"The people of Iraq have spoken to the world, and the world is hearing the voice of freedom from the center of the Middle East," Mr. Bush said in a four-minute televised statement at 1 p.m. from the entry hall of the White House residence, after the polls closed in Iraq.And lest you get any ideas of planning for the extrication:
But he also warned that "terrorists and insurgents will continue to wage their war against democracy, and we will support the Iraqi people in their fight against them."
"Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the American commander in Iraq, said recently, "There's going to be an insurgency here for some years"...So there you have it. Elections were held, but we can't leave just because attacks may drop or a majority of Iraqis have been trained to take over security. Obviously, I'm wondering exactly what criteria does that leave George for determining when we can leave? The number of McDonald's we install in Baghdad? It certainly won't be based on how far women have come since we helped unleash a reactionary fundamentalist opression that Iraqis haven't seen in their country for scores of years.
(Bush) sidestepped a question about how he would measure success, saying it could not be done by assessing a reduction in attacks, nor by merely counting how many Iraqi troops were deemed to be trained.
"If you announce that one of the metrics is the number of attacks, all that does is cause the enemy" to briefly reduce those attacks, he said. Similarly, he said, he did not want to announce a timetable for withdrawal - even if he had one. "We don't want to give the enemy something on which to rest, plan and attack based on a timetable."
Meet your new war. Same as your old war.