By: E&P Staff
When President Bush and Democrats in Congress held a kind of friendly summit conference in Virginia on Saturday, the press was generally barred from the proceedings and the usual Q&A did not feature reporters but elected officials.
But afterward, some of the Democrats naturally leaked to the media. And once again, it was reported, President Bush — on a day when more than 130 Iraqis died in a bomb blast and more Americans continued to fall there — claimed that all Americans were suffering, saying the war is “sapping our souls.” Having to read about or absorb images from the war is really taking its toll on us, he pointed out.
According to some Democrats , Rep. Susan A. Davis (Calif.) told Bush about her concern that Americans are risking, and losing, their lives without the rest of the country sharing the sacrifice. Bush, as he has done before in recent weeks, replied that the war is psychologically draining for the entire country and is “sapping our souls” in some ways.
A Democratic aide who took notes told the San Francisco Chronicle that Bush went on to say, “It’s very difficult psychologically. War is ugly and depressing.”
Bush also said, according to the Democrats, that he does not believe those who oppose his approach “don’t share the same sense of patriotism I do. … You can get that thought out of your mind if that’s what some believe. These are tough times, and there is no doubt in my mind that you want to secure this homeland just as much as I do.”
Bush himself in the past, and others in his administration recently, have charged that Democratic opposition to his troop “surge” may embolden the enemy in Iraq.