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For Immediate Release
January 18, 2005

Global Message

From President Bush's Interview with the Washington Post, 1/16/05

American troops will be leaving Iraq as quickly as possible, but they won't be leaving until we have completed our mission. And part of the mission is to train Iraqis so they can fight the terrorists. And the sooner the Iraqis are better prepared and better equipped to fight, the sooner our troops will start coming home.

Success in Iraq will depend upon the Iraqis defeating the enemy.

Elections in Iraq are going forward, even though there are terrorists trying to stop the election process. America is amazed by the spirit of the Iraqi people and their work toward elections and fighting terrorism.

President Yawar and Prime Minister Allawi recognize that the terrorists are mean and tough, but they also are focused and determined that these elections go forward. And it is that determination which impresses me.

So the political process is unfolding. And it is a process. In other words, this is the election of an assembly, which will choose leadership. The new leadership will further refine the security strategy and will write a constitution. And it's important for people to understand that. Unlike our system, that has "the election," and it defines how America will be governed for four years, in Iraq, it is a process.

Iraq has been a sovereign nation in its new form for less than a year, and there are many reasons to be optimistic about the emergence of a free government.

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