By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
“Because of your service, we’re defeating an enemy overseas so we do not have to face them here at home,” He said in praising the Marines’ service in Iraq and elsewhere.
Bush said Marines and other U.S. servicemembers also “liberated people from the clutches of a tyrant” in Iraq. Former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein is in jail and is being tried for crimes against humanity.
Families of Marines deployed overseas also undergo hardship, Bush pointed out. “It’s hard when your loved one is overseas. I respect your sacrifice,” he said to military spouses, “and want to thank you very much for your service to our country, as well.”
Bush said he’d recently spoken to Iraqi President Jalal Talabani and other senior Iraqi government officials. The Iraqis, Bush said, expressed deep appreciation for the United States and its military. Talabani named Jawad al Maliki as prime minister-designate on April 21.
Bush said he was pleased the Iraqi parliament broke a political deadlock by tabbing Maliki as the new prime minister-select in its democratic government and by choosing two vice presidents and other officials.
“The formation of this government is an important milestone toward our victory in Iraq,” Bush said. “A lot of times people ask me about my attitude about things, and here’s my attitude: the only way we can lose in Iraq is if we lose our nerve.
“And, I’m not losing my nerve, and I know that the United States Marine Corps will not lose their nerve, either.”