January 29, 2007
Contact:
Emily Lenzner/Leah Yoon, NPR
 | 

NPR NEWS EXCLUSIVE:
PRESIDENT GEORGE BUSH COMMENTS
ON RECENT DEADLY BATTLE IN NAJAF, IRAQ
IN NPR NEWS INTERVIEW

INTERVIEW AIRING TODAY, MONDAY, JANUARY 29
ON ALL THINGS CONSIDERED
EXCERPT BELOW, AUDIO AVAILABLE AT WWW.NPR.ORG

President Bush on the recent deadly battle in Najaf, Iraq:
“My first reaction on this report from the battlefield
is that the Iraqis are beginning to show me something.”


Washington, DC; Jan. 29, 2007 – NPR News’ Juan Williams interviewed President Bush today, and the conversation will air this afternoon on All Things Considered. The following is an excerpt from the interview:

When asked about the recent battle near Najaf where an estimated 300 militants were killed and an American helicopter was shot down, the President said, “You know Juan, I haven’t been briefed by the Pentagon yet. One of the things I’ve learned is to not react to first reports off the battlefield. I will tell you though that this fight is an indication of what is taking place and that is that the Iraqis are beginning to take the lead. Whether it be this fight that you’ve just reported on where the Iraqis went in with American help to do in some extremists that were trying to stop the advance of their democracy or the report that there’s militant Sh’ia had been captured or killed. In other words one of the things I expect to see is the Iraqis take the lead and show the American people that they’re willing to do the hard work necessary to secure their democracy, and our job is to help them. My first reaction on this report from the battlefield is that the Iraqis are beginning to show me something.”

Excerpts will air throughout today on NPR newscasts and programs Morning Edition, Day to Day and Talk of the Nation, with the entire interview airing on the newsmagazine All Things Considered (check www.NPR.org/stations for local stations and programs’ broadcast times). Excerpts will also be available on www.NPR.org throughout the day and the interview will be posted online at 4:00PM (ET).

Audio of the interview is available at www.NPR.org.