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Protecting Baghdad

Supported by coalition advisers, Iraqi army and police units recently conducted operations in and around Baghdad. The targets were insurgents seeking to uproot Iraqi democracy. Meeting at the White House with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri a-Maliki, President George W. Bush said there is "No question the terrorists and extremists are brutal":

"These are people that just kill innocent people to achieve an objective, which is to destabilize this government. The prime minister tells me that he and his government are not shaken by these actions."

"The Iraqi people want to succeed," said Mr. Bush. "They want to end this violence":

"Our strategy is to remain on the offense, including Baghdad. Under the prime minister's leadership, coalition and Iraqi leaders are modifying their operational concept to bring greater security to the Iraqi capital. Coalition and Iraqi forces will secure individual neighborhoods, will ensure the existence of an Iraqi security presence in the neighborhoods, and gradually expand the security presence as Iraqi citizens help them root out those who instigate violence."

Through an interpreter, Prime Minister Maliki said that Iraqis "are determined to defeat terrorism":

"We have agreed that building the security and military institutions in Iraq in terms of numbers, equipment, firearms, and as quickly as possible, represents the fundamental base in order to stabilize the country."

Mr. Bush says, "If you find somebody who's kidnapping and murdering, the murderer ought to be held to account. It ought to be clear in society that that kind of behavior is not tolerated. And that," says Mr. Bush is "the attitude of the [Iraqi] prime minister."

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