October 26th, 2006 02:29 EST
Straight To The Point ... Press Conference By The President
"I know many Americans are not satisfied with the situation in Iraq. I'm not satisfied either. And that is why we're taking new steps to help secure Baghdad and constantly adjusting our tactics across the country to meet the changing threat. But we cannot allow our dissatisfaction to turn into disillusionment about our purpose in this war. ... We must not fall prey to the sophisticated propaganda by the enemy, who is trying to undermine our confidence and make us believe that our presence in Iraq is the cause of all its problems. ... If I did not think our mission in Iraq was vital to America's security, I'd bring our troops home tomorrow. ... I'm confident this generation will answer that call and defeat an ideology that is bent on destroying America and all that we stand for."
- President George W. Bush, 10/25/06
"Our Commanders On The Ground Are Constantly Adjusting Our Tactics"
"Our Goals Are Unchanging - We Are Flexible In Our Methods To Achieving Those Goals." "Americans have no intention of taking sides in a sectarian struggle or standing in the crossfire between rival factions. Our mission is to help the elected government in Iraq defeat common enemies, to bring peace and stability to Iraq, and make our Nation more secure."
-> "On The Military Side, Our Commanders On The Ground Are Constantly Adjusting Our Tactics To Stay Ahead Of Our Enemies":
"We are refining our training strategy for the Iraqi security forces, so we can help more of those forces take the lead in the fight and provide them better equipment and firepower to be successful.
"We've increased the number of Coalition advisers in the Iraqi Ministries of Defense and Interior, so they can better plan and execute security operations against the enemy.
"We have changed our force structure so we can better respond to the conditions on the ground. ...
"Most recently, we have moved additional Coalition and Iraqi forces into Baghdad, so they can help secure the city and reduce sectarian violence."
"A Military Solution Alone Will Not Stop Violence"
"Yesterday, Our Ambassador To Iraq, Zal Khalilzad, Laid Out A Three-Step Approach."
1. "First, We're Working With Political And Religious Leaders Across Iraq, Urging Them To Take Steps To Restrain Their Followers And Stop Sectarian Violence."
2. "Second, We're Helping Iraqi Leaders To Complete Work On A National Compact To Resolve The Most Difficult Issues Dividing Their Country." "The new Iraqi government has condemned violence from all quarters and agreed to a schedule for resolving issues such as disarming illegal militias and death squads, sharing oil revenues, amending the Iraqi constitution, and reforming the de-Baathification process."
3. "Third, We're Reaching Out To Arab States Such As Saudi Arabia, The UAE, And Jordan, And Asking Them To Support The Iraqi Government's Efforts To Persuade Sunni Insurgents To Lay Down Their Arms And Accept National Reconciliation."
-> "The International Community Is Also Supporting The International Compact That Outlines The Support That Will Be Provided To Iraq As It Moves Forward With Its Own Program Of Reform."
"Absolutely, We're Winning"
"If You Listened To General Casey Yesterday, 90 Percent Of The Action Takes Place In Five Of The 18 Provinces. And Around Baghdad, It's Limited To A 30-Mile Area." "And the reason I bring that up is that while it seems to our American citizens that nothing normal is taking place - and I can understand why, it's a brutal environment there, particularly that which is on our TV screens - that there is farmers farming, there are small businesses growing, there's a currency that's relatively stable, there's an entrepreneurial class, there's commerce."
-> "Al Qaeda Is On The Run." "As a matter of fact, the mastermind, or the people who they think is the mastermind of the September the 11th attacks is in our custody. We've now got a procedure for this person to go on trial, to be held for his account. Most of al Qaeda that planned the attacks on September the 11th have been brought to justice."
-> "It's Tough For A Reason; Because People Understand The Stakes Of Success In Iraq." "And my point to the American people is, is that we're constantly adjusting our tactics to achieve victory."
"The Only Way We Lose In Iraq Is If We Leave Before The Job Is Done"
A "Fixed Timetable Of Withdrawal ... Means Defeat." "So what [Gen. Casey] was describing to you was the way forward, to make sure that the Iraqis are fully prepared to defend themselves. It's a conditions-based estimate."
-> "There Is A Significant Difference Between Benchmarks For A Government To Achieve And A Timetable For Withdrawal." "You're talking about - when you're talking about the benchmarks, he's talking about the fact that we're working with the Iraqi government to have certain benchmarks to meet as a way to determine whether or not they're making the hard decisions necessary to achieve peace. ... And we're working with the Iraqi government to come up with benchmarks."
"Prime Minister Maliki Is The Right Man To Achieve The Goal In Iraq"
"We're With [Prime Minister Maliki], So Long As He Continues To Make Tough Decisions." "I'm impressed, for example, by the way that he has got religious leaders, both Sunni and Shia, to start working together. I appreciate the fact that he has made a very clear statement on militias. And by the way, death squad members are being brought to justice in this plan - during these operations in Baghdad. And I speak to him quite frequently."
-> "We'll Push Him, But We're Not Going To Push Him To The Point Where He Can't Achieve The Objective." "And we'll continue to work with him. He represents a government formed by the people of Iraq. It's a - and he's got a tough job. ... Reconciliation is difficult in a society that had been divided and tortured by a tyrant. And Prime Minister Maliki has got the difficult job of reconciling these grievances and different political parties on top of that, plus dealing with violence."
"I Believe I'll Be Working With A Republican-Controlled Congress And A Republican-Controlled Senate"
"The American People Are Going To ... Decide This Race Based Upon Who Best To Protect The American People And Who Best To Keep The Taxes Low."
-> "And We Must Do Everything We Can To Protect The American People, Including Questioning Detainees Or Listening To Their Phone Calls From Outside The Country To Inside The Country." "In other words, as you know, there was some recent votes on that issue. And the Democrats voted against giving our professionals the tools necessary to protect the American people."
-> "If You Raise Taxes, It Will Hurt The Economy." "If you let the tax cuts expire, it will be a tax increase on the American people. Take the child tax credit; if it is not made permanent, in other words, if it expires, and you got a family of four sitting around the breakfast table, the taxpayers can be sure that their taxes will go up by $2,000 - $500 for that child, $500 for the one right there, $500 for this one, and $500 for that one. That is a tax increase. And taking $2,000 out of the pockets of the working people will make it harder to sustain economic growth."
"I Understand, Here In Washington, People Have Already Determined The Outcome Of The Election Like It's Over, Even Before The People Actually Start ... Voting. But That's Not What I See When I'm On The Campaign Trail." "Yes, we've got some people dancing in the end zone here in Washington, D.C., measuring their drapes. They're going over to the Capitol and saying, 'My new office looks beautiful. I think I'm going to have this size drape there, or this color.'"
-> "I See A Lot Of Enthusiasm Amongst The Grassroots Activists." "Our people are going out there to man the phones and to put up the yard signs. You know, they're showing up when it comes time for these absentee votes."