Comparing Iraq to Vietnam
QUESTION: April is turning into the deadliest month in Iraq since the fall of Baghdad, and some people are comparing Iraq to Vietnam and talking about a quagmire. Polls show that support for your policy is declining and that fewer than half Americans now support it.
What does that say to you? And how do you answer the Vietnam comparison?
BUSH: I think the analogy is false. I also happen to think that analogy sends the wrong message to our troops and sends the wrong message to the enemy.
Look, this is hard work. It's hard to advance freedom in a country that has been strangled by tyranny. And yet we must stay the course because the end result is in our nation's interest.
A secure and free Iraq is an historic opportunity to change the world and make America more secure. A free Iraq in the midst of the Middle East will have incredible change.
It's hard. Freedom is not easy to achieve. I mean we had a little trouble in our own country achieving freedom.
And we've been there a year. I know that seems like a long time. It seems like a long time to the loved ones whose troops have been overseas. But when you think about where the country has come from, it's a relatively short period of time.
And we're making progress. There's no question it's been a tough, tough series of weeks for the American people. It's been really tough for the families. I understand that. It's been tough on this administration. But we're doing the right thing.
And as to whether or not I made decisions based upon polls, I don't. I just don't make decisions that way. I fully understand the consequences of what we're doing. We're changing the world, and the world will be better off and America will be more secure as a result of the actions we're taking.
More troops in Iraq? >>