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Give new Iraq strategy a chance: Bush

The US president appeals to a bitterly opposed Congress for support.

india Updated: Jan 24, 2007 16:08 IST

With his popularity dipping because of the Iraq war, an embattled President George W Bush appealed to a bitterly opposed US Congress to give his new strategy for the war-torn country "a chance" as the results of a failure would be "grievous and far-reaching".

A sombre Bush facing a Democrat-controlled Congress stood his ground on foreign policy, especially on issues pertaining to terrorism, during his seventh state-of-union address on Wednesday, and maintained that in order to win the war terror the "fight must be taken to the enemy".

"Many in this chamber understand that America must not fail in Iraq, because you understand that the consequences of failure would be grievous and far reaching," the President warned lawmakers.

"Our country is pursuing a new strategy in Iraq, and I ask you to give it a chance to work. And I ask you to support our troops in the field and those on their way.

"Both parties and both branches should work in close consultation. That's why I've proposed to establish a special advisory council on the war on terror, made up of leaders in Congress from both political parties. We will share ideas on how to position America to meet every challenge that confronts us," the President said.

The Congress has been bitterly opposing plans to send 20,000 additional troops to Iraq to tackle the growing insurgency in the country.

Conceding that the present conditions in Iraq were not something expected, he said, "this is not the fight we entered in Iraq, but it is the fight we are in."