Bush Vows To Continue Fight Against Terrorism
Posted June 29, 2005 7:02 a.m. EDT
FORT BRAGG, N.C. — President George W. Bush on Tuesday rejected suggestions Tuesday that he set a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq or send in more troops, counseling patience for Americans who question the war's painful costs.
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Facts, Quotes From Bush's Address
"Is the sacrifice worth it? It is worth it and it is vital to the security of our country," Bush told a nation increasingly doubtful about the toll of the 27-month-old war.
Bush spoke in an evening address for a half-hour from an Army base that has 9,300 troops in Iraq, hoping to convince the public that his strategy for victory needs only time -- not any changes -- to be successful. He offered no shift in course.
"We have a clear path forward," he said. "As the Iraqis stand up, we will stand down."
The audience of 750 soldiers and airmen in dress uniform listened mostly quietly -- as they were asked to do to reflect the somber nature of the speech -- only breaking into applause when Bush vowed that the United States "will stay in the fight until the fight is won."
Bush said he understands the public concerns about a war that has killed over 1,740 Americans and 12,000 Iraqi civilians and cost $200 billion. "Like most Americans, I see the images of violence and bloodshed," he said. "Every picture is horrifying and the suffering is real."
It was a tricky balancing act, believed necessary by White House advisers who have seen dozens of deadly insurgent attacks each day eat into Americans' support for the war -- and for the president -- and increase discomfort among even Republicans on Capitol Hill.