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Bush touts Iraq; Pelosi says 'face reality'


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Democratic House Leader Nancy Pelosi says the Bush administration must face reality in Iraq.

Despite a surge in violence and kidnappings, President Bush is upbeat about Iraq's future.
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(CNN) -- President Bush praised the visit of interim Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi to the United States and detailed his plan for stabilizing Iraq during his weekly radio address Saturday.

"In less than three months, Prime Minister Allawi and his government have accomplished a great deal, despite persistent violence in parts of Iraq," Bush said.

In the Democratic radio address response, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi slammed the Bush administration over its policy on Iraq.

Pelosi accused Republicans of sinking to the "politics of fear" and called recent statements by Vice President Dick Cheney that America would be more susceptible to a terror attack if Sen. John Kerry were elected president, "despicable."

"Republicans should remember that the reason Osama bin Laden is still able to threaten the United States, three years after the September 11 attacks, is the utter failure of the Bush administration to capture bin Laden and to destroy his terrorist network," Pelosi said.

Bush outlines plan

Bush emphasized his five-point plan for "completing the mission so that Iraq is stable and self-governing, and American troops can come home with the honor they have earned."

The plan, as spelled out by Bush, includes:

  • The transfer of power to a government of Iraqi citizens, accomplished June 28.
  • Helping Iraq's new government train and employ more than 200,000 security personnel by 2005.Improving
  • Iraq's infrastructure.
  • Enlisting more international help for Iraq's "transition to democracy."
  • To conduct free national elections no later than January. "Iraq, America, and our coalition will stand firm, and Iraq will be free, the world will be more peaceful, and America will be more secure," Bush said.

    Pelosi: Go-it-alone failed

    Pelosi said that Bush's "condescension and go-it-alone policy" in a "war of choice" in Iraq has been a diversion from the real job of fighting al Qaeda and labeled the Iraq war a "grotesque mistake" that has cost the lives of over 1,000 U.S. military personnel.

    "President Bush needs to face reality in Iraq," Pelosi said. Pelosi also highlighted the Democrats' recently unveiled "New Partnership for America," a six-point plan she said would provide "all Americans with an opportunity to succeed."

    Pelosi said that the plan lays out a Democratic strategy for achieving prosperity, national security, fairness, opportunity, community and accountability.

    Pelosi also was critical of a Republican proposal that would establish a national sales tax.

    Pelosi called the proposed national sales tax, co-sponsored by House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, a mistake that would raise the cost of a $20,000 car to $26,000.

    "Wealthy corporate interests would get a windfall while middle-class Americans would get stuck with the bill," Pelosi said.


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