Tonight on Larry King Live, First Lady Laura Bush said she understands “how the American people feel” when they express frustration over Iraq, but insisted that “to leave now would be a serious mistake.” She said of Iraqis, “This is their opportunity to seize the moment, to build a really good and stable country.”
According to the latest Brookings Institution Iraq Index, as of November 2006, there were approximately 185 insurgent and militia attacks every day.
KING: Has the war worn you down? I mean, the public, obviously, is — more people disapprove than approve. It’s hurt the standing of the presidency. What has it done to you?
BUSH: Well, of course, it’s wearing, wearying. There’s no doubt about it. I understand how the American people feel, and that they feel like things are not going like we want them to there. On the other hand, I know how important it is for us to continue to help the Iraqis. And to leave now would be a serious mistake. And I really agree with the president on that, that the Iraqi government needs to get up and running as fast as they can. And, of course, we want our troops to come home. Nobody wants war. No one is pro-war. We want the — to be able to have a democracy there, to have the people in Iraq who have been oppressed by a dictatorship for all of these years to be able to build a good government that represents everyone. And I think it will happen. Is it going to be fast? No. we never expected it to be fast.
KING: So it’s going to be going on when you leave office.
BUSH: Probably. I mean, I have no idea and there’s no way I can predict. But I hope not. I hope that they can build their government and reconcile with each other and build a country. This is their opportunity to seize the moment, to build a really good and stable country. And many parts of Iraq are stable now. But, of course, what we see on television is the one bombing a day this discourages everybody.