Bush again rejected a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops in Iraq, saying conditions on the ground rather than "artificial timetables set by politicians in Washington" would dictate when American forces could return home.His commitment was echoed both before and after the speech by Democrat Senator and former Al Gore running mate Joe Lieberman (picture below left), who said after his earlier meeting with Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari (not pictured):
We cannot let extremists and terrorists, a small number, here in Iraq deprive the 27 million Iraqis of what they want which is a better freer life, safer life for themselves and their children... The Connecticut Democrat, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said the cost of success in Iraq would be high "but the cost for America of failure in Iraq would be catastrophic -- for America, for the Iraqi people and I believe for the world."After returning from Iraq, Lieberman said he was opposed to an early pull-out, and despite Democrat calls for a pull-out he pointed to polls showing opposition to doing so, and to the real progress being made on the ground in Iraq.
Progress is visible and practical. Iraq is on the frontline of our effort to protect the American people, and it is only right that we stay on the offensive. I have said many times that none of us wants to see this war fought on American soil, in Chicago or New York or Washington, D.C. or any other American city.He's right you know.
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