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SPECIAL REPORT

Stay the Course

By Dan Johnson on October 27, 2006 at 5:04 pm

"Stay the Course"

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Here is a confirmed list of “stay the course” statements on Iraq from administration officials since March 2003:

President Bush (30 instances confirmed)

BUSH: And what the American people need to know is what our allies know: I am determined to stay the course. [10/11/01]

BUSH: The process will take a while. I am in touch with Jerry Bremer. I mentioned to you that I will see him when I go over to Qatar. We get a report all the time. And we are making progress, slowly but surely. And that’s — and it makes sense, given the conditions. And it’s important we succeed. And so, therefore, our coalition of a lot of countries will stay the course, until such time as the Iraqi people — the life is improved and the Iraqi people would be in a position to, you know, run themselves. Freedom is going to be a beautiful thing in this part of the world. It’s a very powerful sentiment that I believe all people feel. [Roundtable Interview with Print Journalists, 5/29/03]

BUSH: And so we’ll stay the course in Iraq. As I said, there’s people there that would like to run us out of there, create the conditions where we get nervous and decide to leave. We’re not going to get nervous, and we’re not leaving until we accomplish the task. And that task is going to be a free country run by the Iraqi people. And that, in turn, will help the peace in the Middle East. That, in turn, will bring stability in a part of the world that needs stability. And I am — I’m optimistic about achieving this objective because I believe that people want to be free. I believe it’s in the nature of the individual to love freedom and embrace freedom.[Remarks by the President in Announcement of the New Coordinator of U.S. Government Activities to Combat HIV/AIDS Globally, 7/2/03]

BUSH: A free Iraq will mean a peaceful world. And it’s very important for us to stay the course, and we will stay the course. [7/10/03]

BUSH: We talked about Iraq. And I told him and assured him that the United States would stay the course because we believe freedom is on its way to the Iraqi people. [Remarks with Secretary General Kofi Annon, 7/14/03]

BUSH: Our work in Iraq has been long, it’s hard, and it’s not finished. We will stay the course. [Speech at Pease Air National Guard Base, 10/9/03]

BUSH: It’s in the national interest of the United States that a peaceful Iraq emerge. And we will stay the course in order to achieve this objective. [10/27/03]

BUSH: The terrorists rely on the death of innocent people to create the conditions of fear that, therefore, will cause people to lose their will. That’s their strategy. And it’s a pretty clear strategy to me. And this country will stay the course. We’ll do our job. And it’s to our interest that we do our job. It’s in our interest we do our job for a free world. A free Iraq is essential to creating conditions of peace. See, that’s what this is all about. This is, how do we achieve a peaceful tomorrow; how do we do our duty for our children and our grandchildren? [Press Conference, 10/28/03]

BUSH: These people want to — “these people” being the terrorists and those who would kill innocent life — want us to retreat, they want us to leave, because they know that a free and peaceful Iraq in their midst will damage their cause. And we will stay the course, we will do our job. [11/4/03]

BUSH: We will stay the course, and as more and more Iraqis realize freedom is precious and freedom is a beautiful way of life, they will assume more and more responsibilities, not only for security, but for humanitarian reasons, as well. [11/14/03]

BUSH: I was able to assure them that we were going to stay the course and get the job done, but I also reminded them what I said publicly, that it’s up to them to seize the moment. [11/27/03]

BUSH: I went over there to thank them — and not only thank them, but to remind them our country stands with them, and that we will stay the course until the job is done. [11/27/03]

BUSH: They just said, Mr. President, we’ll stay the — you stay the course, we’ll succeed. And my message was, I know you’ll succeed, and I’m here to tell you we’re going to stay the course. [11/27/03]

BUSH: And as in the aftermath of the terrible attack on Pearl Harbor, our Nation will stay the course, and we will prevail. [12/5/03]

BUSH: We will stay the course until the job is done, Steve. And the temptation is to try to get the President or somebody to put a timetable on the definition of getting the job done. We’re just going to stay the course. And it’s very important for the Iraqi people to know that. [12/15/03]

BUSH: They’ll try to kill in hopes that we will flee. And the citizens of Iraq need to know we will stay the course. [12/15/03]

BUSH: You know, I told the family how much we appreciated his sacrifice — he was killed in Iraq — and assured him that we would stay the course, that a free Iraq was very important for peace in the world, long-term peace. [4/5/03]

BUSH: And we’ve got to stay the course, and we will stay the course. The message to the Iraqi citizens is, they don’t have to fear that America will turn and run. And that’s an important message for them to hear. If they think that we’re not sincere about staying the course, many people will not continue to take a risk toward — take the risk toward freedom and democracy. [4/5/03]

BUSH: A democratic, free Iraq is in the national interests of our country. A free country in the midst of the Middle East will make America more secure, and matter of fact, make any country more secure. And the decision I made was a tough decision. We’ve had discussions prior to the decision and after the decision. Vicente Fox is a good enough friend for him to be able to express his opinion to me without the loss of friendship. And he didn’t agree with the decision I made. But the decision I made was the right one for America. And history will prove it’s the right one for the world. And we will stay the course until the job is done. And the job is getting done. Iraq is more free every day. The citizens are beginning — the lives of the citizens are improving every day. And one thing is for certain; there won’t be any more mass graves and torture rooms and rape rooms. The tyrant will no longer come back to threaten the Iraqi people. These people will be able to live in — these Iraqi citizens will not only be able to live in a free society, they’ll be able to live in a society that is free from one of the most brutal dictators in the world’s history. [Remarks with Mexican President Fox, 1/12/04]

BUSH: It’s hard to advance freedom in a country that has been strangled by tyranny. And, yet, we must stay the course, because the end result is in our nation’s interest. [4/13/04]

BUSH: And my message today to those in Iraq is: We’ll stay the course; we’ll complete the job. My message to our troops is: We will stay the course and complete the job and you’ll have what you need. [4/13/04]

BUSH: It’s a wonderful feeling to have a strong ally in believing in the power of free societies and liberty. And that’s why we’re going to stay the course in Iraq. [4/16/04]

BUSH: And I appreciate the Prime Minister understanding that vision, as well. It’s a wonderful feeling to have a strong ally in believing in the power of free societies and liberty. And that’s why we’re going to stay the course in Iraq. And that’s why when we say something in Iraq, we’re going to do it, because we want there to be a free society. It’s in our long-term interests. It’s in the interests of our children and our grandchildren that Iraq be free.[Bush, Blair Discuss Future of Iraq in Press Conference, 5/16/04]


BUSH:
Some critics continue to assert that we have no plan in Iraq except to, “stay the course.” If by “stay the course,” they mean we will not allow the terrorists to break our will, they are right. If by “stay the course,” they mean we will not permit al Qaeda to turn Iraq into what Afghanistan was under the Taliban — a safe haven for terrorism and a launching pad for attacks on America — they are right, as well. [Speech at US Naval Academy, 11/30/05]

BUSH: If we don’t lose our nerve, if we stay the course, someday down the road, an American President will be working with democratically-elected leaders in the broader Middle East at the table to keep the peace. [3/24/06]

BUSH: And I saw people wondering whether the United States would have the nerve to stay the course and help them succeed. I went to Iraq, and I said, it’s up to you. It’s up to you to seize this moment. [6/19/06]

BUSH: We’re not going to lose in Iraq. As a matter of fact, we will win in Iraq so long as we stay the course. [7/11/06]

BUSH: It’s a reason for staying the course, and staying it no matter how tough it is, because the alternative is actually letting this ideology grip a larger and larger number of people. [7/28/06]

BUSH: And it will be a long struggle, I’m afraid. But there’s no alternative but to stay the course with it. And we will. [7/28/06]

BUSH: We will stay the course, we will help this young Iraqi democracy succeed, and victory in Iraq will be a major ideological triumph in the struggle of the 21st century. [8/30/06]

Colin Powell (21 Instances Confirmed)

POWELL: But we’ll stay the course, as the President said to us at our meeting this morning. We will not be impatient. We will stay the course. We will do it right, however long it takes. We don’t want it to take forever, but we are not going to be rushed and we are not going to be forced out of doing that which we know is right. [Keynote Address on Foreign Affairs Day, 5/9/03]

POWELL: A Governing Council has been formed, they have appointed cabinet ministers, a constitutional process is under way to write a constitution, free elections will follow from that, and what we have to do is stay the course. Are there still difficulties? Yes. Are terrorists trying to take advantage of this situation? Yes. Are we taking casualties? Regrettably, yes. But we’re going to stay the course. [This Week, 9/7/03]

POWELL: I think we’ve had good hearings before the Congress this week with Secretary Rumsfeld and Ambassador Bremer and General Abazaid. Twenty billion dollars of the 87 is for reconstruction efforts in Iraq. Most of the money is to support our troops and our deployments, and there’s also money in there for Afghanistan as well. And these two countries, Afghanistan and Iraq, have been given a new lease on life. We’ve put hope before them. And what we have to do now, is stay the course, and make sure that we don’t allow them to slide back into the chaos from which they have emerged. [Interview on "The Late Show With David Letterman", 9/25/03]

POWELL: We’re not going to pull out. We’re going to stay the course, and we’re going to create conditions where a democracy can flourish, where the Iraqi people can put in place a government of their own choosing, and where terrorists will not be free to conduct these kinds of activities. And we will prevail and we will stay there for as long as it takes. [CNN en Espanol with Patricia Janiot, 10/30/03]

POWELL: We don’t want to be occupiers. It’s not America’s style. So we are going to stay there long enough to bring the security situation under control until the Iraqi people put in a form of government that will be a form of government selected by the Iraqi people and not determined by these ex-Baathists and other criminals who are trying to kill not just Americans, but they’re killing far more Iraqis than they are Americans. And these are people who are attacking the international community; they’re attacking the United Nations; they’re attacking the people who have come to support us. We’ll stay the course. We will go after these destroyers of freedom. [Interview by Abdul Rahman Al-Rashed of Asharq Al-Awsat, 11/5/03]

POWELL: There is no question that we are being tested in Iraq. We’re being tested politically as well as militarily. It is a test that we must and will win. We will win. Of that, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind. Afghanistan and Iraq are two theaters in the global war on terrorism. President Bush said after 9/11 that this would be a long, difficult and costly war. For the sake of civilization, and for our own security, we must have the patience, we must have the determination to stay the course and pay the price in the certain knowledge that we are doing the right thing. History will be our judge, and we are already sure of history’s verdict. [Remarks at City College of New York, 11/10/03]

POWELL: We believe that what we did was right for Iraq and the Iraqi people. It was right for the region. It was right for the world. And the President has made it clear, as have other coalition political leaders, that we will stay the course until the job is done, until these remnants of the old regime have been defeated and any terrorists who come to make trouble, and until the day comes when we can hand over sovereignty to an Iraqi government. [Press Availability in Tunisia, 12/2/03]

POWELL: Stay the course. Even though the days ahead are difficult in Afghanistan and Iraq because the work we do is noble and correct. Stay the course. [Annual Kennan Institute Dinner, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 3/25/04]

POWELL: With the generous contributions of the United States and many other nations, we are trying now to reconstruct Iraq just as we are doing in Afghanistan. It’s a difficult situation, because we still have elements of the former regime and terrorists who are causing trouble, trouble of the kind you saw yesterday with the loss of five brave American servicemen as well as the four American contractors who were there delivering food. That’s what they were doing; they were helping to protect food deliveries to the Iraqi people. But the United States and its coalition partners are going to stay the course; we are going to stay the course because we believe what we are doing is right, and we believe that the Iraqi people are as deserving of freedom and the right to chose their own leaders and the right to become a responsible member of the international community — they are as deserving of that right as any other nation. [Remarks at Max Planck School, 4/1/04]

POWELL: The American people understand that it is still necessary. The American people know that most of the 24 million people of Iraq want the same things that all Americans want and all Poles want, and that is to live in peace, to have a democracy, to be secure in one’s homes, to have a good economy that will create jobs for people. We’re not keeping this from happening. The ones who are keeping this from happening are the terrorists and those old individuals left over from the previous regime. They’re the ones causing this trouble. And so what we have to do is stay the course, be firm, use our military and the police forces and security forces belonging to the Iraqis to defeat this enemy on the battlefield, and then use the reconstruction money that is coming and all the international assistance that is coming to help the Iraqis build a better nation for themselves. [Interview on Polish Public Television with Kamil Durczok, 4/14/04]

POWELL: But, you know, we’ve fought against those in the past who don’t want democracy, and we’re not going to lose sight of our mission. And with our coalition partners, we will stay the course, deal with the security situation, and get on with the reconstruction and get on with returning sovereignty to the Iraqi people. And we will be standing by them after we return sovereignty to them until they have put in place an elected government and the country is secure. [Interview on BBC TV with Huw Edwards, 5/13/04]

POWELL: We are planning to stay the course, and we expect that the Iraqi interim government that will come into place on the 1st of July would certainly ask us to remain and help them stay the course. [Meet the Press, 5/16/04]

POWELL: We are doing the right thing, and we must stay the course. [Commencement Address at Wake Forest University, 5/17/04]

POWELL: Success in Iraq is the profound — is in the profound interest of the entire international community. We’re doing the right thing by helping the Iraqi people, and we’re doing it in the right way through partnerships. We’ll stay the course. And I know I speak for the President, I speak for all of my colleagues in the Administration, when I say that we’re honored to have you with us and we are honored to be able to work in partnership with you. [Remarks to International Political Directors on the Way Forward in Iraq, 5/20/04]

POWELL: So he will be seeing all of his NATO colleagues at the end of June at a NATO summit in Istanbul, and they will be discussing then a potential role for NATO in Iraq. We have not ignored NATO, but right now we need to stay the course, and staying the course means getting a new UN resolution and returning sovereignty to the Iraqi people on the 1st of July. [Good Morning America, 5/25/04]

POWELL: Yes, it could be, and it’s long and hot and bloody right now. We see that these people don’t want a better life for the Iraqi people, and we’re going to have to stay the course and show the kind of determination, patience, that we have shown in previous conflicts. [Meet the Press, 6/13/04]

POWELL: We must not waver, we must not grow faint at the dangers we now are facing, we must overcome this insurgency, overcome the terrorists, in order to give the Iraqi people what they deserve and what they want. So, we will stay the course. [Remarks to the Press With Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al Faisal, 7/28/04]

POWELL: We have seen an increase in anti-Americanism in the Muslim world. I will not deny this. But I think that that will be overcome in due course because what the Muslim world will see, as well as the rest of the world, is that in Afghanistan, 10 million people who have registered to vote will vote on the 9th of October and bring in place a freely elected president. And I think we’re going to do the same thing in Iraq if we stay the course, if we defeat this insurgency. [This Week, 9/24/04]

POWELL: We have seen an increase in anti-Americanism in the Muslim world. I will not deny this. But I think that that will be overcome in due course because what the Muslim world will see, as well as the rest of the world, is that in Afghanistan, 10 million people who have registered to vote will vote on the 9th of October and bring in place a freely elected president. And I think we’re going to do the same thing in Iraq if we stay the course, if we defeat this insurgency. [ABC This Week, 9/26/04]

POWELL: The Iraqi people are free, so they don’t think it was the wrong time. They know that they are better off without Saddam Hussein. And what we’re going to do is keep our eye on the ball, and that is to make sure that the Iraqi people get this insurgency under control and that we have elections in January of 2005. And hopefully, they will be elections of the kind that we saw in Afghanistan this past weekend, where also, people were telling us, it isn’t going to work, you’ve gotten yourself into a mess. Well, I was sure happy to see on Sunday that tens upon tens of thousands of Afghans came to the polling places to make their wishes known, and to put in place a government that is of their choice. And we want to see that same thing happen in Iraq, and it can happen, as long as we stay the course. [Interview on Neil Cavuto, 10/13/04]

POWELL: I think the American public probably understands it better than most that it takes time, and even in some of the polling you’ve been seeing where they’re a little uneasy, but they know we have to stay the course. Staying the course means getting an Iraqi force that’s up and running. [Interview at the Christian Science Monitor's Newsmaker Press Briefing Luncheon, 12/21/04]

Tony Snow (4 Instances Confirmed)

SNOW: The second thing you do is you stay the course. [7/10/06]

SNOW: Now, when the United States walked away, in the opinion of Osama bin Laden in 1991, bin Laden drew from that the conclusion that Americans were weak and wouldn’t stay the course, and that led to September 11th. [8/9/06]

SNOW: And that’s why the President is determined to stay the course. [8/16/06]

SNOW: But on the other hand, you also cannot be a President in a wartime and not realize that you’ve got to stay the course. [8/17/06]

Condoleezza Rice (4 Instanced Confirmed)

RICE: But we and the people of Iraq will never be intimidated by thugs and assassins because America and her forces will stay the course until the job is done. (Applause.) [2/28/04]

RICE: But we and the people of Iraq will never be intimidated by thugs and assassins because America and her forces will stay the course until the job is done. [3/8/04]

RICE: But we and the people of Iraq will never be intimidated by thugs and assassins because America and her forces will stay the course until the job is done. [3/10/04]

RICE: We need to stay the course. And that says that Americans understand the stakes here. [Good Morning America, 6/28/05]

Dick Cheney (6 Instances Confirmed)

CHENEY: But we believe it is absolutely essential to stay the course that we’re on with respect to the kind of strategy we’ve adopted. [9/11/04]

CHENEY: I am convinced that the nation will be better off and safer and more secure for our kids and grandkids if we stay the course we’re on, and that we will honor the sacrifice that so many have been asked to make by completing the mission. [10/13/04]

CHENEY: So I think the key for us going forward is to stay the course that we’re on with respect to the strategy we’ve got. [10/23/04]

CHENEY: And they’ve got to know what we’ll stay the course and that they’re not going to be able to win no matter what they attempt and try. [10/26/04]

CHENEY: So it’s important we get this job done, that we stay the course and complete the task in Iraq and Afghanistan, standing up governments but also training them to take over their own security. [10/29/04]

CHENEY: But we have to stay the course. [CNN interview with John King, 6/22/06]

Scott McClellan (10 Times Confirmed)

MCCLELLAN:
We will stay the course, and we will prevail in this central front on the war on terrorism, because the world has a stake in seeing a peaceful, free, and democratic and prosperous Iraq emerge. [10/27/03]

MCCLELLAN: We will stay the course. [10/29/03]

MCCLELLAN: I believe that the Iraqi people want the coalition and the international community to stay the course and finish the job. And that’s exactly what we will do. [11/12/03]

MCCLELLAN: And the President is strongly committed to making sure that we stay the course and finish the job in Iraq, for that very reason. [2/23/04]

MCCLELLAN: And that’s why we must continue to stay the course. [3/16/04]

MCCLELLAN: Well, I think the President talked about the situation in Iraq. He talked about in his remarks how we will not be intimidated, that we will continue to stay the course, and we will finish the job. [4/1/04]

MCCLELLAN: But we will continue to stay the course and finish the job, and we will defeat these minority of extremist elements that exist in Iraq. [4/7/04]

MCCLELLAN: And the President believes that it’s important to continue to stay the course and finish the important work that our troops are involved in right now. And that’s what he’ll do. [4/7/04]

MCCLELAN: And the stakes involved in Iraq right now are very high. And the terrorists recognize that, the President recognizes that, and that’s why it’s important that we continue to stay the course and finish the work that we have started. [4/16/04]

MCCLELLAN: As you heard him say last week in his news conference: “My message to our troops is, we will stay the course and complete the job, and you’ll have what you need.” [4/21/04]

Stephen Hadley (1 Time Confirmed)

HADLEY: But if we can stay the course, if we can pursue our support for the Iraqi people, if they continue to perform the way — the way they are performing, we will not only build a democratic Iraq, but it will be a democratic Iraq that will send a message of hope to the region as a whole, to encourage the spread of democracy in the region as a whole. [Progress Report, 10/5/06; Charlie Rose, 6/23/05]

Richard Armitage (2 Times Confirmed)

ARMITAGE: These are the people who will bring change to Iraq. But today and for the near future, they cannot do it alone. That is why the United States will stay the course. [Defining Success in Iraq: Remarks to the Campaign to Preserve U.S. Global Leadership, 3/15/04]

ARMITAGE: We both agree that the struggle in Iraq will continue for some time, but we’re determined that we’re going to both stay the course. [Remarks with Kuwait Foreign Minister Muhammad al-Sabah al-Salim Al Sabah Following Meeting, 5/24/04]