaranteed by our Constitution and Bill of Rights, this President sent his FBI, CIA, NSA and Homeland Security goon squads to tap our phones without a warrant, strip search us at airports, sift through our electronic and other mail at will, monitor our Internet conversations and then throw those of us whom HE (or his Homeland Security “thought police”) have arbitrarily labeled “enemy combatants” into military (or other) jails in faraway lands without due process (let alone any hope of a fair trial!) all in the name of “protecting” the rest of us from an enemy that he…and his lies…helped create.

    Sadly, under the totally imperialistic rule of our current “Prevaricator-In-Chief”, our once proud United States of America has now become a nation that promotes everything that it is not, while at the same time condemning everything that it is.

  15. bryan mcclellan

    One bush in this war is quite enough I think.The yellow steak is hereditary with this bunch and would further dishonor those who’ve sacrificed.Ship them all off to Paraguay and exile..

  16. Bill Jonke

    I’m going to make this short and sweet. If anybody believes this b******t for the fifteenth time, they’re just as deluded and mentally disturbed as Bush is.

  17. SEAL

    Very well said, Keith.

    Everything Bush said is a lie. Obvious lies. Every report or analysis by every government agency or independent organization, including the news media, refutes what he says. Every member of the joint chiefs has told Bush “privately” that what he claims publicly is wrong. There is absolutely nothing to support what he says. And, yet, he continues to say it with authority and conviction as if he actually believes it.

    I will give him this: he is a good actor. But lying comes so easily for him. His entire life has been and is a lie. I could count on one hand the number of times I have heard him tell the truth and have fingers left over. Bush has no interest in reality. He simply establishes in his mind what he wants and declares it so. He is a classic megalomaniac with a god complex. By making Bush the president of the united states they provided him the power to make whatever he wants possible. If he wasn’t the president he would be ignored or his opinions would be ridiculed.

    Even the die hard republicans have finally realized that Bush is extremely dangerous. Many of them, including Rove (his most faithfull) have left him because they have found that they can no longer control him as they used to be able to do. He was supposed to be the electable puppet and he filled that role perfectly in the beginning. But they underestimated him. The longer he has had the power of the presidency the greater his own perception of his power. And that is rightly validated by the continued capitulation of congress to his will.

    I have come to the conclusion that congress is afraid of what he will do if they say no to him. What could be the result when he throws a tantrum, and you can bet the farm he will do just that! What form would it take? Whatever it was it would either be a disaster for the nation or create a constitutional crisis, neither of which congress wants to face.

    My expectation is that General Betrayus and that other Crock will support Bush’s claims while the democrats make a show of being tough on them. In the end congress will give Bush another extension of his (not)new strategy untill the first of the year and use the continued failure of it to win more seats in congress + the presidency. Until they get control they will do nothing important that might set Bush off.

    What congress should do is quietly go to federal court, present the evidence (which would cause any judge would issue a warrant), and let the federal marshalls walk into th oval office and arrest the nutcase behind the desk. Cheney may be bad but he is not as dangerous as Bush.

    What has been lost in all of this is that a coup was perpetrated to give Bush the presidency. He did not win either of his elections.