Bush also sees
'good progress' in homeland security.
(White House Photo by Eric Draper)

Though conceding that the recent situation in Iraq has been "really rough," President Bush has pledged to stay the course and said the U.S. will not "cut and run" there.
He told the American Society of Newspaper Editors on April 23 that in Iraq, "Times are tough. The last couple of weeks have been really rough." Bush said the upsurge in violence is happening "because some people want to stop the advance of freedom. They view freedom as a real threat to their ambitions."

The President said his administration will push ahead with its plan in Iraq. "The Iraqi people are looking at Americans and asking are we going to cut and run again," he added. "We are not going to cut and run while I'm in the Oval Office."

Among other topics, Bush discussed homeland security. He was asked to react to an Associated Press poll that found that two-thirds of the American people think a terrorist attack in the U.S. is likely before the next election, and that half of the people think the terrorists may be winning, Bush said he understood why they might feel that way."They saw what happened in Madrid," he said.

Nevertheless, Bush said, "We've made good progress in [homeland] defense," he said, crediting the Dept. of Homeland Security for much of it. "We're disrupting cells, chasing some people, but we are a big country, and it is difficult," he said

Bush also said he is satisfied international cooperation in the war against terrorism. "There have been a lot of attacks since September 11 that have convinced people we've got to work together," he said. He cited examples of how attacks on Saudi Arabia have energized that country's campaign against terrorism as well as Pakistan's "good cooperation" in sharing intelligence and anti-terrorist efforts.