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Bush Says Victory In Iraq Vital To U.S. Security

The aftermath of a bomb blast in Al-Hillah in February (file photo) 29 June 2005 (RFE/RL) -- U.S. President George W. Bush, seeking to bolster American support for the ongoing war in Iraq, says prevailing in the conflict is vital to the future security of the United States and that the sacrifices needed for victory are worth the cost.

Bush, speaking in a televised national address on 29 June before U.S. soldiers at the Fort Bragg military base in the state of North Carolina, rejected setting a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. soldiers and said American troops would remain in Iraq until Iraqi forces are able to defend Iraq's young democracy.

"The work in Iraq is difficult and dangerous," Bush said. "Like most Americans, I see the images of violence and bloodshed. Every picture is horrifying and the suffering is real. Amid all this violence, I know Americans ask the question: Is the sacrifice worth it? It is worth it, and it is vital to the future security of our country."

Bush compared the Iraqi insurgents to the hijackers who carried out the 11 September 2001 attacks on the United States, but said they would not succeed in trying to shake America's determination.

Bush said the United States is committed to helping Iraqis build a free country that is an American ally in the war on terror, and to advancing the cause of freedom in the broader Middle East.

Bush's address came with opinion polls showing Bush's popularity has fallen to the lowest levels of his presidency, in part due to growing concerns among Americans about the Iraq war.


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