AFP: US President George W. Bush on Wednesday promised that Iraq’s new democracy will serve as a “model” for the Middle East, inspiring reformers “from Damascus to Tehran.” WASHINGTON, Dec 14 (AFP) – US President George W. Bush on Wednesday promised that Iraq’s new democracy will serve as a “model” for the Middle East, inspiring reformers “from Damascus to Tehran.”
The Iraqis “are building a strong democracy that will be a model for the Middle East,” Bush said here on the eve of general elections in Iraq.
“Freedom in Iraq will inspire reformers from Damascus to Tehran,” Bush said in a speech at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington.
It was the fourth and final speech by Bush aimed at presenting his case for the US role in Iraq ahead of Thursday’s general elections in the war-torn nation.
Bush also called for patience in the days following the Iraq vote.
The public can “expect that the elections will be followed by days of uncertainty. We may not know for certain who has won the elections until the early part of January,” said Bush.
“And that’s important for our citizens to understand. It’s going to take a while.
“It’s also going to take a while for them to form a government. The work ahead will require patience of the Iraqi people and will require our patience, as well.”
Bush again insisted that the United States “cannot and will not leave Iraq until victory is achieved.”
According to a Gallup survey released Tuesday, 55 percent of Americans are unhappy with the president’s performance, and 59 percent oppose his Iraq strategy. Thirty-nine percent support his actions since the March 2003 invasion.
More and more Americans believe they were deceived by the White House in the run-up to the war, the polls say, and the administration’s image suffered a new blow when the number of US military dead passed 2,000 in October.