Washington (AsiaNews/Agencies) – US President George W. Bush has vetoed a parliament bill which set a date for the beginning of troop withdrawal from Iraq. Speaking to the nation in a televised address from the White House yesterday evening, Bush declared that the law “is a prescription for chaos and confusion and we must not impose it on our troops” and that “it makes no sense to tell the enemy when you plan to start withdrawing”.
Bush had long promised to block the law wanted by the democrats who have linked increased financing to US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan to a withdrawal from Baghdad, starting on October 1st 2007 until March 2008.
The law had been approved on April 25th last with the support of some republicans.
Bush also affirmed that today he would meet with republicans to find a formula which will avoid the need for a timetable. Either way the democrats intend to impose limits on American involvement and conditions on the Iraqi government regarding security and democracy.
Bush signed the veto with a pen given to him by Robert Derga, the father of Marine Corps Reserve Cpl. Dustin Derga, who was killed in Iraq on May 8, 2005. The elder Derga spoke with Bush two weeks ago at a meeting the president had with military families at the White House.
Tuesday's developments came exactly four years after Bush's speech on the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln decorated with a huge "Mission Accomplished" banner. At the time, Bush's approval rating was 63 percent, with the public's disapproval at 34 percent.
Four years later, only 35 percent of the public approves of the job the president is doing, while 62 percent disapprove, according to an April 2-4 poll from AP-Ipsos. Bush has used his veto power only once before, when he rejected a measure last summer to lift restrictions on federal money for embryonic stem cell research.
Meanwhile on the ground people are still waiting to see the results of the security crackdown launched by Gen. Petreus and from the imminent summit on security in Sharm el-Sheikh on May 3rd and 4th. Delegates from Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria will attend the summit convoked for the first time ever with the Americans to project security measures for a peaceful Iraq, together.