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Bush defends Iraq policy in Independence Day speech
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08:07, July 05, 2007

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U.S. President George W. Bush defended his Iraq policy in a speech marking the nation's 231st Independence Day on Wednesday.

Speaking to National Guard troops in Martinsburg, West Virginia, Bush flatly rejected calls to withdraw troops from Iraq.

"Withdrawing our troops prematurely based on politics, not on the advice and recommendation of our military commanders, would not be in our national interest," he said.

"It would hand the enemy a victory and put America's security at risk -- and that's something we're not going to do," Bush added.

"We must succeed for our own sake," he said. "For the security of our citizens we must support our troops. We must support the Iraqi government and we must defeat al-Qaida in Iraq."

Across the United States, Americans are celebrating the Independence Day holiday with picnics, fireworks, and a sense of caution.

Hundreds of thousands of visitors are expected to take part in the celebrations in the nation's capital, and extra security precautions are in place.

Security has been tight on the Fourth of July holiday since the9/11 terror attacks in 2001.

Source: Xinhua

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