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Bush On Iraqi Progress

On October 15th, Iraqis will vote on a draft constitution. If that document is approved, Iraqis will return to the polls later in the year to elect a new government. President George W. Bush says, "By any standard or precedent of history, Iraq has made incredible political progress":

"From tyranny to liberation, to national elections, to the writing of a new constitution, in the space of two-and-a-half years. With Coalition assistance and support, the Iraqi military is gaining new capabilities and new confidence with every passing month. At the time of our Fallujah operations eleven months ago, there were only a few Iraqi army battalions in combat. Today there are more than eighty Iraqi army battalions fighting the insurgency alongside our forces."

Mr. Bush says that in Iraq, "Progress isn't easy, but it is steady":

"We've heard it suggested that Iraq's democracy must be on shaky ground because Iraqis are arguing with each other. But that's the essence of democracy; making your case, debating with those who disagree, building a consensus by persuasion, and answering to the will of the people."

The U.S.-led coalition is "aiding the rise of an elected government that unites the Iraqi people against extremism and violence," says President Bush. "Wars are not won without sacrifice, and this war will require more sacrifice, more time, and more resolve."

The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.