President Bush tried today to comfort relatives of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq -- while bracing the country for further military effort. As David Cohler reports, Mr. Bush coupled determination with a promise of humanitarian aid:
In his third visit to a military installation during the coalition campaign against Iraq, President Bush chose the marine base at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Proportionally, the base has suffered the highest casualties, and Mr. Bush said their sacrifices will not go in vain:
"Marines are in the thick of the battle. And what we have begun, we will finish. A vise is closing, and the days of a brutal regime are coming to an end."
Mr. Bush also told the assembled marines that the United States is making a major effort to deliver humanitarian relief:
"We're delivering emergency rations to the hungry. Right now, ships carrying enough American grain to feed millions are bound for Iraq. We're bringing aid. And we're bringing something more: We're bringing hope."
Later, Mr. Bush met with the families of Camp Lejeune's marine casualties -- which the Pentagon listed as at least 13 dead and six missing.