Washington, D.C. - At a news conference today, President Bush reiterated his determination to continue the surge despite escalating violence in Iraq.
"We will not withdraw until this operation reaches a climax," Bush told reporters. "We will keep pushing and pushing the enemy as hard as we can."
In answer to critics who say the surge is softening, Bush was clear. "Our commitment remains firm and hard. Sure, it's a lot of work. No one said it would be easy, but once we finish off the terrorists, tension will be released and the Iraqi people will be able to breath a heavy sigh of relief."
A reporter wondered if he was satisfied with the Iraq government's response to the surge. "They have been very excited by it and stimulated to respond appropriately. They believe as I believe that success is coming."
President Bush bristled at a suggestion that our troops did not have adequate protection in that messy region. "Our brave soldiers are well protected and I know for a fact that they only shoot when absolutely necessary, but when the time comes, they will fire their weapons without hesitation."
The news conference was called to an abrupt end and the president was seen walking unsteadily back into the White House. The White House physician later told reporters that the president had suffered from a pulled groin muscle.