In Shrine Bombing Aftermath, Bush Sees "Moment Of Choosing" For Iraqis - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

2/24/06-Washington, D.C.

In Shrine Bombing Aftermath, Bush Sees "Moment Of Choosing" For Iraqis

President Bush says the bloodshed that's followed the bombing of a top Shiite shrine has brought Iraqis to "a moment of choosing."

Speaking to a veterans group, the president denounced the bombing as "an affront to people of faith throughout the world."

But he says he's encouraged by calls for calm on the part of Iraqi leaders.

He acknowledges the situation in Iraq remains "serious" -- and says the coming days will likely be "intense." But he adds, "I'm optimistic." Bush says the Iraqi people -- in their December elections -- made clear they want democracy and peace.

Clashes following Wednesday's attack on the shrine in Samarra, north of Baghdad, have brought Iraq to the brink of civil war.

But Press Secretary Scott McClellan says the president also sees a "time of opportunity for Iraqis to come together."

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