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Bush Announces Withdrawal Of 20,000 Troops From Iraq; No Timeline For Remainder

President George W. Bush has announced that 20,000 US combat troops will be withdrawn from Iraq, commencing this month.

BushDelivering a televised address from the White House, Bush made no mention of when the remaining American forces would be withdrawn.

The occupation force will still be larger than it was before the troop “surge” earlier this year.

Bush said that the role of the US troops would shift from patrolling Iraqi neighborhoods to providing support for Iraqi troops. The American force would turn its attention to hunting down Al Qaeda terrorists, he said. [Read more…]


Democrats Say Bush Failed To Provide Plans For Future Of Iraq

President Bush “failed to provide either a plan to successfully end the war or a convincing rationale to continue it”, according to Rhode Island Senator Jack Reed.

Delivering the Democratic Party response to Bush’s address, Reed said “an endless and unlimited military presence in Iraq is not an option”. [Read more…]


APEC: John Howard and George Bush Joint Press Conference

The United States President, George W. Bush, held a joint press conference with the Prime Minister, John Howard, in Sydney today.

The press conference followed Bush’s arrival in Australia last night, ahead of the APEC meeting at the end of the week. [Read more…]


Blair Announces Resignation After Ten Years As British Prime Minister

Tony Blair has announced that he will relinquish the British prime ministership on June 27.

Addressing his party members and supporters in his Sedgefield constituency, Blair confirmed his departure after ten years. He became Prime Minister on May 2, 1997.

  • Listen to Blair’s Resignation Announcement (20m)
  • Listen to Blair and Opposition Leader Cameron in the House of Commons (May 9 – 3m)

Text of Prime Minister Tony Blair’s Resignation Announcement.

Tony Blair, Prime Minister of Great Britain, 1997-2007I have come back here, to Sedgefield, to my constituency. Where my political journey began and where it is fitting it should end.

Today I announce my decision to stand down from the leadership of the Labour Party. The Party will now select a new Leader. On 27 June I will tender my resignation from the office of Prime Minister to The Queen.

I have been Prime Minister of this country for just over 10 years. In this job, in the world today, that is long enough, for me but more especially for the country. Some times the only way you conquer the pull of power is to set it down. [Read more…]


Howard Admits Mistakes But Defends Iraq Commitment

John Howard has defended his government’s commitment to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

In a speech to the Australian Strategic Policy Institute tonight, the Prime Minister admitted mistakes had been made but said that Australia’s presence was essential to bringing stability to the region.

The speech was carefully calibrated to challenge the foreign policy stance of the Opposition Leader, Kevin Rudd. At one point, Howard said it was difficult to know whether Rudd was “auditioning for the editorial board of The Weekly Standard or as a successor to Michael Moore”. [Read more…]


U.S. Ambassador Hasn’t Read ANZUS Treaty

The United States Ambassador to Australia, Robert McCallum, has admitted he has not read the ANZUS Treaty.

Robert McCallumIn a wide-ranging address to the National Press Club in Canberra, McCallum was asked about Article 4 of the treaty which states that “each Party recognizes that an armed attack in the Pacific Area on any of the Parties would be dangerous to its own peace and safety and declares that it would act to meet the common danger in accordance with its constitutional processes.”

Asked what the US constitutional process would be to invoke the ANZUS Treaty, particularly if there were a conflict between the President and the Congress, McCallum reminded his audience that he was a lawyer with 30 years experience and said: [Read more…]


President George W. Bush’s 2007 State of the Union Address

President George W. Bush has delivered his sixth State of the Union address to a joint session of the United States Congress.

  • Listen to Bush’s speech (50m)

This is the prepared text of President Bush’s State of the Union Address.

President Bush Delivers the State of the Union AddressMadam Speaker, Vice President Cheney, Members of Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow citizens:

This rite of custom brings us together at a defining hour – when decisions are hard and courage is tested. We enter the year 2007 with large endeavors underway, and others that are ours to begin. In all of this, much is asked of us. We must have the will to face difficult challenges and determined enemies – and the wisdom to face them together.

Some in this Chamber are new to the House and Senate – and I congratulate the Democratic majority. Congress has changed, but our responsibilities have not. Each of us is guided by our own convictions – and to these we must stay faithful. Yet we are all held to the same standards, and called to serve the same good purposes: To extend this Nation’s prosperity … to spend the people’s money wisely … to solve problems, not leave them to future generations … to guard America against all evil, and to keep faith with those we have sent forth to defend us. [Read more…]


Bush Announces Extra 20,000 Troops To Iraq

President George W. Bush has announced that he will send an additional 20,000 combat troops to Iraq.

In a nationally televised address, Bush said the “surge” was designed “to help the Iraqis carry out their campaign to put down sectarian violence – and bring security to the people of Baghdad.”

Bush said five brigades of troops will be deployed to Baghdad “to help Iraqis clear and secure neighbourhoods, to help them protect the local population, and to help ensure that the Iraqi forces left behind are capable of providing the security that Baghdad needs.” [Read more…]


President Bush’s 2006 State of the Union Address

President Bush has delivered the annual State of the Union Address to a joint session of Congress in Washington DC. Less ambitious in scope than in previous years, reflecting his loss of political capital, Bush stuck fast to his foreign policy goals and proposed limited domestic policies.

The speech began with a tribute to Coretta Scott King, widow of the slain Martin Luther King. Mrs. King died today.

In the speech, Bush reiterated his commitment to US intervention in Iraq. He called for the Congress to renew the Patriot Act. Domestically, Bush called for the Congress to make permanent tax cuts and set out a plan to cut the US oil imports from the Middle East by 75% by 2025. He proposed a range of research initiatives into alternative fuel sources, such as ethanol. [Read more…]


Iraq A Flawed Policy Wrapped In Illusion: John Murtha

John Murtha, a Congressman from Pennsylvania’s 12th District, has introduced a resolution to the United States House of Representatives that demands the termination of the American military deployment in Iraq “at the earliest practicable date”.

Murtha, the most senior ranking Democrat on the House Defence Appropriations Subcommittee, is a decorated Vietnam veteran who voted in support of the Iraq invasion in 2003.

Murtha told the House: “Our military has done everything that has been asked of them, the U.S. can not accomplish anything further in Iraq militarily. It is time to bring them home.” [Read more…]