July 12th, 2007
12:09 PM ET
12 years ago

Bush: Iraq benchmarks report 'cause for optimism'

President Bush answers reporters' questions about Iraq Thursday during a White House news conference.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A report on U.S.-set benchmarks for Iraq shows "satisfactory progress" in eight areas, while highlighting that there's "more work to do" in other areas, President Bush said Thursday.

"Of the 18 benchmarks Congress asked us to measure, we can report that satisfactory progress is being made in eight areas," Bush said during a White House news conference.

Iraqis "have provided the three brigades they promised for operations in and around Baghdad," said the president. However, Iraqis have "not done enough to prepare for local elections or pass a law to share in oil revenues."

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Time.com: Can Bush Save the Surge?

Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (41 Responses)
  1. Jeff, Houston, Texas

    Let me see.

    Once again, Bush's numbers are down, his report card stinks, our people are still dying for a war based on lies, and what happens?

    Bush says everything is just fine, but his Homeland Security chief says the sky is about to fall, all with an implied message that only George and his cronies, and their contempt for the rule law and the American people in general, can save the day.

    We have been here before people, only now the circle we have been traveling on has even more blood on it.

    July 12, 2007 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  2. Pete, T.S. FL

    Just like the “No Child Left Behind”, comment on the positive and exaggerate and brush off and ignore the bad.

    Mr. President,

    Why are you killing my brothers and sisters for your own agenda? Osama and the real Al Qaeda are in Pakistan. They are the ones responsible for 9/11.

    We are less safe now because of your actions. You have failed America!


    July 12, 2007 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  3. Shawnie - Grants Pass, OR

    I am not a Bush fan and am one who voted "disapproval" for him in the polls

    After watching the news conference today, I felt resentfully misled by the liberal media and politicians who are riding the current anti-war political band wagon and my question – to where will this anti-war wagon lead us in the end?

    I wonder if all those anti-war politicians and like minded will be willing to take credit for the consequences of bringing those troops home soon. Why doesn't the media cover the future consequences of such an action? Or how about covering the whole picture, everything that is going on in the entire region and the inter relationships? So that we can make informed choices as a public.

    I learned several issues surrounding the reason for the ongoing war that are never touched on in the news.

    No wonder everyone is tired of the unromantic war, but it the long-term that we need to study out and weigh. We're currently not looking at the long-term. Pulling out will come back on us in a bigger, more regrettable way.

    July 12, 2007 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  4. Larry Tierney Florida

    May I please have some more Cool-Aid, Uncle Dick?

    Please join me on the space ship.

    July 12, 2007 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  5. Ann Brunswick ME

    Listening to the Democrat's today, I am beginning to believe that the Democrats are joining forces with al Qaeda to destroy America. Democrates have completely lost the point of their place in this country. I am ashamed to have worked with Democrats.

    July 12, 2007 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  6. Kathy Scioscia, Phoenix, Arizona


    July 12, 2007 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  7. bret, atl, ga

    Only in Bush's weird Bizzarro World is a 50% a cause for optimism. In the Real World, 50% = F.

    July 12, 2007 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  8. Wesley Cole, Palm Springs, CA

    Once again Bush proves he IS A MORON AND A LOUSY President. Everything is "satisfactory"? GW, you sir are a complete bafoon.

    Wesley Cole, Palm Springs CA

    July 12, 2007 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  9. Dave, Charlotte NC

    Um, Pete
    Isnt it Al Qaeda blowing uup innocent people in Iraq along with our soldiers? Maybe if Pakistan wasn't full of radical scumbags that think Bin Laden is great we would have him by now. Not to mention he is probably safe in Iran anyways. Has anyone who comments here even read the Constitution? I guess Jeff would rather we wait until Al Qaeda shows up in NYC again to fight them?

    July 12, 2007 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  10. Gregory T. Anderson, DeKalb, Illinois

    Hooray for Helen Thomas!

    Thank you Ms. Thomas for having the courage to tell Mr. Bush in his pressroom that the Iraq war was started by him, it is his fault Al Qaeda has been established there, and he could end this ridiculous war today. Her veteran status made her one of the few that could do this, and I am so happy she said what needed to be said!

    July 12, 2007 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  11. Dave, Charlotte NC

    I can only hope that people like Shawnie in OR are the majority, who don't beleive everything that CNN wants us to. God forbid people turn off Entertainment tonight, stop worring about Paris Hilton, and try to educate themselves on what we are really facing.

    July 12, 2007 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  12. Tricia M Charlottetown, PEI

    Well that shot of Bush certainly doesn't impress upon viewers the Face of a Happy Man or the Bearer of What He Conceives, or would have us believe, is Benchmark Optismism! HA

    Sorry, but this President just keeps on keeping on making himself look worse by the minute!

    Why doesn't he just do the Noble Thing and Step Down and take Cheney with him!

    Satisfactory Progress on Eight of Eighteen Benchmarks is far from my view of Satisfactory!

    July 12, 2007 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  13. Tricia M Charlottetown PEI

    Well I dunno Shawnie. I see it like this.

    If we stay in Iraq we can be guaranteed more bloodshed and more military lives will be lost. Based on the Bush track records to date we can also guarantee that all blood shed and loss of lives will have ineffectively been for not as they have been up to present time!
    And if we stay the course, we can all be guaranteed, America and Nato Allies, that many more dollars will be spent on War Interests that will definietly take away from much needed National and Community Based Programs like for instance, Health Care and Homeland Security. We can't afford both and stay afloat..We Need Both To Stay Secure and Well.

    If we pull out, we'll have our Military here to support us if anything should come upon our soil.
    But, personally, I believe that threat by the Republicans is just another Scare Tactic....The Iraquis et al will attack us here regardless if we pull out of Iraq or stay. They have proven that already...In fact, we're doing them a great service by sending all our troops to Iraq...they know where they are, and they know we are sitting home with no one to defend us! "Sitting Ducks" I believe is the Familiar Term. Perfect setting for a Homeland Attack by Iraquis if you ask me. Wouldn't you say?

    July 12, 2007 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  14. Pete, T.S. FL

    After watching the news conference today, I felt resentfully misled by the liberal media and politicians who are riding the current anti-war political band wagon and my question – to where will this anti-war wagon lead us in the end?
    Shawnie, you as all AMERICANS have choices as to what media you get your news from. Don’t quote this “liberal media” crap as your justification.

    The issues we face to today are because we invaded Iraq, plain and simply a mistake that will haunt America for a long time. Had we finished Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and “smoked them out as “W” stated we would be in a much better position to defend our great nation.

    Smoke and mirrors only last so long.


    July 12, 2007 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  15. Dale Hernden Saginaw, MI

    I simply cannot imagine the state of the world should Al-Queda gain control over Iraq and align with radical Iran and Syria.

    Ever since Viet Nam and Watergate, the traditional media has adopted a self righteous attitude concerned only with todays sensational headline and the opportunity for being the next Woodward & Bernstein like hero. Balance and perspective be damned!

    July 12, 2007 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  16. Pete, T.S. FL

    Ann, this issue has nothing to do with party affiliation, this issue is about AMERICA, and last time I checked we are the greatest democracy on this planet.

    Get of off this notion that we are fighting Al Qaeda in Iraq, sure we created a training ground for some, but we are fighting Iraqis and a nation of hatred toward their fellow country man.

    My brothers and sisters are dying for a LIE and I for one will speak up at every possible occasion and venue that I can.

    I am a registered Republican but I am an AMERICAN first!


    July 12, 2007 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  17. Pete, T.S. FL


    Yes I have, and I try to read this precious document at least once a week. Furthermore I have fought the “War on Terror” And Dave, it is Iraqis killing Iraqis, yes we have let Al Qaeda in and they are players but not as much as the administration wants you to believe.


    July 12, 2007 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  18. SB, Edmond, OK

    I agree 100% with Bret. 50% = FAILURE, not "cause for optimism". I get the impression that he (along with military officials) were expecting the report to be worse, so for them to achieve 50%, in their eyes, is a cause for optimism.

    I feel mislead and am very resentful that we ever went into Iraq. It was not our war to fight, and now we have caused the whole Middle East to become unstable, which could haunt us down the road. Unfortunately, there is no good resolution to this crisis. If we pull out, the Iranians and Syrians will "invade" Iraq and who knows what will happen. If we stay, we subject ourselves to losing many more brave soliders in a war we cannot "win" (despite what G Dubbya seems to think). I hope my children don't pay the price for his stupid decision to invade.

    July 12, 2007 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  19. Bill, Covina, California

    People are getting killed, we are fighting in a civil war and progress has been made in 8 out of 18 benchmarks. Oh yes, that is "cause for optimism". We now need a president that will take charge and pull our troops out and leave the Iraq to defend its own sanbox. I am tired of it, the nation is tired of. Bush has caused more countries to hate us since he has been in office then in the last 50 years. Now he wants missle defenses in Europe! Why don't we invade Canada? Hey, Mr. President, lets fight the Germans again or maybe the Japanese. Or go into Mexico and solve your imigration problem by force, which is what the Bush really wants to do. Thank you Republican voters for allowing the nation to see your true colors. Red, Red, and Red.

    July 12, 2007 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  20. Anonymous

    "...pass a law to share in oil revenues."

    First of all, the Sunni's have absolutely no vested interest in losing almost exclusive power under Saddam and handing it over to the Kurds and Shiites.

    Secondly Mr. Bush can you please tell us Americans that are paying for the war how the oil revenues are PRESENTLY being used and how the oil is getting exported???

    Call me a skeptic or crazy but last time I checked we are taxpayers and have a right to see an audit and know how our money is being used.

    Wolfowitz proclaimed that the Iraqi oil revenue alone would pay for the war. Now this famous statement couldn't be further from the truth.

    July 12, 2007 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  21. Mary, MI

    Look at him. Even he doesn't believe what he's saying to the American people. Liar, liar pants on fire!

    July 12, 2007 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  22. Gary, Denver, Colorado

    8 satisfactory out of 18. What about the remaining 10? Last I knew, 44% is a failing grade on any test.

    July 12, 2007 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  23. Jeff C, San Francisco

    Bush keeps on saying "mission accomplished" but can't even realistically define what the mission is!
    He's living in a fantasy world.

    July 12, 2007 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  24. Mike, HI

    "I simply cannot imagine the state of the world should Al-Queda gain control over Iraq and align with radical Iran and Syria."

    The Sunnis have their own interest. The Shi'a have their own interest. The Kurds have their own interest. None of these include al Qaeda. They will be slaughtered when we leave. Al Qaeda simply cannot "gain control over Iraq."

    Let's remember that al Qaeda is not the source of all this conflict. Not everyone firing a gun in Iraq is a terrorist aligned with al Qaeda. From what I understand, most aren't.

    July 12, 2007 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  25. Shawnie - Grants Pass, OR

    Pete, Rudeness aside, please advise me of the sources of media which are free of political bias reporting that Americans are so spoiled to cherry pick from?

    What I see happening is selective editing and essential facts left out for the sake of putting a certain political party in a bad light. What I would love is all the facts from the beginning, without the bias so that any of us can make an informed opinion regardless of our political persuasion.

    I was on the other side of the fence, angry at Bush until I got a lesson in geography and the dynamics going on in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkey, Iraq, Iran, between the Kurds, the Sunni, Al Quaeda, Taliban and the Shia. I feel very mis-led by the majority of info from the more responsible news organizations (and I'm a CNN addict). Instead it appears they are pandering to the political fad of the day by omitting some details and facts that would change the storyline and perhaps a lot of public perception.

    If Bush was in it for his own glory, he would pull out so all the people could cheer him. Now I see he is in a much tougher spot and is angling a long term outcome. His approach may not be the best, his public relations abilities poorer than they could be but the jury is still out for me. What I know understand is this Iraq situation is not as insipid as the media and liberals have painted it either.

    My last question is, are the anti-war folks (whom I used to support) going to take credit for the outcome of pulling out next year rather than achieving a specific benchmark/outcome? Will it be a second mistake, worse than the first? Will we end up with a bigger mess to clean up? There now appears reason to believe so.

    July 12, 2007 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
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