It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
(visit the link for the full news article)
President Bush said Friday that the flare up in violence in oil-rich southern Iraq and parts of Baghdad presents "a defining moment in the history of Iraq" as the government there seeks to rout out Shiite militias.
"It's going to take awhile, but it's a necessary part of the development of a free society," Bush said at a White House news conference with visiting Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. At the same time, the president said the situation in Iraq remains "dangerous and fragile."
"Basra has been a place where criminality has thrived," Bush said. "They are fighting some pretty tough characters... and yes, there's going to be violence, and that's sad."
"Any government that presumes to represent the majority of people must confront criminal elements or people who think they can live outside the law. That's what's taking place in Basra and other parts of Iraq," Bush said. "I would say this is a defining moment in the history of Iraq."
Any government that presumes to represent the majority of people must confront criminal elements or people who think they can live outside the law
President George W. Bush called the Iraqi offensive in Basra a “defining moment” on Friday as violence continued to spread across the country.
“This happens to be one of the provinces where the Iraqis are in the lead…and this is a good test for them,” Mr Bush said.
US officials have portrayed the four-day operation as evidence that the Iraqi government has the political will, and its security forces the capability, to tackle militias. The death toll in the four days of fighting since Mr Maliki launched operation Sawlat al- Fursan, or Charge of the Knights, was unclear, but appeared to have risen above 200.
Retired general Jack Keane, who advised the White House on the surge, said the offensive was a “very positive indication” that the Iraqi government was starting to address the deteriorating security situation in the south.
“That has to be applauded,” said Gen Keane. “All that said, I am not sure there has been proper planning and co-ordination, especially with the coalition, to have first rate execution.”