The US President has urged the American people to be patient when it comes to US policy in Iraq. In a keynote speech, George W. Bush acknowledged American doubts about his Iraq strategy, reflected in recent opinion polls, but he argued it was worth it.
“Some contend that we should set a deadline for withdrawing US forces,” he said. “Let me explain why that would be a serious mistake. Setting an artificial timetable would send the wrong message to the Iraqis – who need to know that America will not leave before the job is done.
“It would send the wrong signal to our troops – who need to know that we are serious about completing the mission they are risking their lives to achieve. And it would send the wrong message to the enemy – who would know that all they have to do is to wait us out.”
He also referred to Al Qaeda.
“The only way our enemies can succeed is if we forget the lessons of September 11, if we abandon the Iraqi people to men like Zarqawi, and if we yield the future of the Middle East to men like Bin Laden. For the sake of our nation’s security, this will not happen on my watch.”
Opposition Democrats immediately accused Bush of failing to offer a clear plan for success in Iraq.