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Thursday, December 08, 2005

BUSH RESPONDS TO CRITICISM

In his December 7th speech, President Bush outlined the progress that is being made in Iraq. Using the cities of Najaf and Mosul as examples, the President responded to criticism of the Coaltion's perceived rigidness and inability to alter its plan for Iraqi reconstruction. In a previous post, I made these very criticisms myself. Bush's speech addressed some of these concerns:

"It used to be that after American troops cleared the terrorists out of a city and moved on to the next mission, there weren't enough forces -- Iraqi forces -- to hold the area. We found that after we left, the terrorists would re-enter the city, intimidate local leaders and police and eventually retake control.

"This undermined the gains of our military, it thwarted our efforts to help Iraqis rebuild, and led local residents to lose confidence in the process and in their leaders.

"So we adjusted our approach. As improvements in training produced more capable Iraqi security forces, those forces have been able to better hold onto the cities we cleared out together."

And quoting Senator Joe Lieberman, Bush later said,

"Does America have a good plan for doing this, a strategy for victory in Iraq? Yes, we do. And it's important to make clear to the American people that the plan has not remained stubbornly still but has changed over the years."



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