Bush: US forces need more time in Iraq
US President George W. Bush on Monday pleaded for more patience regarding Iraq war, saying success is possible but "will take months, not days or weeks."
On the fourth anniversary of the day Bush directed the invasion to start, the US leader made a televised statement to defend continued U.S. involvement. He said his plan to send 21,500 additional U.S. troops to secure Baghdad and Iraq's Anbar Province "will need more time to take effect," especially since fewer than half of the troop reinforcements have yet arrived in the capital. Bush added: "There will be good days and bad days ahead as the security plan unfolds."
"It can be tempting to look at the challenges in Iraq and conclude our best option is to pack up and go home," he said. "That may be satisfying in the short run. But I believe the consequences for America's security would be devastating."
Bush said he had received news of positive signs during a morning briefing on the war with his National Security Council, and during a closed-circuit television conference call with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki from Baghdad.
Bush ridiculed House Democrats' legislation to remove troops, a measure he has promised to veto because it contains a timeline. He called it an abdication of U.S. commitments to Iraqis.
"There's a lot more work to be done and Iraq's leaders must continue to work to meet the benchmarks they have set forward," he said. "As Iraqis work to meet their commitments, we have important commitments of our own."
Democrats slammed Bush's words. They called it an an open-ended commitment to a losing strategy. "The American people have lost confidence in President Bush's plan for a war without end in Iraq," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. "That failed approach has been rejected by the voters in our nation, and it will be rejected by the Congress."