Sunday, December 26, 2004
On Admitting... or... Boxing With Reality! On Boxing Day... the Irony!
If you don't know what the... hell I am talking about... well... Heaven Knows! ;)
Bush admits Iraqi troops not ready to take over CTV.ca News Staff
The day (last Monday) after a series of attacks claimed more than 60 lives in Iraq, President George Bush admitted that U.S.-trained Iraqi troops are not ready to take over their country's security.
"Car bombs that destroy young children, or car bombs that indiscriminately bomb in religious sites, are effective propaganda tools," Bush told reporters at a rare White House news conference on Monday morning.
"But we must meet the objective, which is to help the Iraqis defend themselves, and at the same time have a political process to go forward," he added.
In the 17th solo press briefing of his presidency, Bush acknowledged attempts to put security in the charge of Iraqi forces have produced "mixed" results.
"There have been some cases where, when the heat got on, they left the battlefield," he said. "That is unacceptable.
"... We are under no illusion that this Iraqi force is not ready to fight in toto."
But the president made it clear the upcoming Iraqi vote will go ahead as planned.
"The elections in January are the beginning of a process and it is important for the American people to understand that," he said.
-Defending Rumsfeld Sheesh - Dubya has hit an all-time low - defending Rumsfeld... Of course he will, though - birds of a feather stick together ;)
Bush was also compelled to defend his embattled defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, who is increasingly out of favour on Capitol Hill.
Deflecting the latest criticism, that the secretary's signature was stamped on condolence letters to families of the approximately 1,300 U.S. troops who have died in Iraq, Bush said he knows Rumsfeld's heart.
"I know how much he cares for the troops," he said, describing Rumsfeld as a "good, decent man" and "a caring fellow."
"Beneath that rough and gruff no-nonsense demeanor is a good human being who cares deeply about the military and the grief that war causes."
To drive his point home, Bush said he was very happy to give the Pentagon chief a fresh vote of confidence when he invited him to stay in the job.
"He's doing a very fine job," the president said.
In his 55-minute appearance, Bush touched on a host of other issues including:
Plans to submit a federal budget next February, that will halve the deficit in five years. "It's going to be a tough budget, no doubt about it," he said, suggesting his plan will mean holding the reins on spending.
Recently signed legislation to reorganize America's intelligence operations. "Because we acted, our vast intelligence enterprise will be more unified, coordinated and effective than ever," he said.
The controversy over his first nominee to be Homeland Security secretary. "In retrospect he made the right decision to pull his name down," Bush said of former New York City police commissioner Bernard Kerik, who withdrew over a tax dodge. "The lessons learned is continue to vet and ask questions."
Washington's "complex" links with Moscow, in light of disagreements over the war on terror and elections in Ukraine. "The relationship's an important relationship and I would call the relationship a good relationship," Bush said of his ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
With files from The Associated Press