Posted 12:14 p.m. May 6
by Marcus Mrowka
U-WIRE Washington Bureau
President Bush proclaimed victory in Iraq last week, giving a colorful speech aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln, which was headed for shore in California.
Although Bush said much of the fighting is over, there is still much work to be done in Iraq and in the war on terror.
“The battle of Iraq is one victory in a war on terror that began on September 11th, 2001, and still goes on,” the president said.
Bush told the 5,000 sailors gathered on the ship that they had fought “for the cause of liberty and for the peace of the world.”
He arrived in dramatic style, landing on the ship’s desk on a military jet.
In his speech, Bush warned other nations around the world not to harbor terrorists.
“Any person, organization or government that supports, protects or harbors terrorists is complicit in the murder of the innocent and equally guilty of terrorist crimes,” he said. “Any outlaw regime that has ties to terrorist groups and seeks or possesses weapons of mass destruction is a grave danger to the…world and will be confronted,” he said.
Bush added that the war on terror was not over, but that it is not an “endless” struggle.
“We do not know the day of final victory, but we have seen the turning of the tide.”
Victory in Iraq, he said, was “a crucial advance…We’ve removed an ally of al Qaeda and cut off a source of terrorist funding.”
The Lincoln docked in San Diego on Friday after 290 days at sea. It then continued on to drop sailors off in Seattle over the weekend.
President Bush was flown aboard the ship on a Navy Jet earlier Thursday afternoon,
dubbed “Navy One” for his journey. He jumped off the jet in a complete flight suit. Reports also say that he took control of the aircraft during certain portions of the flight.
Bush spent the night aboard the ship and left Friday to give an address in Santa Clara County, CA.
The White House had repeatedly said that Bush would not declare an end to the war until the fighting was over. Continuing confrontations with resistance forces in Iraq, and the legal issues regarding the declaring of a formal “cessation of hostilities,” led to the adoption of the “end of major combat operations” formula.
Under the 1949 Geneva Convention, all prisoners of war must be released at the end of hostilities. American forces are holding more than 6,000 Iraqi prisoners of war in a camp in southern Iraq.