The Iraq Study Group will release its recommendations on Dec. 6. The New York Times reports that the commission will “will call for a gradual pullback of the 15 American combat brigades now in Iraq but stop short of setting a firm timetable for their withdrawal.”
Today, in a joint press conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, Bush sought to dismiss the commission’s recommendations before they have been officially released. Bush said, “I know there’s a lot of speculation that these reports in Washington mean there’s going to be some kind of graceful exit out of Iraq. We’re going to stay in Iraq to get the job done.” Watch it:
BUSH: So we’ll be in Iraq until the job is complete, at the request of a sovereign government elected by the people. I know there’s a lot of speculation that these reports in Washington mean there’s going to be some kind of graceful exit out of Iraq. We’re going to stay in Iraq to get the job done, so long as the government wants us there.
We want the people of Iraq to live in a free society. It’s in our interests. In my judgment, if we were to leave before the job is done, it would only embolden terrorists, it would only embolden the extremists. It would dash the hopes of millions of people who want to live in a free society, just like the 12 million people who voted in the Iraqi election. They want to live in a free society. And we support this government, because the government understands it was elected by the people. And Prime Minister Maliki is working hard to overcome the many obstacles in the way to a peaceful Iraq, and we want to help him.