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On July 4, Bush Relates Iraq to American Revolution
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On July 4, Bush Relates Iraq to American Revolution

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On July 4, Bush Relates Iraq to American Revolution
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ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

From NPR News, it's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

For the fourth time, President Bush spent Independence Day in West Virginia. Mr. Bush marked the holiday by promoting something he lately had stopped talking about - victory in Iraq.

NPR's David Welna has the story.

Unidentified Man: The president of the United States, George W. Bush.

(Soundbite of crowd cheering)

DAVID WELNA: Despite being saddled with the slowest approval rating of his presidency, President Bush got a warm welcome today in Martinsburg. It was an invitation-only crowd, mainly West Virginia Air National Guardsmen and their families.

Mr. Bush made no mention of the fact that he'd served in the Texas Air National Guard at a time when the nation was mired in the Vietnam War. Instead, the president spoke of a war that was won — the nation's long and bloody war for independence.

President GEORGE W. BUSH: More than two decades later, it is hard to imagine the Revolutionary War coming out any other way. But at that time, America's victory was far from certain. In other words, when we celebrated the first Fourth of July celebration, our struggle for independence was far from certain.

WELNA: The allusion clearly was to the uncertainty that shrouds the war in Iraq, but also to the prospect of eventual victory there as well. Recently, the president had stopped using the words win or victory when talking about Iraq. Today, though, he was once again calling for triumph.

Pres. BUSH: However difficult the fight is in Iraq, we must win it. We must succeed for our own sake. For the security of our citizens, we must support our troops, we must support the Iraqi government, and we must defeat al-Qaida in Iraq.

(Soundbite of applause)

WELNA: And doing that, he said, will not be easy.

Pres. BUSH: Victory in this struggle will require more patience, more courage, and more sacrifice.

WELNA: Mr. Bush warned that advice from military commanders in Iraq — rather than politics — should dictate any troop withdrawals. Before leaving for Congress' Fourth of July recess, though, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi vowed to turn up the political pressure to get out of Iraq.

Representative NANCY PELOSI (Democrat, California; Speaker of the House): We have many arrows in our quiver and we are sharpening them, including taking a bill to the floor in July to authorize the redeployment of troops out of Iraq.

WELNA: A showdown over Iraq is in store in the Senate as well, starting next week.

David Welna, NPR News.

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