SAN DIEGO – President George W. Bush, facing waning support for his Iraq policy, on Tuesday appealed to Americans not to waver because of the rising death toll and said U.S. credibility was at stake.
With nearly 1,900 U.S. troops killed in Iraq and anti-war protesters trailing him from his secluded Texas ranch to California, Bush has seen his job approval ratings plummet to the lowest levels of his presidency.
In a speech in which he sought to cast the conflict as the modern day equivalent of America’s World War Two struggle against Japan, Bush said Americans “once again” had a stark choice to make.
“Now as then our enemies have made their fight a test of American credibility and resolve. Now as then they are trying to intimidate free people and break our will,” Bush said.
“This is the choice we face: Do we return to the pre-Sept. 11 mind-set of isolation and retreat? Or do we continue to take the fight to the enemy and support our allies in the broader Middle East?” Bush said.
“I’ve made my decision. We will stay on the offensive. We will stand with the people of Iraq and we will prevail,” Bush said…