President Bush is looking ahead to next week, where Iraq looms on the agenda.
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nv.) challenges Bush to come with more of an Iraq plan in his Saturday radio address.
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
Saturday, June 10, 2006
RADIO ADDRESS BY THE PRESIDENT
TO THE NATION
THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. This was a good week for the cause of freedom. On Wednesday night in Iraq, U.S. military forces killed the terrorist Zarqawi.
The killing of Zarqawi is an important victory in the global war on terror. This Jordanian-born terrorist was the operational commander of al Qaida in Iraq. He led a campaign of car bombings, and kidnappings, and suicide attacks that has taken the lives of many American forces, international aid workers, and thousands of innocent Iraqis. Zarqawi had a long history of murder and bloodshed. Before September the 11th, 2001, he ran a camp in Afghanistan that trained terrorists -- until Coalition forces destroyed that camp. He fled to Iraq, where he received medical care and set up operations with terrorist associates.
After the fall of Saddam, Zarqawi went underground and declared his allegiance to Osama bin Laden, who called him the "Prince of al Qaida in Iraq" and instructed terrorists around the world to "listen to him and obey him." Zarqawi personally beheaded American hostages and other civilians in Iraq; he masterminded the destruction of the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad; and he was responsible for the assassination of an American diplomat in Jordan and the bombing of hotels in Amman. His goals in Iraq were clear: He wanted to stop the rise of democracy, drive coalition forces out, incite a civil war, and turn that country into a safe haven from which al Qaida could launch new attacks on America and other free nations. Instead, Zarqawi died in the free and democratic Iraq that he fought so hard to prevent, and the world is better off because this violent man will never kill again.
Iraqis can be justly proud of their new government and its early steps to improve their security. And Americans can be enormously proud of the men and women of our Armed Forces, and the intelligence officers who support them. In the past three years, our troops have overthrown a cruel dictator, fought the terrorists and insurgents house to house, and trained Iraqi forces to defend their new democracy. All the while, they stayed on the trail of this brutal terrorist, persevering through years of near misses and false leads and never giving up hope. This week they got their man. And all Americans are grateful for their remarkable achievement.
Zarqawi is dead, but the difficult and necessary mission in Iraq continues. In the weeks ahead, violence in Iraq may escalate. The terrorists and insurgents will seek to prove that they can carry on without Zarqawi. And Coalition and Iraqi forces are seizing this moment to strike the enemies of freedom in Iraq at this time of uncertainty for their cause. The work ahead will require more sacrifice and the continued patience of the American people.
I'm encouraged by Prime Minister Maliki's determination to defeat our common enemies and bring security and rule of law to all Iraqis. This week he took another major step toward this objective when he completed the formation of his cabinet -- naming a new Minister of Defense, a new Minister of the Interior, and a new Minister of State for National Security. These new leaders will help the government address its top priorities: reconciliation, reconstruction, and putting an end to the kidnappings, beheadings, and suicide bombings.
As they pursue these goals, they will have America's full support. On Monday, I will convene my national security team and other key members of my Cabinet at Camp David to discuss the way ahead in Iraq. On Tuesday, Iraq's new Ambassador to the United States will join us, and we will have a teleconference discussion with Prime Minister Maliki and members of his cabinet. Together we will determine how to best deploy America's resources in Iraq and achieve our shared goal of an Iraq that can govern itself, sustain itself, and defend itself.
There's still difficult work ahead in Iraq. Yet this week, the ideology of terror has suffered a severe blow. Al Qaida has lost its leader in Iraq, the Iraqi people have completed a democratic government that is determined to defend them, and freedom has achieved a great victory in the heart of the Middle East.
Thank you for listening.
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release June 9, 2006
This Information Subject To Change
THE WEEK AHEAD
Monday, June 12, 2006 | Friday, June 16, 2006
Monday, June 12
9:30 am THE PRESIDENT participates in a morning Meeting with the Interagency Team
EDT on Iraq
POOL AT BOTTOM
2:00 pm THE PRESIDENT participates in an afternoon Meeting with the Interagency Team on Iraq
POOL AT BOTTOM
RON: Camp David
Tuesday, June 13
9:45 am THE PRESIDENT participates in a Video Teleconference with Iraqi Cabinet
POOL AT BOTTOM
RON: Washington, DC
Wednesday, June 14
10:55 am THE PRESIDENT meets with the President of Colombia
Oval Office, The White House
POOL AT BOTTOM
1:45 pm THE PRESIDENT meets with Members of the Iraq Study Group
Roosevelt Room, The White House
POOL AT BOTTOM
6:00 pm THE PRESIDENT and Mrs. Bush attend Congressional Picnic
South Lawn, The White House
POOL FOR REMARKS ONLY
Thursday, June 15
9:35 am THE PRESIDENT makes Remarks at the Initiative for Global Development’s
2006 National Summit
Willard InterContinental Washington | Washington, DC
11:20 am THE PRESIDENT signs S. 2803, the MINER Act
EEOB – Room 450
1:55 pm THE PRESIDENT makes Remarks on the Proposed Establishment of the 14th National Marine Sanctuary
East Room, The White House
Friday, June 16
10:45 am THE PRESIDENT attends Friends of Dave Reichert and Washington State
PDT Republican Party Reception
Private Residence | Medina, Washington
4:40 pm THE PRESIDENT attends Heather Wilson for Congress Reception
MDT Hyatt Regency Albuquerque | Albuquerque, New Mexico
POOL FOR CAMERAS; OPEN FOR CORRESPONDENTS
RON: Crawford, Texas
# # #
REID DELIVERS DEMOCRATIC RADIO ADDRESS
New developments mean President must offer concrete plan for success in Iraq
Washington, DC—Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid delivers the Democratic Radio Address this week, calling on President Bush to use the positive developments in Iraq as an opportunity to present a concrete plan to make the Iraqis take control of their security. Milestones in Iraq have come and gone with little progress, but with more troops on their way to that country, and new or growing threats in Iran, North Korea, Afghanistan, and now Somalia, it is time for the President to be clear how he intends to make 2006 a year of significant transition in Iraq.
The text of Senator Reid’s speech, as prepared, is below.
Hello. I am Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the Democratic Leader of the United States Senate.
This week, America received good news from a place we don’t often see it—Iraq.
First came reports that our military tracked down and destroyed al-Qaeda terrorist Zarqawi.
He was a cold blooded murderer who got what he deserved. With his death, America continues to serve notice to those who would do us harm. You can run. You can hide. But you’ll meet a just fate.
Then came news that Iraq’s Prime Minister has filled his cabinet. With the Iraqi government now complete, the country is another step closer to assuming control of its own future.
Today, I congratulate our troops and the Iraqi people, and offer a prayer that more good news follows
We’re now into the fourth year of the Iraq war, with staggering human and financial costs to our nation. Almost 2,500 brave American soldiers have given their lives, and nearly 18,000 more have been wounded. America’s taxpayers have contributed well over 300 billion dollars to this effort.
As the Iraqis turn to Baghdad and their new government for answers about the future, we turn to Washington and George W. Bush.
Our troops and the American people have been exceedingly patient as previous mileposts in Iraq have passed without progress. The President is asking too much if he expects us to do it again.
With Zarqawi gone and the cabinet filled, we need more than platitudes next week when the President convenes a conference with Iraq’s leaders and his War Cabinet. He must present a concrete plan – a plan for Iraqis to take control of their own security.
Last year, the United States Congress—on a bipartisan basis—passed legislation demanding President Bush make 2006 the year of significant transition in Iraq. We are approaching the mid-point of 2006, but instead of transitioning out, President Bush recently sent in more troops to handle the surge in violence
To most Americans, this looks like we’re moving in the wrong direction, at a time when our national security demands we chart a new course.
As our troops are bogged down in Iraq, the threats to our freedom around the world have grown.
In North Korea.
Now Somalia. And in our own hemisphere, where anti-American leaders have shown a willingness to leverage our addiction to foreign oil.
These threats will not hold until we are ready to meet them. They will only grow worse.
Which is why—more than ever—it is time for the President’s plan.
Iraq is THIS President’s war. It is up to him—not the next president, as he has suggested—to turn Iraq over to Iraqis.
He must reach the political solutions that are desperately required so our troops can begin to come home, and America can refocus its attention on destroying Al Qaeda and addressing the threats that have grown on the Bush administration’s watch.
Shortly before Memorial Day, I had the great privilege to meet two Nevada mothers – Gloria Salazar and Helana Lukac.
Their sons—Corporal William Salazar and Private John Lukac—both died while serving in Iraq.
Corporal Salazar at 23. Private Lukac when he was just 19.
These two young heroes are no longer with us, but our obligation to them remains bright as day.
The mission they started should end with honor, and it is up to President Bush to make sure it does.
I’m Senator Harry Reid. Thank you for listening.