President Bush is keeping pressure on Iraq's leaders to form a unity government. Mr. Bush says it is time for those elected three months ago to stand up and do their job.
President Bush makes clear time is of the essence, stressing that every day of delay is another day of violence. "You bet it is tough in Iraq. And it is tough because people are trying to stop the advance of democracy," he said.
During a brief session with reporters, Mr. Bush stressed once again that 12 million Iraqis went to the polls three months ago to vote for democracy. He said the election victors must put their differences aside and do what is best for their country. "I am convinced we are making progress there but I do urge the folks on the ground to get that unity government in place so the Iraqi people have confidence in their future," he said.
The president said that is the message Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice took to Iraq during her two-day visit to Baghdad. Along with British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, Rice called for an end to delays in the formation of a government caused by wrangling over key ministerial posts and the naming of a prime minister.
President Bush said Iraq's elected leaders must show their people that insurgents and terrorists will not determine the fate of their country. "So we look forward to working with them to put together a unity government, a government that will reject the sectarian violence, will reject the militias, will reject Zarqawi and the terrorists that are trying to create enough chaos so that American loses its nerve and I am not going to lose my nerve as the president," he said.
His comments came on another day of bloodshed in Iraq with bomb blasts in Baghdad and Samarra that resulted in numerous civilian casualties. Meanwhile, prosecutors in Iraq announced they are making plans for a second Saddam Hussein trial. They say this time the ousted Iraqi president will be tried on charges of genocide against Kurds in the 1980s.