BUSHINGTON, D.C.(Dominion of Cheney) - George II said today that he "understands" why his coalition allies are pulling their troops out of Iraq. Bush declined to say when U.S. troops would be withdrawn from Iraq, and added that he hoped the coalition-of-the-willing would also continue to keep their troops in Iraq. "Our troops will come home", Bush said, "only when Iraq is capable of defending herself."
Bush's statement came after yesterday's announcement by Silvio Berlusconi, Prime Minister of Italy, that his country will began to withdraw all of its troops from Iraq. There is widespread anger across Italy over the recent murder of an Italian officer by American troops. Approximately 14 nations have pulled their troops out of Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion and occupation in March 2003.
At a White House press conference, Bush said he would continue to push his plan for a Social Security overhaul, and that he had confidence in Tom DeLay, House Majority Leader, that the measure would be passed and signed into law. Bush added that he was also "concerned" about rising energy costs.
In his telephone conversation with Berlusconi earlier today, Bush said that they had talked further about the situation in Iraq, and his decision to appoint Paul Wolfowitz as the head of the World Bank. "Berlusconi told me that he would not change his policy, that he would consult with the allies before withdrawing Italian troops from Iraq", said Bush, "and this would be done when the Iraqi's had the ability to defend themselves."
George II eluded questions concerning the torture of detainees held by American authorities. "America must make sure that it does everything it can to protect our people and our friends from terrorist attack", Bush said, "and one way to do that is to arrest people and send them back "to their 'home countries.' " We have assurances that no detainees will be tortured."
Waxing philosophically about his second term, Bush said that he will not worry about his place in history, and whether it will vindicate him for his efforts to bring democracy and freedom to the Middle East. "I never worry about my standing in history, or about my vindication.......I've got a lot on my plate, on a regular basis", said George II, "and I don't have enough time to sit around being lonely in my office, or wandering around asking the portraits if they know what my place in history will be. I have a lot of work to do."
Changing the topic back to Social Security, Bush stated that he was having a difficult time convincing Congress and the American public to accept his plan for totally revamping the national retirement system.
"I know we are making progress", said Bush, "but I believe that there will be a "tough vote" on Social Security." "I intend to keep on travelling around America, talking to people about my Social Security plan."
Getting back to the topic of war, Bush said that Iran must immediately and permanently give up its nuclear weapons programme. "Iran must assure America and the world that it is not processing uranium for nuclear weapons", Bush said, "otherwise European leaders and myself will cease all negotiations with Tehran, and "take this issue" to the United Nations." "I have been advised that the U.N. Security Council may reject America's offer of resolution to Iran. I hope that they don't."
Jumping back to Iraq, Bush said that he "understood" the reasons why other countries are withdrawing their troops from Iraq. "What the American people are going to see is that our allies will be willing and anxious to leave", said Dubya, "but only when the Iraqi police and security forces are capable of taking over the work that is now being done by the U.S. military." Bush hotly denied that the U.S.-led coalition is crumbling.
Bush also lauded the opening session of Iraq's first "freely elected" parliament, the first in fifty years, calling it a "bright moment" in Iraq's history. Iraq's 275 parliamentary members held their meeting in an auditorium, inside the U.S. "Green Zone", with U.S. helicopter gunships circling overhead.
THE REAL GEORGE W. BUSH
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