July 10th, 2007
01:11 PM ET
4 years ago

Bush: 'We've got a plan to lead to victory'

CNN's Ed Henry reports President Bush is preaching patience when it comes to the war in Iraq.

CLEVELAND, Ohio (CNN) – As he toured a suburban Cleveland plant Tuesday, President Bush previewed a speech he’ll give this afternoon in which he refuses to back down on his Iraq strategy.

Mr. Bush told reporters in brief comments, “I will remind the people in the audience today that troop levels will be decided by our commanders on the ground, not by political figures in Washington, DC, and that we've got a plan to lead to victory."

The president added, "I fully understand that this is a difficult war. It's hard on the American people. But I will once again explain the consequences of failure to the American people."

Mr. Bush toured GrafTech in Parma before going on to events at the Cleveland Clinic and then his speech to the Greater Cleveland Partnership. Mr. Bush will take questions following his remarks.

– CNN Political Desk Managing Editor Steve Brusk


Filed under: Iraq • President Bush
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. Matthew Combest Atlanta, GA

    Someone please tell me:

    At what point to we declare victory on the war on terror – after we delare victory on the war on drugs? Come off it – we're not stupid.

    July 10, 2007 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  2. Eric from Holly Springs, NC

    Is he patronizing the american people?? It really sounds like he's frustrated with all of his "subjects" the way a teacher gets frustrated at a 5th grader that can't spell.

    July 10, 2007 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  3. Rob Wilms Los Angeles, Ca.

    It would have been nice if Bush had thought about getting a plan for "victory" 4 years ago when he started this mess....whatever happened to "Mission Accomplished"??

    July 10, 2007 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  4. Victor, Boston MA

    Four+ years into the war and he just NOW decides he has a "plan for victory"? It only took 3500+ dead American soldiers and tens if not hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqi civilians to get here, but I am just overjoyed that finally, our fearless, ever-reliable Commander-in-Chief has a plan.

    More empty talk - more empty promises - more empty rhetoric while people are being killed. And to think: more than 50 million people actually voted for this man in 2004...I hope you all have learned your lesson.

    July 10, 2007 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  5. Pete, T.S. FL

    “and that we’ve got a plan to lead to victory.”

    Mr. President, excuse me but shouldn’t we had a plan before you rushed into this war? We are in year 5 and 3600 + of my brother’s and sisters are dead and 26,000+ wounded and now that the public and members of your own party are getting angry you have another plan.

    When are you going to man up and admit that this was a mistake from the beginning? Victory in a military sense can not be achieved in this region unless you turn it to glass…………………

    You need to get off your agenda of nation building and try to salvage the situation in Iraq with the help of its neighbors and our real allies.

    History will judge you, and it is not looking good as it stands.

    “WE THE PEOPLE”

    July 10, 2007 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    You do? You mean like putting on a pilot outfit onboard a carrier and proclaiming to the world "Mission Accomplished"?

    Don't you EVER learn not to boast or announce victory before it is acheived?

    Hitler also make a public address over the German radio that victory had been won at Stalingrad...only to be handed their worst defeat a few months later.

    July 10, 2007 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  7. Pixie, Murfreesboro, TN

    Mr. Bush told reporters in brief comments, “I will remind the people in the audience today that troop levels will be decided by our commanders on the ground, not by political figures in Washington, DC, and that we’ve got a plan to lead to victory.”

    Right, unless those generals tell you something you don't want to hear, then you fire them.

    He talks about victory in such abstract terms as well...what constitutes victory at this point? How does he intend on achieving it? What are the goals, and how does he plan to meet them? If he can't answer these questions, why the heck would he expect things to magically change 6 months to a year from now? He is just trying to run out the clock so that he can ship a nice package with "IRAQ" stamped on it to the next president. As usual, it's up to someone else to clean up Bush's mess.

    July 10, 2007 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  8. sonny c.ville platte,la

    Victory = ?

    July 10, 2007 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  9. Jack, Livermore, Ca

    George Bush has had several years of plans starting with the invasion of a relatively calm country. All of these plans have been total disasters and a continuing demonstration that this President, Vice President and staff are incapable of running this country and should be removed as quickly as possible.

    July 10, 2007 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  10. Jon, Sacramento ~ Ca

    "He is just trying to run out the clock so that he can ship a nice package with “IRAQ” stamped on it to the next president. As usual, it’s up to someone else to clean up Bush’s mess."

    Yeah – let's blame a President (forget Congress who approved, authorized, funded) that decided to TAKE ACTION against regimes bent on terrorism within the Middle East and our American shores. Perhaps if President Bush had simply lobbed a few Monica Missiles everything would have been just fine?!

    By the way... wasn't it President Clinton that had the opportunity to take out OBL but failed? Would this be called cleaning up "his mess"? Or are the only "messes" attributed to President Clinton the kind that end up as a soiled handkerchief?

    July 10, 2007 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    “I fully understand that this is a difficult war. It’s hard on the American people...”

    Yes this is an incredibly patronizing statement.

    Does he really think we are all stupid?

    He just wants to hang-on as long as possible and just ignore 67% of the public – outraged over the lies, manipulation, the ultimate sacrifice of 3500 soldiers, and the gigantic financial costs billed to taxpayers for this unnecessary war.

    Now McCain threatens us today with higher oil prices if we don't stay?

    July 10, 2007 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  12. Jeannie in Sacramento, CA

    What a tiresome, old cliche Bush is becoming. When is he going to develop a conscience and stop leading our soldiers to their deaths? He needs to go.

    July 10, 2007 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  13. Mike, Corpus Christi Texas

    Appealing for more time and more patience, that's after appealing for more time and more patience, after finally appealing for more time and more patience. You can spin just about anything, including rhetoric.

    July 10, 2007 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  14. Jeremy, Bend, Or

    Whether you want to face the facts or not... the only two Presidents to DO anything in the middle east are President Bush 1 & 2.

    Carter – remember the failed attempt to remove the hostages?
    Regan – lobbed a few missiles as we left after the Berruit Marine massacre.
    Bush 1 – liberated Kuwait
    Clinton – Monica Missiles, missed OBL
    Bush 2 – liberated Afgahnistan and Iraq.

    Moan, cry, bellyache all you like – but no one else had the guts to DO something. And considering how many spine-less peace activist that would have 10 more 9/11s before thinking something was wrong... who can blame any administration for not acting??

    For better or worse – President Bush (more appropriately the US Military) kicked Al-Qaida @$$, removed Saddam from his farm fox-hole, and is attempting to secure the safety and well-being of the Iraqi people.

    THANK YOU, Mr President and our Good Men and Woman of the Armed Forces, for the courage to do what you believe is right!

    July 10, 2007 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  15. sonny c. v.p.,la.

    Jeremy: Did you notice a connection in your analysis? When our standing army does combat against another standing army ,it is a military mission that can be accomplished(Kuwait). When we try to fight a nameless enemy w/our standing army we lose.

    July 10, 2007 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  16. Outraged political activist

    I don’t blame the president for acting, but I do convict him of using it as an opportunity to "act" concerned about the people in Iraq and get filthy rich along with his energy buddies.

    Open your eyes.

    Bush 1- drug deals gone bad (no more please)
    Bush 2- Cheney told me we could make money (I know nothing about that, so I listened)

    Liberate who, from what?

    How bout we liberate our soldiers from risking their lives to make politicians rich.

    July 10, 2007 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  17. Tom Dedham, Mass 02026

    But everyone loved us so much while Bill was in office, at least that is what the Clintonista's and the Clinton News Network would like us to remember.

    I don't need to again post the 5 to 8 American installations that were attacked during his do nothing presidency with little or NO backlash.

    That does embolden the bad guys and they gained strength and a cult following because of it.

    Discuss those attacks without once mentioning Bush and try to spin it like "everyone loved us".

    Bush is a dolt who didn't execute the war as he should have, but after all the attacks that happened during Clinton and then 9-11, the battle had to be joined.

    Yeah, I know, only Bush lied.

    But at least this moron knows that the war on terror is not just a bumper sticker or a slogan, just ask the new Prime minister of England and see what they tried to do early in his administration.

    July 10, 2007 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  18. Mike, Corpus Christi Texas

    What victory? Victory in Iraq was already achieved in 2003, when bush announced "The US and our Allies have prevailed in the battle for Iraq." This happened on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln, under the banner Mission Accomplished! Surely he can't be talking about a military victory against an "insurgency?" In the history of modern warfare, there has never been a military victory over an insurgency. In WWII the Germans used absolute ruthlessness in trying to crush 'partisian insurgents' in eastern Europe, and had little success. In the end, the Germans lost the war. Can bush learn any lessons at all from history? I think we all already know the answer to that one!

    July 10, 2007 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  19. Pixie, Murfreesboro, TN

    "Yeah – let’s blame a President (forget Congress who approved, authorized, funded) that decided to TAKE ACTION against regimes bent on terrorism within the Middle East and our American shores. Perhaps if President Bush had simply lobbed a few Monica Missiles everything would have been just fine?!"

    Well if that had been the case, we would have $600 billion dollars more in our treasury, have 3609 more precious American lives back, and Iraq would be STABLE under its impotent, SECULAR dictator, and who knows, we might have been able to catch OSAMA by now. I'm trying to find a downside to this scenario.

    Besides, how was Iraq "bent on terrorism!!!!"? As I recall, 19 of those 9/11 hijackers were from SAUDI ARABIA, (not ONE from Iraq) yet we didn't go charging into THAT country....I wonder why. Not all Arab countries are the same Jon.

    July 10, 2007 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  20. Tricia M Charlottetown PEI

    Jeremy, Bend, Or

    Gee I wish someone would have told me this earlier, I wouldn't have been so upset while watching the news!

    Afghanistan and Iraq Liberated! What Great News! Wonder how I missed that? I guess it was the blasts from the suicide bombers, heavy clouds of smoke and fire, military armies lining the streets carrying guns and artillery, and the sound of explosions and gun fire that threw my perception off.

    But I'm sure glad to hear that!
    Those poor folks have sure suffered enough and lost more than enough loved ones and friends. No countries could be more deserving of Liberation and Freedom for sure.

    Thanks so much for bringing me up to speed. What Channel do you watch? Could you let me know? As Any Little Bit A Good News would certainly be a welcomed change from what I've been watching which is obviously utdated! Thanks again now ...And Please Keep on Keeping Us Informed eh.

    July 10, 2007 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  21. Retired Navy,KY

    Why are those who are not serving this country in uniform the marjorty who complain about what is happing in this war. I know there are military who disagree, but reenlistments are above planned. Why not join and see what is realy happing in stead of depenting on those who waint to see BUSH fail. Reminder 53% elected him.

    July 11, 2007 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  22. Jon, Sacramento ~ Ca

    Pixie Writes, "Well if that had been the case, we would have $600 billion dollars more in our treasury, have 3609 more precious American lives back, and Iraq would be STABLE under its impotent, SECULAR dictator, and who knows, we might have been able to catch OSAMA by now. I’m trying to find a downside to this scenario."

    I love how the uninformed love to quote how much money has been spent on the war (as though these would have been "unspent" dollars). You DO understand the majority of money spent on the war is paying the salaries of the men and women, right? Regardless if deployed or stationed in San Diego our military gets paid. Also, included in the "costs" are the spent munitions. Drop a bomb on a terrorist safe house – the cost is $500,000 give or take a few bucks (because of the cost of USING the bomb...which otherwise would be sitting in a munitions dump waiting for another day). HENCE – not being in Iraq would not have put $600 Billion back into the Treasury.

    And regard to lives lost – every man and woman whose life was lost is a hero. In the perfect world NONE of our soldiers would ever be lost. Looking at the casualties from conflicts over the last decades:

    World War II – 291,000 Americans dead
    Korean War: 37,000 Americans dead
    Vietnam: 58,000 Americans dead
    Afganistan/Iraq: 4,000 Americans dead

    Oh – and how about we add in the number of Iraqi deaths at the hands of Saddam Hussein: estimated 500,000 to 1,000,000 (many from the use of WMD – gasing)

    We have the greatest military in the history of this country and have made vast improvements at protecting the lives of our soldiers. Keep crying and bellyaching. The facts don't support your statements.

    July 11, 2007 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  23. Mike, HI

    "Whether you want to face the facts or not… the only two Presidents to DO anything in the middle east are President Bush 1 & 2."

    You're assuming that we should be doing something in the Middle East. Maybe we should just leave them the hell alone. I think the best president would be the one to stay out of the Middle East's affairs all-together.

    "And regard to lives lost – every man and woman whose life was lost is a hero."

    Ugh.

    July 11, 2007 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  24. Jon, Sacramento ~ Ca

    "You’re assuming that we should be doing something in the Middle East. Maybe we should just leave them the hell alone."

    Iran takes 300+ Americans hostage. Iraq invades Kuwait taking over the country and oil supply lines. Muslim clerics and terrorist organizations call for the complete annihilation of Israel (your ally). Iran is fast developing nuclear technology and enriching uranium and is outwardly hostile to the United States.

    Gee – why didn't the Department of Defense just implement the "leave and ignore" strategy?? Granted our economy would implode when oil prices explode due to hostile regimes decided to eliminate exporting to the US (petroleum used in autos, aircraft, plastics, heating, etc). And likely our allies being nuked by rogue nations or possible nuclear detonations here on our soil because we don't all bow to the Muslim call for prayer in this country. Once the sands of the middle east reach our shores, we can all just bury our heads in it, give the pinky-thumb Hawaiian sign and shout Mahalo!

    July 11, 2007 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  25. Mike, Corpus Christi Texas

    Jon, your statements just conclude the fact that the "good ole boy" network is still very much alive and well.

    "belly aching"...........LOL!!!

    July 11, 2007 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
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