Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Bush speech inspires little confidence in US

President Bush's speech yesterday, at the FBI training centre at Quantico, Virginia, has been criticized by former foreign secretary Robin Cook. George W Bush had described the bombings as "an attack on the civilized world" that provided "a clear window into the evil we face". Echoing Tony Blairs comments in the House of Commons yesterday he said, "but Londoners are resilient. They have faced brutal enemies before. The city that survived the Nazi blitz will not yield in the face of thugs and assassins." The only way the terrorists could win was "if we lose our nerve, and that isn't going to happen on my watch", he added. He finished his speech by saying that the US would, "continue to take this fight to the enemy, and we will fight until this enemy is defeated".
Far from being defeated, Robin Cook said, “The problem with the way in which President Bush has pursued the war on terror over the last three years is that far from isolating the terrorists, he has got himself into confrontation with many of the Muslim societies around the world.” He said the track record for the US led ‘War on Terror’ was also in question. "I find it very hard to see how George Bush can claim in the light of recent events that they are actually winning the war. Even in the case of Iraq, they do not have al-Qaida on the run. Indeed last month more people were killed than the same month a year before."
US dead in Iraq now stands at 1,756. Since Thursday, over 50 Iraqi Police and Military and over 70 civilians have died in attacks and bombings throughout the country. Five US personnel have died in the same period. On Friday a pipeline at the Daura oil refinery was hit by a mortar attack. The Daura refinery is situated to the south-east of Baghdad. It was the 248th attack on a pipeline or refinery since hostilities began in March 2003 according to Iraq Pipeline Watch.
In the US a poll shows 55% of Americans now believe a terrorist attack on US soil was likely or very likely in the next few weeks. The figure is a rise from 35% last month and was conducted for the newspaper USA Today in conjunction with CNN and Gallup after the London attacks. Confidence for George W Bush’s ‘War on Terror’ and its success has fallen from 36% in June to 34% after the attacks, according to part of the same poll in Tuesday’s USA Today .
[18:46 GMT 12/07/2005]

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