Results 1 to 2 of 2

Thread: President Bush: Iraq Violence Is A "Positive Moment"

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2005

    President Bush: Iraq Violence Is A "Positive Moment"

    President Bush: Iraq violence is a 'positive moment'

    Tom Baldwin in Washington

    President Bush gave warning yesterday that Iraq’s “fragile situation” required the US to maintain a strong military presence there, even as he defended the withdrawal of British troops from Basra, the scene of heavy fighting in recent days.

    In an interview with The Times, he backed the Iraqi Government’s decision to “respond forcefully” to the spiralling violence by “criminal elements” and Shia extremists in Basra. “It was a very positive moment in the development of a sovereign nation that is willing to take on elements that believe they are beyond the law,” the President said.

    Asked if British troops had retreated to the relative safety of the Basra airbase too hastily last year, Mr Bush said that the pullback had been “based upon success” in quelling violence, adding that he remained grateful for the contribution made by British Forces from “day one” of the war.

    Mr Bush, who had spent the morning being briefed on Iraq by the Pentagon before an imminent announcement on US troop levels, said that despite “substantial gains” since the US military surge began last year, much work was needed to “maintain the success we’ve had”.

    There has been speculation that he plans to hold the current level of troops at about 140,000 through the autumn and possibly beyond in the hope he can bind in his successor — be it a Democratic or Republican president — to his Iraq strategy.

    Mr Bush insisted yesterday that decisions would not be made by those who “scream the loudest” in calling for troops to come home. Instead, in his interview with four international journalists, including The Times, he said: “I understand people here want us to leave, regardless of the situation, but that will not happen so long as I’m Commander-In-Chief.”

    His comments came before a visit next week to Eastern Europe and the final Nato summit of his presidency, being held in Bucharest. Despite being hobbled by unpopularity abroad and at home — where attention is focused on the race to succeed him — Mr Bush appears determined to shape his legacy in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    The President gave a glimpse of some of the resentment felt by Washington towards other Nato allies whom he said needed to be “encouraged” to take obligations in Afghanistan seriously. The definition of the summit’s success, he added, would be to ensure Nato stayed relevant.

    But he heaped praise on President Sarkozy of France, who has announced his intention to send another 1,000 troops to the Afghan battlefields. It was notable, perhaps, that he avoided expressing similar sentiments about Gordon Brown after a period, since Tony Blair’s departure from Downing Street, in which differences of tone, if not substance, have emerged between Britain and the US.

    Asked if Mr Sarkozy now represented America’s most important bilateral partner, Mr Bush replied that the relationship with Britain was “never as special” as during times of war, before citing the alliance between Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt, as well as “the current relationship — the more modern relationship — between Tony Blair and myself”.

    He added: “It’s going to be hard for any nation to trump the United Kingdom as our greatest ally. Having said that, no question that the relationship \ is changing for the better.” President Sarkozy — whom he described as a “highly energetic and decisive” leader — deserved credit, he said, for not being “interested in creating divisions in the transatlantic relationship”.

    France’s offer of an additional 1,000 troops “pretty much ensured” next week’s summit would be a success, he said, adding that the British, French and Canadian troops who “will be in harm’s way” represented a strong statement that Nato was ready to rise to the challenge in Afghanistan.

    Mr Bush ended the interview by announcing that he was accepting an invitation to meet President Putin of Russia after the Nato summit at the Crimean resort of Sochi. It will be the last opportunity for talks between the two leaders before Dmitri Medvedev becomes president in May.

    He said that matters to be discussed would include the dispute over the proposed American missile defence system to be based in Central Europe, as well as measures to counter Iran’s uranium enrichment programme, which Washington still fears may lead to Tehran acquiring nuclear weapons.

    Moscow remains vehemently opposed to the missile defence system, fearing it will be used to undermine Russia’s nuclear deterrent. Mr Bush said yesterday that it would take only a fraction of Russia’s enormous arsenal to destroy the system and insisted once more that it was designed to protect Europe against a potential attack from the Middle East.

    Recent talks in Moscow between Russian officials and Condoleezza Rice, the US Secretary of State, and Robert Gates, the Defence Secretary, brought no immediate breakthrough.

    But the President said: “Hopefully we could advance our dialogue so that at some point in time we could reach agreement on this important matter. A lot of people in Europe will heave a sigh of relief if we are able to reach an accord on missile defence.”

    Mr Bush said that he looked forward to meeting Mr Medvedev for face-to-face talks and had been impressed by his comments on the need for transparency and the rule of law.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  2. #2
    beltman713 Guest
    What a boob.

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 08-08-2007, 06:05 PM
  2. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 05-23-2007, 04:43 PM
  3. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 03-15-2007, 07:53 AM
  4. Replies: 15
    Last Post: 07-16-2006, 07:50 AM
  5. Alabama Cow Tests Positive For "Mad Cow Disease"
    By Gold9472 in forum The New News
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 03-13-2006, 09:24 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts