“Bush: It’s NaÃ¯ve to Believe There is No War on Terror,” by Randy Hall for CNSNews.com:
(CNSNews.com) – Responding to criticism that the conflict in Iraq is merely a civil war in a foreign country, President Bush said during a news conference at the White House on Thursday that “this notion that this isn’t a war on terror is, in my view, naÃ¯ve.”
Bush made the comment one day after 2008 Democratic presidential candidate and former U.S. Sen. John Edwards dismissed the U.S.-led war on terrorism as “a bumper sticker, not a plan.”
Speaking in the White House Rose Garden, the president also stated that the upcoming summer months will be a critical time for his troop “surge” in Iraq. He indicated that the last five brigades making up the 30,000-troop buildup should arrive in Baghdad by mid-June.
“We are going to expect heavy fighting in the next weeks and months, and we can expect American and Iraqi casualties,” Bush said. “We will stay on the offense,” he added, repeating what has become for him a consistent refrain: “It’s better to fight them there than to fight them here.”
Asked how long he could sustain the policy without achieving significant progress on the ground, Bush noted that the U.S. commander in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus, is due to report back on the effects of the new strategy by September.
In response to a reporter’s question regarding making a choice between fighting al Qaeda and the war in Iraq, the president replied that “we are fighting al Qaeda … in Iraq.”
Bush also said that “the Iraqi government needs to show real progress in return for America’s continued support and sacrifice. It’s going to be hard work for this young government,” he added.
Indeed it is.