White House Defends Iraq Plan

As the American death count continues to rise in Iraq, the White House has launched a campaign to defend its handling of the Iraq occupation, addressing a number of different veterans groups. The number of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq since the May 1 "end of major combat operations" has surpassed the number of troop deaths during "Operation Iraqi Freedom," begun March 19. National security adviser Condoleezza Rice told a Veterans of Foreign Wars convention in Texas that the public needs to be patient, the Washington Post reports. "Transformation in the Middle East will require a commitment of many years," Rice said. "The transformation of the Middle East is the only guarantee that it will no longer produce ideologies of hatred that lead men to fly airplanes into buildings in New York or Washington."
Addressing the American Legion convention in St. Louis, George W. Bush pledged to continue fighting the "war on terrorism." "No nation can be neutral in the struggle between civilization and chaos," Bush said.