Bloomberg News Service; Bush Says `Tough Times Ahead' in Iraq (May 13)
May 13 (Bloomberg) -- President George W. Bush said the U.S. will remain ``on the offensive'' through ``tough times'' to ensure freedom for Iraq and prevent terrorists from striking again on American soil.
...Last month, 174 Americans died in combat in Iraq, and the release two weeks ago of photos showing U.S. soldiers abusing Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib prison sparked outrage worldwide. For the first time, a majority of Americans -- 51 percent -- said the war was going poorly, the Pew Center for the Public Press poll said after a poll May 3-9. The president, 57, is trying to bolster Republican support in what promises to be a very close election against Kerry, 60, a four-term Massachusetts senator, said Mark Rozell, chairman of the political department at Catholic University. Bush's job approval rating in the Pew poll fell to 44 percent, from 48 percent in April, after the prisoner abuse revelations. Bush called the conduct of those soldiers ``disgraceful'' and said it didn't represent the character of U.S. military personnel. `Disgruntlement' Republicans are divided over spending and Iraq, said Greg Valliere, chief political strategist at Schwab Soundview Capital markets. ``This growing rift over Iraq has to be unsettling to the White House because it's contributing to the overall drop in his job rating and in support for the war,'' he said. The U.S. military is now spending $4.5 billion to $5 billion a month in Iraq and Afghanistan and needs an ``emergency reserve fund'' of $25 billion to meet that expense, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz told the Senate Armed Services Committee today. The Pentagon spent $66.2 billion in Iraq from January 2003 through February of this year and last month decided to keep more troops than planned following insurgencies that produced the fiercest battles in a year. The president ``is trying to avoid the political mistake of his father, which was to assume the automatic support of the base,'' Rozell said. ``He needs to address any conservative disgruntlement right now, before it gets politically serious.'' `Shaky Weeks' ``One of the most damaging criticisms of Bush is that he hasn't made his case forcefully or frequently enough, so speeches like tonight's are crucial as the president seeks to regain his balance after several shaky weeks,'' Valliere said earlier today. There are ``tough times ahead'' in Iraq, Bush said. ``We will win this essential victory in the war of terror.'' ``This is the work that history has set before us,'' Bush said. ``We welcome it.'' Bush has never used his presidential veto power on a spending bill while budgets have gone from a surplus of $236.9 billion to a deficit of $374.2 billion over the last three years. Stephen Moore, president for the Club for Growth, a pro- Republican tax-cut advocacy group, has said Bush hasn't shown a commitment to getting deficits under control. Bush said Kerry would raise taxes to pay for increased government spending. Kerry has proposed repealing Bush's tax cuts for families making more than $200,000 a year. Mobilizing Voters Ultimately, ``the right will be solidly pro-Bush in the election,'' Valliere said. ``The prospect of a Kerry presidency will be more than sufficient to mobilize conservative voters.'' ``It's very ominous'' that Bush is speaking to a group that spent $12 million on an anti-abortion advertisement campaign and supports eliminating the tax code, Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe said on a conference call. ``For George Bush to have to go tonight to the American Conservative Union at a time when he should be talking to swing voters'' does not bode well for his campaign, McAuliffe said. ``On the fundamental issues of our time, conservatives have been right,'' Bush said. ``I am proud to advance these convictions and these principles as I stand for re-election.''
Are you under the impression that I actually care what you think?
My only interest in you is pointing out what a complete troll you are; I have no idea what party you belong to, but I do know that you're two things: 1) Not a conservative or a Republican and 2) doing the work of the people who hope to destroy this country.
800 people have died in Iraq in 15 months.
It's not hundreds like you said.
How much is the freedom of your country -- presuming "your country" is the United States -- worth?
You don't seem to be too damn concerned with the 3,000 that died on 9-11; I wonder what nationality you really are.