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Bush faces tough job of selling his Iraq war

President Bush, speaking before a supportive audience at the U.S. Naval Academy, said Tuesday that the U.S. military presence in Iraq is about to change.

Facing growing dissatisfaction on Iraq from within and outside of his political party, Bush all but admitted to mistakes in Iraq Wednesday in his latest defense nearly 2½ years after he declared victory.

Bush acknowledged Wednesday that U.S. has suffered setbacks and less than desired results in training Iraqi forces. And his speech did not lay any new ground work.

The president's speech Wednesday signifies another attempt in the administration's strategy to defend the U.S.'s action in Iraq. Certainly, Bush and other administration officials have not been very successful in building Iraq support in the public or the Democratic party and Republicans are growing more concerned by the day as the 2006 election approaches.

It is high time that Bush face up to reality and acknowledge some the shortfalls of the U.S. performance in Iraq. History will likely not reflect kindly on the performance of the president or his administration on Iraq.

However, as we have said before, it is imperative that the U.S. finish the job in Iraq. We agree with the president on this issue.

An immediate withdrawal of Iraq would leave a political, social and governmental vacuum, which could quickly deteriorate into a civil war or another terrorist-supporting nation.

Bush will continue his attempt to defend and support his Iraq strategy in the weeks before the Dec. 15 elections in Iraq.

The president has a tough job ahead of him as he is at the low point of his presidency -- with a 37 percent approval rating in a recent AP-Ipsos poll. Time will tell whether his strategy will bring success to Iraq or it will become a political trouble spot that impacts the remaining three years of his presidency.