President Bush condemned Iraq Friday afternoon for attacking Israel with Scud missiles, saying "it was purely an act of terror with no military significance at all."
Bush said it was obviously designed to weaken the alliance against Iraq. "But it will fail," he said.Bush also warned Americans against euphoria about early combat advances, warning war always comes with high costs.
"I want to say how outraged I am by Iraq's latest act of aggression, in this case against Israel. Once again, we see no neighbor of Iraq is safe," Bush said in a press conference.
"I want to state here publicly how much I appreciated Israel's restraint from the outset, really from the beginning of this crisis. Prime Minister Shamir and his government have shown great understanding for the interests of the United States and the interests of others involved in this coalition.
"Close consultations with Israel are continuing, and so, too, are close consultation with our coalition partners," Bush said.
That included conversations Friday morning with Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev - with whom Bush said he again expressed concern over the future of the Baltic states.
Bush also pledged that allies are doing the best they can to suppress Scud missile sites that could harm Israel or other Iraqi neighbors.
Bush, possibly to reassure Israel that it need not attack Iraq, said, "We are going to be redoubling our efforts in the darnedest search-and-destroy effort ever taken down in that area, and I hope that is very reassuring to the residents in Israel."
He planned to talk to Shamir later Friday to again reassure him, and he said Secretary of State James Baker had talked with Shamir on the phone Thursday evening.
Bush said, "I think everyone realizes what Saddam Hussein was trying to do: to change the course of the war, to weaken the coalition. He's going to fail.
"We are in close touch with our coalition partners, and this coalition is not going to fall apart. I'm convinced of that," he added.
Bush said the Iraqi Scud attack was especially disgusting because "Israel is not a participant, Israel is not a combatant, and this man has chosen to launch a terroristic attack against the population centers in Israel with no military design whatsoever.
"That's why it's an outrage and the whole world knows it," Bush said. "Most of the world is speaking out against it. There can be no consideration of this in anything but condemnation.
"This man is not going to pull a victory off by waging terrorist attacks against a country that is not a participant in all of this."
Bush said the fighting will not end until there is total fulfillment of United Nation resolutions against Iraq, and it withdraws from Kuwait. "It isn't going to end short of total fulfillment of our objectives."
Bush was pleased with the war effort saying, "So far, so good." He said the alliance forces had fought "bravely, professionally and effectively."
He said the war effort will take "some time," reminding that Saddam Hussein has built up his war machine over more than a decade and will require time to dismantle - especially when the United States is trying to keep casualties to a minimum.
He also urged the nation to "be realistic. There will be losses" despite early gains with relatively few casualties. "War is never cheap or easy," Bush said.
"I don't want to see the nation get over-euphoric."
He also assured servicemen and women that the nation is united behind them, despite some protests.
"To those troops over there, let me just take this opportunity to say your country is supporting you. The Congress overwhelmingly endorsed that. Let there be no doubt in the minds of any of you. You have the full and united support of the United States."