Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Allies Back Pres. Bush & Speech on Iraq
Seattlepi.com reports: "President Bush's announcement of a boost in American troops in Iraq won quick support Thursday from U.S. allies as a crucial step toward stabilizing the country and battling terrorism.
The leaders of South Korea, Australia and Japan - all longtime supporters of the U.S.-led mission in Iraq - pledged continued political backing and material help to the beleaguered war effort.
'If America retreats in Iraq, then that has enormous consequences for the stability of the Middle East and it will also be an enormous boost to terrorism in our part of the world,' Australian Prime Minister John Howard said in Sydney."
The Full Text of President Bush's speech tonight.
Highlights via Drudge:
On the role of the Iraqis:
Only the Iraqis can end the sectarian violence and secure their people. And their government has put forward an aggressive plan to do it.
On securing Baghdad:
Our past efforts to secure Baghdad failed for two principal reasons: There were not enough Iraqi and American troops to secure neighborhoods that had been cleared of terrorists and insurgents. And there were too many restrictions on the troops we did have. Our military commanders reviewed the new Iraqi plan to ensure that it addressed these mistakes. They report that it does. They also report that this plan can work…and Prime Minister Maliki has pledged that political or sectarian interference will not be tolerated.
On what Iraq must do:
I have made it clear to the Prime Minister and Iraq’s other leaders that America’s commitment is not open-ended. If the Iraqi government does not follow through on its promises, it will lose the support of the American people – and it will lose the support of the Iraqi people. Now is the time to act. The Prime Minister understands this.
On protecting the American people:
The challenge playing out across the broader Middle East is more than a military conflict. It is the decisive ideological struggle of our time…In the long run, the most realistic way to protect the American people is to provide a hopeful alternative to the hateful ideology of the enemy – by advancing liberty across a troubled region.
On bringing our troops home:
[To]step back now would force a collapse of the Iraqi government…Such a scenario would result in our troops being forced to stay in Iraq even longer, and confront an enemy that is even more lethal. If we increase our support at this crucial moment, and help the Iraqis break the current cycle of violence, we can hasten the day our troops begin coming home.