“President Bush acknowledged yesterday [December 7, 2005] that the multibillion-dollar reconstruction of Iraq has ‘been uneven’ and hobbled by corruption, misplaced priorities and insurgent attacks, but maintained that ‘quiet, steady progress’ would ultimately transform the country. …Bush described several strategic errors in managing a rebuilding effort that he said proceeded in ‘fits and starts.’ By learning from its mistakes, Bush said, the administration has reshaped its approach and he held out two key cities as models of success to be replicated across Iraq. ‘Reconstruction has not always gone as well as we had hoped, primarily because of the security challenges on the ground,’ Bush said in a speech to foreign policy veterans. ‘Rebuilding a nation devastated by a dictator [Saddam Hussein] is a large undertaking. It’s even harder when terrorists are trying to blow up that which the Iraqis are trying to build. The terrorists and Saddamists have been able to slow progress, but they haven’t been able to stop it.’ ”

 – Peter Baker, “Bush Cites Setbacks in Rebuilding by the U.S. ,” The Washington Post, Dec. 8, 2005