March 19th, 2008
08:15 AM ET
13 years ago

Five years later, Bush to say Iraq war must go on

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/POLITICS/03/19/bush.iraq/art.bush.ap.jpg caption=" President Bush tours the Blount Island Marine Terminal on Tuesday in Jacksonville, Florida."](CNN) - President Bush will mark the fifth anniversary of the Iraq war on Wednesday by calling the debate over the conflict "understandable" but insisting that a continued U.S. presence there is crucial.

"The answers are clear to me," Bush will say, according to excerpts of his speech to be delivered at the Pentagon on Wednesday, the day the war began in 2003.

"Removing Saddam Hussein from power was the right decision, and this is a fight America can and must win."

Almost 4,000 American troops have died in the war, a painful toll that Bush will acknowledge.

Related Video: Ed Henry reports on President Bush's Iraq war remarks

Full story


Filed under: Iraq
soundoff (153 Responses)
  1. Bill, Streamwood, IL

    I can't wait to hear what George Bush has to say on the fifth anniversary of "Mission Accomplished." Think he'll fly out to the USS Abraham Lincoln again on May 1?

    His White House staff can dig out that old banner (they don't seem to be doing much else these days) and Bush can invite John McCain to join him on the deck of the Lincoln. Then they can both hold up the banner for a great photo op. Maybe Joe Lieberman can be there too!

    March 19, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  2. REAL

    This guy HAS NOT upheld the Constitution, and Congress should strongly consider some type of legal action.

    McCain needs to distance himself if he has a praying chance of winning in November, and the Al Qaeda in Iran story doesn't help.

    Thats just 4,000 American soldiers lives, and how about the TENS OF THOUSANDS of INNOCENT IRAQIS that have died and the soldiers of other nations.

    I dont fault Bush as much as I fault Cheney and Rove.

    THIS WAR HAS TO STOP!!!! PLEASE!!!!

    March 19, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  3. Tanya, Chicago

    Sombody stop this Mad man!

    March 19, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  4. Walter

    Right or wrong we are in Iraq now. What happened to American resolve to finish a job that we started? Is that resolve dieing with the generation that had to deal with threats like Hitler?

    Yes, the cost is high, but we made a commitment and should stick to it. Nothing worth doing comes without a cost.

    March 19, 2008 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  5. demwit

    What is the definition of war?

    March 19, 2008 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  6. jerome

    "News Flash", Mr. President, the majority of Americans don't support your war–20/01/2009 won't be here soon enough. Is he trying to protect some sort of legacy? Someone please name one national or international accomplishment under this administration... I didn't think so! If he considers "suckering" us into a war which there's no end in sight, or running up billions and billions in debt an accomplishment, well...

    March 19, 2008 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  7. Jimmy

    CNN claims Obama achieved his goal with his speech. He achieved to Separate America. I am outraged at Obama. He needs to step down.

    March 19, 2008 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  8. CHERYL

    I HAVE SOME NEWS FOR PEOPLE! OBAMA HASN'T GOT A CLUE HOW TO FIX THE WAR!!!!!!!

    HE ALSO HAS NO CREDIBILITY LEFT!

    CAUSED BY HIS OWN LIES!!!!!!!

    GO HOME TO PASTOR WRIGHT OBAMA!!!!!!!

    HE IS THE ONLY ONE WHO BELIEVES THE LIES!!!!!!!

    MY VOTE GOES TO SENATOR CLINTON!!!!!!

    SHE WILL WIN IN NOVEMBER!!!!!!!!

    March 19, 2008 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  9. Godley777

    Why is it so difficult to arrive at the number of Iraqi casualties that this war is responsible for? It seems as though both the Bush/Cheney regime and the US Media are carefully hiding this staggering figure. I personally believe that over 650,000 Iraqis have been slaughtered over the past 5-years.

    The world is watching, and very concerned with the TOTAL casualty count!

    March 19, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  10. Tommy, TX

    I think his cheese slipped off his cracker a long time ago!

    March 19, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  11. Robin

    The very good reason that the war needs to be stopped is that Mr. Bush says it should go on. Can someone remember him being right on just one thing?

    March 19, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  12. An Agnostic Democrat

    Another hitch in your giddyup, George? Cowboy diplomacy and the mentality – (or lack thereof on your part) – that follows died in the Old West. Take your horse and the cattle you call your administration and ride out of town permanently into the sunset. Adios!

    March 19, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  13. Eric

    Here is one topic where Bush and McCain agree on.

    What's troublesome about McCain's gaffe is that he did not correct himself, it was Lieberman who corrected him. To say that you are the best qualified candidate to fight terrorism and then to make such a big mistake is unexcusable. Can McCain give an in-depth interview in which he will defend his knowledge in foreign politic, so we can actually really judge his qualifications. So far, he seems as biggot and ignorant as Bush was, and still is.

    March 19, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  14. Daniel in Michigan

    Unfortunately, the loss of American lives have only become a scale to measure our success in Iraq.

    March 19, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  15. TheLeftNut

    TO THE PRO-IRAQ "WAR" PEOPLE

    You are so willing to sacrifice our American troops to protect another country's consititution and babysit another country's dysfunctional government.

    Those troops are supposed to protecting the US Constitution!

    Yet you dishonor our troops by allowing this BUSH/CHENEY/ROVE administration to convince you to give up your constitutional rights, (the SAME rights our men and women in the military or dying for!), by allowing them to approve the UN-American "Patriot Act" and allowing the reputation of the USA to be sullied by condoning torture.

    "Stay the course in Iraq?" how about ...

    STAYING THE COURSE WITH THE US CONSTITUTION!

    Shame on you!
    God save us!

    March 19, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  16. TheLeftNut

    I would be willing to live with a little LESS security if it meant not comprimising our beloved Constitution!

    Now THAT'S patriotism!

    March 19, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  17. CHERYL

    SENATOR CLINTON HAS GREAT POLL NUMBERS!!!!!!

    THEY KEEP CLIMBING!!!!!!!!

    SHE IS THE ONLY CAPABLE CANDIDATE !!!!!!!

    GO HILLARY!!!!!!!!!!

    March 19, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  18. Anonymous

    McCain=Bush3.0, only less intelligent and more out of touch..........(if that's even possible)

    March 19, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  19. Smiley

    Even the village was wise enough to let this idiot go! Go Riddance you good for nothing, nutcase.

    Maybe soon enough we'll see him doing the jig on SNL as well.

    Lastly, as a liberal I believe withdrawing the troops now would not be in America's best interests. They started the war so now they have to get Iraq to the point where they can handle their own affairs once we do withdraw our troops. Set a timeline and our guys out of there but let's be prudent about how we do it. We could first start off by not announcing our withdrawl dates to the world.

    Obama 08!!!

    March 19, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  20. Greg

    Bush, has got to be the biggest liar on the planet. I can't believe that little monkey bastard still even shows his monkey face on tv.

    March 19, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  21. Tom

    I love how everyone blindly waves off Bush's policy as ignorance. Well, regardless of whether or not it was a mistake to go there, we are there now. I'm sure the Democrats will be brining up this "mistake" for the next 50 years if they think it will help them win arguments.

    The point is, we're there now. What is the best thing to do going forward?

    Leaving the country quickly sounds like a good idea at first blush. You get the immediate benefits of decreased defense spending, and less American casualties in the war.

    But at what cost? Does anyone really know what will happen if we leave too quickly? Sure, we all surmise what might happen based on different exit strategies, but the reality is that you can't just arbitrarily leave – you have to be prepared for contingenies – and one of those contingencies might be that we have to go right back in to re-stabilize the place, which would probably be harder, and cost more money and lives. If that's a possiblity, then we should look at whether or not it's strategically smart and cost-effective to leave, or to just stay and finish the job.

    March 19, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  22. Teresa Espinoza

    It is time to wake up America, and vote on some one who will stop this war ( and didnt agree with it from the begining, or change his mind later) bring us together, and improve our economy, Obaha is the man.

    March 19, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  23. La Petite Sorciere

    Oh My GOD, he McCain and Hillary all for the war, look where we are, look where the poor people of Iraq are, look where our economy is going, look at the rest of the world, it all equals to: disaster
    disaster.
    he is one of the worst people walkign around in this world,

    March 19, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  24. jp/michigan

    High cost of War , the high cost of oil, and the loss of American jobs good reason to stop the War.

    March 19, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  25. SGP

    President,

    What a great noble thought!!!

    You want to continue to make your and Cheney's oil, Halibutron and defense contract friends richer and push the avegrage citizens of this country onto street by creating an economic crisis by taking away all the tax payers money to fund this untruthful, unwanted, unjustifable war.

    March 19, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
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