2008, Dec 12 – Iraq Security Agreement Bush/Maliki- open captioned

Voice over: President Bush in Iraq to sign a U.S/Iraq security agreement that calls for U.S. troops to withdraw by the end of 2011.

At a news conference and ceremony in Baghdad with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al, Maliki, President Bush had a pair of shoes thrown at him.

The President ducked and was not hit.

Security officials dragged away the man who threw the shoes.

And now that news conference.

(Clicking of camera shutters)

(Nouri al, Maliki speaking in Arabic)

Translator: In the name of God the Merciful and Compassionate.

I would like to welcome the President of the United States, President George W. Bush.

I would like to welcome you here as a guest of Iraq.

You have stood by Iraq and the Iraqi people for a very long time, starting with the, getting rid of the dictatorship, to fight, helping the Iraqis to fight terrorism in the two states.

(Nouri al, Maliki speaking in Arabic)

Translator: I believe that Iraq, we have performed and have done great work in a cooperative and integrated way in fighting terror.

We have succeeded in Iraq, and we hope that efforts also around the world will succeed in defeating terrorism.

(Nouri al, Maliki speaking in Arabic)

Translator: Today, Iraq is moving forward in every field.

Through the new Iraqi political system, we are working very hard through this, as well as developing the Iraqi economy, and reconstruction of Iraq.

We are doing all of this in order for Iraq to restore its rightful place among nations and among the world, and away from the previous reckless policies that focused on wars with the previous regime.

(Nouri al, Maliki speaking in Arabic)

Translator: The various political institutions have taken a very strong leadership positions, and the agreement was ratified, was approved by our political system, our Parliament, and various institutions of the Iraqi Government.

They have approved and ratified the SOFA agreement and the withdrawal of American forces.

We believe that these efforts culminated the hype (sic)

of real understanding and cooperation and friendship between Iraq and the United States.

Now remains the part of implementing such an agreement.

Now we are in the process of forming the proper committees that will carry out all elements of the various two agreements that were signed, and I’m referring to the various fields, military, scientific, educational, commerce, as well as economic fields.

(Nouri al, Maliki speaking in Arabic)

Translator: President Bush, you have played a very supportive role in achieving and concluding this agreement.

And prior to the actual date of starting to implement this agreement, January 1st, ’09, we already start working through the United Nations Security Council.

We are in the process of drafting a resolution that will make it very clear that Iraq no longer represents a threat to world peace and security.

And also a resolution that will set the basis for the protection of Iraqi financial capabilities and bring Iraq back to its rightful place among world communities.

(Nouri al, Maliki speaking in Arabic)

Translator: Once again, I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you, Mr. President.

Once again, I wish you a very joyful stay here in Baghdad and a safe trip back home.

George W. Bush: Mr. Prime Minister, thank you for your kind invitation and your hospitality.

I also want to thank the Presidency Council for their hospitality as well.

(Translator speaking in Arabic)

And I’m looking forward to some food.

(Translator speaking in Arabic)

(Scattered laughter)

I am also looking forward to signing the joint statement here affirming two landmark agreements that solidify Iraq’s democratic gains, that recognize Iraq’s sovereignty and that puts the relations between our two countries on a solid footing today and a solid footing tomorrow.

(Translator speaking in Arabic)

They cement a strategic partnership between our two countries-

(Translator speaking in Arabic)

–and they pave the way for American forces to return home, as the war in Iraq approaches a successful end.

(Translator speaking in Arabic)

The strategic framework agreement formalizes a relationship, as it says in the agreement, formalizes a relationship of friendship and cooperation between our two countries’ economic, diplomatic, cultural and security fields.

(Translator speaking in Arabic)

Under this agreement, we will work together to bring greater stability to Iraq and the region, as well as promote trade and investment between our nations.

(Translator speaking in Arabic)

We will work to strengthen democratic institutions.

(Translator speaking in Arabic)

I’m sure you can remember what life was 2 years ago.

(Translator speaking in Arabic)

When we were working together during that period such an agreement seemed unimaginable.

(Translator speaking in Arabic)

Chaos and violence were consuming Iraq.

The terrorists were seizing new ground, and the Iraqi people were beginning to divide the Iraqi people along sectarian lines.

(Translator speaking in Arabic)

But you were determined, and I was determined, — (Translator speaking in Arabic)

–to do something differently, not to allow Iraq to fall into civil war.

(Translator speaking in Arabic)

And our plan is working.

(Translator speaking in Arabic)

You notice I say, our plan.

(Translator speaking in Arabic)

Today, violence is down dramatically.

(Translator speaking in Arabic)

Al Qaida is driven from its safe havens.

(Translator speaking in Arabic)

Sunnis, Shi’a, and Kurds are sitting together at the same table, to part, to peacefully chart a, the future of this country.

(Translator speaking in Arabic)

There is hope in the eyes of Iraqis’ young.

(Translator speaking in Arabic)

This is a future of what we’ve been fighting for,

(Translator speaking in Arabic)

a strong and capable democratic Iraq that will be a force of freedom

(Translator speaking in Arabic)

and a force for peace in the heart of the Middle East.

(Translator speaking in Arabic)

A country that will serve as a source for stability in a volatile region.

(Translator speaking in Arabic)

A country that will deny a safe haven to Al Qaida.

(Translator speaking in Arabic)

As a result of these successes, Mr. Prime Minister, the American people are safer.

(Translator speaking in Arabic)

We’re also signing a security agreement.

(Translator speaking in Arabic)

The agreement provides American troops and Defense Department officials with authorizations and protections to continue supporting Iraq’s democracy once the U.N.

mandate expires at the end of this year.

(Translator speaking in Arabic)

This agreement respects the sovereignty and the authority of Iraq’s democracy.

(Translator speaking in Arabic)

The agreement lays out a framework for the withdrawal of American forces in Iraq, a withdrawal that is possible because of the success of the surge.

(Translator speaking in Arabic)

These agreements result from careful consultations with the Prime Minister and the officials of Iraq, as well as our diplomats and our military commanders.

(Translator speaking in Arabic)

They represent a shared vision on the way forward in Iraq.

(Translator speaking in Arabic)

The American people have sacrificed a great deal to reach this moment.

(Translator speaking in Arabic)

The battle in Iraq has required a great amount of time and resources.

(Translator speaking in Arabic)

Thousands of our finest citizens have given their lives to make our country safer and to bring us to this new day.

(Translator speaking in Arabic)

We also praise the thousands of coalition forces that came and the sacrifices that those countries have made.

(Translator speaking in Arabic)

And the Iraqi people have sacrificed a lot.

(Translator speaking in Arabic)

They’ve suffered car bombings and suicide attacks and IEDs, and desperate efforts by terrorists to, to destroy a young democracy.

(Translator speaking in Arabic)

Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have stepped forward to defend this democracy, and many have paid a dear price.

(Translator speaking in Arabic)

With these agreements, Mr. Prime Minister, we’re honoring the sacrifices that I just described in the best possible way, by building a freer and safer and more hopeful world.

(Translator speaking in Arabic)

By signing these agreements we’re showing the people of Iraq the United States of America keeps its word.

(Translator speaking in Arabic)

We’re showing the people of the Middle East that America stands firmly for liberty and justice and peace.

(Translator speaking in Arabic)

And we are leaving the next President with a stable foundation for the future and an approach that can enjoy broad bipartisan support at home.

(Translator speaking in Arabic)

There is still more work to be done.

(Translator speaking in Arabic)

The war is not over,

(Translator speaking in Arabic)

but with the conclusion of these agreements and the courage of the Iraqi people and the Iraqi troops and American troops and civilian person, personnel, it is decisively on its way to being won.

(Translator speaking in Arabic)

Shukran jazeelan.

(Yelling from Iraqi journalist Muntadar alZaidi)

(General crowd noise, Arabic language)

George W. Bush: Yes?

Okay everbody, calm down.

First of all, thank you for apologizing on behalf of the Iraqi people.

It doesn’t bother me.


It may have been a shoe, yeah.

And if you want some, if you want the facts, it’s a size 10 shoe that he threw.

(Translator speaking in Arabic)

Thank you for your concerns, do not worry about it.

(Translator speaking in Arabic)

Now do you have a question?

(Journalist speaking in Arabic)

(Translator off camera)

A question, Mr. Prime Minister and others, you all talked about the various gains that will come as a result of signing this agreement.

But just quickly, I have one question about the withdrawal of American forces.

Is this going to be an accelerated process that will happen quickly and perhaps prematurely?

George W. Bush: First of all, we’re here at the request of the Iraqi Government, it’s an elected government.

(Translator speaking in Arabic)

There are certain benchmarks that will be met, such as troops out of the cities by June of ’09.

(Translator speaking in Arabic)

And then there’s a benchmark at the end of the agreement.

(Translator speaking in Arabic)

As to the pace of meeting those agreements, that will depend of course upon the Iraqi Government, the recommendations of the Iraqi military and the close coordination between General Odierno and our military.

(Translator speaking in Arabic)

Guys, these are very important agreements,

(Translator speaking in Arabic)

and the Government of Iraq worked very hard to get them through the Parliament.

(Translator speaking in Arabic)

You want, okay. Jennifer.

Jennifer: Sir, a man just threw his shoes at you-

George W. Bush: Do what?

Jennifer: A man just threw his shoes at you, and it appears that there are terrible roadside bombings (inaudible).

George W. Bush: Yeah. So what if the guy threw a shoe at me?

Jennifer: But you are also here to talk about progress and to mark progress with an agreement like this.

And the kind of security gains that you talked about.

George W. Bush: Right.

Jennifer: Do you consider this a victory lap?

George W. Bush: No, I consider it a important step in, on the road toward an Iraq that can sustain itself, govern itself and defend itself.

But let me talk about the guy throwing the shoe.

Ah, it is one way to grab, gain attention.

It’s like going to a political rally and having people yell at you.

It’s like driving down the street and have people not gesturing with all five fingers.

It’s a way for people to draw, you know, attention, I don’t know what the guy’s cause is.

But one thing is for certain, he caused you to ask me a question about it.

I didn’t feel the least bit threatened by it.

These journalists here were very apologetic.

They were, you know, they were, said, that this isn’t, this doesn’t represent the Iraqi people.

But that’s what happens in free societies, where people try to draw attention to themselves.

And so I guess he was effective, because he caused you to say something about it.

Now, in terms of the agreements, this is a major achievement.

Is it the end?

Absolutely not.

There is more work to be done.

And all this basically says is we’ve made, we’ve made good progress and we’ll continue to work together to achieve peace.

That’s what we want.

Freedom and peace.

And so, no, I’m, I’m, I’m honored to be back here.

It’s my fourth visit to Iraq, and, uh, as a sitting President, and I have been looking forward to this visit.

Ah, it’s um, it’s ah, very kind of you, Mr.

Prime Minister, to have invited me here.

Okay, do you want to translate?

You want to go sign?

Yeah, c’mon.

(Smattering of applause)

(General crowd noise, clicking of camera shutters)

Transcription and captioning by AccurateSecretarial.com