Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Bush Is Firm as Criticism Over Iraq Mounts

WASHINGTON, July 10 — With his Iraq policy under intensified criticism and debate, President Bush said today the United States must persevere in Iraq, but that the Iraqis themselves must take more responsibility for their country.

As Mr. Bush was speaking, Congress was beginning an intensive two-week debate on the war. A growing number of lawmakers, including several prominent Republicans as well as Democratic opponents of the war, are now voicing skepticism and pessimism. They seem sure to use a Senate debate on a military-spending bill this week as an occasion for a renewed barrage against the administration’s policy. Some critics will try to attach troop-withdrawal timetables to the bill.