Bush sets the record straight on the fact that he did not want to go to war.... says failure in Iraq is not going to happen....
"Nobody likes war. It creates a sense of uncertainty in the country," he said. "War creates trauma...."
Calling a censure resolution "needless partisanship," Bush challenged Democrats to go into the November midterm elections in opposition to eavesdropping on suspected terrorists. "They ought to stand up and say, 'The tools we're using to protect the American people should not be used,'" Bush said....
The news conference marked a new push by Bush to confront doubts about his strategy in Iraq. A day earlier, he acknowledged to a sometimes skeptical audience that there was dwindling support for his Iraq policy and that he understood why people were disheartened.
"The terrorists haven't given up. They're tough-minded. They like to kill," he said Tuesday. "There will be more tough fighting ahead...."
Bush was asked whether there would come a day when no U.S. forces are in Iraq. "That, of course, is an objective. And that will be decided by future presidents and future governments of Iraq," he said.
Asked if that meant it won't happen on his watch, the president said, "You mean a complete withdrawal? That's a timetable. I can only tell you that I will make decisions on force levels based upon what the commanders on the ground say."
The president said he did not agree with former interim Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, who told the British Broadcasting Corporation Sunday, "If this is not civil war, then God knows what civil war is."
Bush said others inside and outside Iraq think the nation has stopped short of civil war. "There are other voices coming out of Iraq, by the way, other than Mr. Allawi, who I know by the way - (and) like. A good fellow." "We all recognized that there is violence, that there is sectarian violence. But the way I look at the situation is, the Iraqis looked and decided not to go into civil war...."
Bush said he's confident of victory in Iraq. "I'm optimistic we'll succeed. If not, I'd pull our troops out," he said, warning that abandoning the nation would be a dangerous mistake. "So failure in Iraq, which isn't going to happen, would send all kinds of terrible signals to an enemy that wants to hurt us and people who are desperate to change the condition in the broader Middle East," Bush said.
He said he agreed to U.S. talks with Iran to underscore his point that Tehran's attempts to spread sectarian violence or provide support to Iraqi insurgents was unacceptable to the United States....
On Iraq, Bush bristled at a suggestion that he had wanted to wage war against that country since early in his presidency. "I didn't want war. To assume I wanted war is just flat wrong ... with all due respect," he told a reporter. "No president wants war." To those who say otherwise, "it's simply not true," Bush said...."