President Bush Won't Set Deadline For Iraq Withdrawal - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

6/29/05-Fort Bragg, N.C.

President Bush Won't Set Deadline For Iraq Withdrawal

Bush marked the one-year anniversary of the U.S. handover of sovereignty to Iraqis with a nationally televised speech in front of rows of men and women in uniform at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, which is home to airborne and special operations forces.

The President  says he won't send more troops to Iraq or set a timetable for withdrawal because he doesn't want to imply the U-S intends to stay forever. The president has flatly rejected calls by a number of Democrats -- and even some Republicans -- to set a timetable for withdrawing U.S. forces from Iraq. Bush said that setting a timetable would be "a serious mistake" because it would send the wrong message to the people of Iraq and to an enemy that would simply wait it out. He said the enemy consists of terrorists, foreign fighters, criminals and former backers of Saddam Hussein, all motivated "because the survival of their hateful ideology is at stake." He also rejected calls that the United States should send more troops to help put down the insurgency. The president also noted progress in Iraq's political system and improvements made to basic services. He also said initiatives are under way to improve Iraqi forces.

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