Bu$h Inc: More death and destruction in Iraq is actually a sign of progress
Bu$h Inc. buries head in sand, spews mantra about the land of make-believe it apparently inhabits.
Bush: Desperation Spurred Attacks
By Dana Milbank
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, October 27, 2003; 12:30 PM
President Bush this morning said the increasing attacks on U.S. personnel and supporters in Iraq are a sign of progress because the attacks indicate Iraqi opponents are getting increasingly desperate.
Meeting with the U.S. civilian administrator in Iraq, L. Paul Bremer, in the Oval Office, Bush spoke after attacks on several police stations and a Red Cross facility killed at least 34 today in Iraq, following yesterday's attack on a hotel occupied by Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz. Bush said terrorists in Iraq are reacting to American successes. "The more successful we are on the ground, the more these killers will react," Bush said.
Later, he expanded on that theme. "The more progress we make on the ground, the more free the Iraqis become, the more electricity is available, the more jobs are available, the more kids that are going to school, the more desperate these killers become, because they can't stand the thought of a free society."
Bremer, who has been accompanied on his Washington visit by Army Gen. John Abizaid, the leader of U.S. forces in Iraq, said that "a lot of wonderful things" have happened in Iraq since Bremer last met with Bush in July. Speaking of improvements to electricity, schools and hospitals, Bremer said: "We'll have rough days, such as we've had the last couple of days. But the overall thrust is in the right direction, and the good days outnumber the bad days."
In arguing that increasingly violent or brazen attacks are a sign of U.S. progress, Bush repeated an assertion that White House officials began to make back in August, when U.N. headquarters and a major mosque were attacked.
At his morning briefing, White House press secretary Scott McClellan sought to emphasize Bush's link between progress and heightened attacks. "We've always said the more progress we make, the more desperate the killers will become," the spokesman said. Asked how it could be determined that the attacks signaled desperation rather than sophistication, McClellan repeated: "The more progress we make toward a free and prosperous Iraq, the more desperate they will become."
Bush also pronounced that the donors conference for Iraq last week had been a success. Representatives of foreign governments, meeting in Madrid, offered about $13 billion in a combination of loans and grants toward the more than $50 billion the administration projects will be needed for reconstruction.
"We spent time talking about the success of the donors conference, the fact that the world community is coming together to help build a free Iraq, and we want to thank the world for the willingness to step up and to help," Bush said. The president did not repeat a veto threat, made by an aide, if Congress does not provide the $20 billion Bush requested entirely in grants rather than loans. "My attitude has been and still is that the money we provide Iraq ought to be in the form of grants," he said, "and the reason why is we want to make sure that the constraints on the Iraqi people are limited so that they can flourish and become a free and prosperous society."
The president also linked the attacks on the Red Cross and the police stations today to a toughening of targets involving U.S. personnel. Bush said the occupation authority is countering the attacks by training Iraqi security personnel -- McClellan said there are already 85,000 -- and "working hard with freedom-loving Iraqis to help ferret these people out before they attack and strike."
Bush, who returned Friday from a sweep through Asia and Australia, said he has a case of jetlag as he returns to work in Washington. "Do I ever," he said.
© 2003 The Washington Post Company
add a comment on this article
add a comment on this article