White House Fingers al Qaeda in Iraq Violence, Vows to Accelerate
One of the most important jobs of Iraq Prime Minister Nuri Kamal
al-Maliki is to provide security for the Iraqi people, President George
W Bush said from Amman, Jordan, on 30 November 2006.
"Part of the Prime Minister's frustration is, is that he doesn't have
the tools necessary to take care of those who break the law," President
"I was reassured by his commitment to a pluralistic society that is
politically united, and a society in which people are held to account
if they break the law -- whether those people be criminals, al Qaeda,
militia, whoever," the president added.
During a joint press conference Iraq's Prime Minister al-Maliki and
President Bush fielded questions on progress being made in present day
The prime minister explained that Iraq's Parliament includes multiple
parties and views and that "nobody has the right, outside of Iraq, to
interfere in the political or the security situation inside of Iraq."
Discussions between President Bush and Prime Minister al-Maliki touched
upon how to: Accelerate authority to the prime minister and; bring
security to Iraq. "It's going to -- the presence of the United States
will be in Iraq so long as the government asks us to be in Iraq,"
President Bush said.
"I believe that there is more training to be done...I know that we're
providing a useful addition to Iraq by chasing down al Qaeda and by
securing -- by helping this country protect itself from al Qaeda," the
As violence has increased across Iraq during 2006, those responsible
for the violence were not fingered on any single group. The White House
now contends that al Qaeda is responsible for the violence, it has also
been said that Syria and Iran have helped fuel violence, but in years
2004 and 2005 violent outbreaks were attributed to Iraq insurgents
laying alliance to any number of local groups.
"Al Qaeda made it clear earlier that suicide bombers would increase
sectarian violence. That was part of their strategy," President Bush
said. "One of our goals is to deny safe haven for al Qaeda in Iraq, and
the Maliki government expects us and wants us to provide that vital
part of security."
President Bush said that Iraq requested the United States military stay
in the nation until further notice.
"So, we'll be in Iraq until the job is complete, at the request of a
sovereign government elected by the people," President Bush said. The
president added that the United States gave freedom to Iraq and a free
society. "In my judgment, if we were to leave before the job is done,
it would only embolden terrorists, it would only embolden the
extremists. It would dash the hopes of millions of people who want to
live in a free society, just like the 12 million people who voted in
the Iraqi election. They want to live in a free society. And we support
this government, because the government understands it was elected by
the people," he said.
Prime Minister al-Maliki added that he has worked with President Bush
to accelerate the transfer of the security from the United States
military to Iraq authorities. "And be assured that the Iraqi forces and
the security forces have reached a good level of competency and
efficiency to protect Iraq as a country and to protect its people," the
prime minister said.
Propaganda in the media however has impeded negotiations added Prime
Minister al-Maliki, who denied Iran is involved in violence in Iraq.
Misinformation is being used across the board to "give the impression
of sectarian strife so that will reach a point of no return," he said.
"If there is any talk about intervention in Iraq and all the
discussion, all the talks about people or other nations exerting
control over Iraq, this is not true. This is a political process in
Iraq. We want good relationships with our neighbors; we want
complementary relationships with our neighbors to protect the region
from tensions. But the main principle underlying all this is the
respect of the Iraqi borders and the internal affairs of Iraq," he
President Bush added that Iran, Iraq's neighbor, fears democracy and
"that's why they (Iran) destabilize Lebanon; that's why they are
worried about the establishment of a Palestinian state."
"I am very worried, as should the world, about Iran's desires to have a
nuclear weapon and, therefore, will continue to work with the world to
send a clear message to the Iranians, the Iranian government, that we
will -- they will become more isolated," President Bush said.
President Bush said he has great respect for the prime minister and
that it is his goal to fund the tools necessary for Iraq to strengthen
as soon as possible. Prime Minister al-Maliki "has expressed a
deep desire to unify his country. You hear all kinds of rumors about
the politics inside of Iraq. I'm talking to the man face-to-face, and
he says that he understands that a unified government, a pluralistic
society, is important for success. And he's making hard decisions to
"And the meeting today was to accelerate his capacity to do so. It's
not easy for a military to evolve from ground zero, and I appreciate
our forces, and I appreciate General Casey, who have worked very hard
to train the Iraqis so they become a capable fighting force, as well as
a unifying element for Iraq. But it's one thing to put people in
uniform, and another thing to have clear command structure, or the
capacity to move troops from point A to point B, or the capacity to
make sure that the troop carrier from point A to point B has got the
necessary air in its tires or oil in its engine. In other words, this
is a sophisticated operation to get a unifying army stood up,"
President Bush said.
Both men agreed that settling the Palestine and Israel issues would
help bring peace to the Middle East. "Our government strongly believes
in the two-state solution," said President Bush. "I believe it's in the
Palestinian people's interest that they have their own state. And I
believe it is in Israel's interest that there be a democracy on her
border. And therefore, we're working to that end."
The president said there are "extremists" working to destabilize
Palestine, Lebanon, and Iraq. "And the task at hand is to support
moderate, reasonable people in their quest for free societies. And that
means that Abu Mazen, who I believe wants there to be a Palestinian
state living side-by-side with peace in Israel, deserves the support of
the world. And he deserves support in peeling his government away from
those who do not recognize Israel's right to exist."
"It's very important for the American people to understand that most
Muslim mothers want their children to grow up in peace, and they're
interested in peace. And it's in our interest to help liberty prevail
in the Middle East, starting with Iraq," the president concluded.
When Iraq's people grow tired of the violence, that democracy would
flourish in the nation the president said. Create a safe haven for
terrorists in Iraq "would be very dangerous for America. It didn't take
but 19 people who were trained in Afghanistan to get on airplanes and
come and kill over 3,000 citizens in my country."
"And the best way to protect ourselves is to hunt down the terrorists
and to help young democracies survive. Freedom and liberty is the great
alternative to the hateful vision of those who are willing to murder
innocent lives to achieve their objective," President Bush said.
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