TRANSCRIPT: President Bush in Iraq

Bush: Well there are many mixed neighborhoods in Baghdad, where Sunni and Shia live together. Some of these tribes out here by they way happen to have Shia components to them, too. Not necessarily here in Anbar, but there's a long history of people living together in Iraq, so I am…confident the reconciliation will occur. So long as we help the Iraqis provide the security necessary for the political process to move forward. There are killers in this country, some of whom would like to attack America, others have different ambitions, but nevertheless, both want to stop the advance of democracy. And should we leave before the job is done, they would be emboldened, which could cause this chaos and anarchy to spill out into a very vital part of the region which would eventually come home to America. So the stakes are extremely high. I've come to Anbar for a couple of reasons, one thank the troops on Labor Day. But also to come to a place where there's arguably, you know success.

Raddatz: How about Prime Minister Maliki? What was your impression of Prime Minister Maliki today? It was almost a year ago today when we were in Amman, Jordan, and you said he's the right guy.

Bush: I still feel like he's the right guy. I recognize that ... first of all, it's not my decision to make. It's the decision of the Iraqi people and the Iraqi parliament. But I'm watching a man deal in very difficult circumstances with a nation who's trying to recover from the brutality of a dictator. Step one is, he shares our goal, which is a government that can sustain and govern itself and serve as an ally against extremists and murderers. He was also there with the rest of the presidency council and so I was watching them interface and interact, determining whether or not they had the will necessary to move the process forward. And I have come to the conclusion that they do.

Raddatz: At what point did you decide to make this trip?

Bush: I think we made it, well I knew I was coming to Australia. I felt like it would be important to come by Iraq, back through Iraq again. So I'd say maybe a couple of weeks ago, a couple of months ago, I guess. You'll be happy to hear I'm not the scheduler.

Raddatz: And you're not worried about Congress? And what they'll do?

Bush: I'd be worried about the security of the country if congress tries to pull our troops out of here before the job is done. What I would like people to do is listen to General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker's report.

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