THE FOLLOWING IS A Q AND A WITH PRESIDENT BUSH THIS WEEK.
Q: … American and Iraqi health officials today released a report saying that 655,000 Iraqis have died since the Iraq war.That figure is 20 times the figure that you cited in December at 30,000. Do you care to amend or update your figure?
BUSH: No, I don't consider it a credible report. Neither does General Casey and neither do Iraqi officials.
I do -- I do know that a lot of innocent people have died, and that troubles me. And it grieves me. And I applaud the Iraqis for their courage in the face of violence.
I am, you know, amazed that this is a society which so wants to be free that they're willing to -- you know, that there's a level of violence that they tolerate.
And it's now time for the Iraqi government to work hard to bring security in neighborhoods so people can feel -- can feel, you know, at peace.
No question it's violent. But this report is one -- they put it out before. It was pretty well -- the methodology is pretty well discredited.
… But I, you know, talk to people like General Casey. And, of course, the Iraqi government put out a statement talking about the report. I, you know, I stand by the figure a lot of innocent people have lost their life. 600,000 or whatever they guessed at is just, it's not credible.
SINCE PRESIDENT BUSH IS SAVING THE HOMELAND AND PERHAPS THE , YOU KNOW, WORLD, I SEE NO REASON FOR, YOU KNOW, FUZZY MATH OR DEFENSIVE NITPICKING.