Thursday, August 31, 2006

Bush to Renew Defense of War Strategy

SALT LAKE CITY - President Bush predicts that victory in Iraq will be "a major ideological triumph in the struggle of the 21st century" as he prepares to begin a renewed campaign to defend his war strategy ahead of the fall elections and the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

Beginning a series of war speeches at the American Legion's national convention on Thursday, Bush planned to acknowledge the unsettling times - marked by sectarian violence in Iraq, disputes along the Israel-Lebanon border and terrorists allegedly plotting to blow up planes between Britain and the United States.

But he was arguing that the bloodshed and threats are part of an ideological struggle between freedom and extremism that the United States must not abandon.

"They're not political speeches," Bush said Wednesday when asked if they might have an impact on the congressional elections just over two months away. "They're speeches about the future of this country, and they're speeches to make it clear that if we retreat before the job is done, this nation would become even more in jeopardy. These are important times, and I seriously hope people wouldn't politicize these issues that I'm going to talk about."

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