Not Categorical

The day after Bush’s press conference, many newspapers ran headlines suggesting he had categorically declared that U.S. troops will be in Iraq until he is out of office. But the President’s full answer was qualified. "Will there come a day when there will be no more American forces in Iraq?" a reporter asked. "That, of course, is an objective, and that’ll be decided by future presidents and future governments of Iraq."

"So it won’t happen on your watch?" asked the reporter.

"You mean a complete withdrawal?" said Bush. "That’s a timetable. You know, I can only tell you that I will make decisions on force levels based upon what the commanders on the ground say."