Bush Prods Iraq Neighbors To Help More

President Bush and first lady Laura Bush return to the White House from Camp David, Md., Sunday, June 11, 2006, in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta
President Bush prodded Iraq's neighbors on Monday to do more to help in its reconstruction and said he would push nations around the world to make good on aid they have promised.

"Iraq's neighbors ought to do more to help," the president said after a day of discussion with his top national security advisers on Iraq's future.

The two-day strategy session at the mountainous Camp David presidential retreat started Monday, with national security advisers on hand and top commanders in Iraq connected by video-conference. President Bush will also meet with Iraq's Prime Minister al Maliki and his cabinet via video link to talk about how to move forward, CBS News senior White House correspondent Bill Plante reports.

"I think what they'll talk about today is, as they do periodically, is about the overall strategy in Iraq and the three major dimensions - the security dimension, the political dimension, economic dimension," retired General Richard Myers, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs, told CBS News' The Early Show.

Mr. Bush said that nations around the world — many of them outside the Middle East — have pledged $13 billion for Iraq and "we expect our friends ... to honor those commitments."

Mr. Bush said he and his advisers talked about security in Iraq, particularly in Baghdad and Basra. He said the message he wanted to send the government there was, "We stand with you."

He declined to make specific predictions about U.S. troop withdrawals, saying the new Iraqi defense minister just stepped into his job and needed more time to make assessments.

"Whatever we do will be based upon the conditions on the ground. This is a process," Mr. Bush said.

Gen. George Casey told CBS News he thinks it will be possible to withdraw some of the 130,000 U.S. forces in the months ahead as long as Iraq's government and security forces make progress.

In other developments:

  • Two separate parked car bombs detonated Monday in Baghdad's Sadr City and in western Baghdad to kill at least 9 people and wound 51, police said. The first explosion occurred in Sadr City and killed four people and wounded 38, said police Lt. Ahmed Qassim. The second bombing took place in western Baghdad and killed five people and wounded 13 others, said police Lt. Maitham Abdul-Razza.
  • Abu Musab al-Zarqawi lived for 52 minutes after a U.S. warplane bombed his hideout northeast of Baghdad, and he died of extensive internal injuries consistent with those caused by a bomb blast, the U.S. military said Monday. Al-Zarqawi's group, al-Qaida in Iraq, announced in a Web statement Monday that a militant named Abu Hamza al-Muhajer was appointed its new leader.
  • An American lawyer on Saddam Hussein's defense team lashed out at the court trying him Monday, saying it was not giving the defense enough time to present its case, intimidated its witnesses and put the defense at "a serious disadvantage." "We are at a serious disadvantage to the prosecution because of the way we have been treated by the court," Curtis Doebbler told chief judge Raouf Abdel-Rahman.
  • A roadside bomb detonated next to a police patrol east of Kirkuk, but missed and struck a civilian car Monday. One person was killed in the explosion, two more were injured, police said.
  • Al Qaeda in Iraq vowed on Sunday to carry out "major attacks," insisting in a Web statement that it was still powerful after the death of its leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. General Casey said he expects them "to try to do what they said."
  • President Bush on Saturday said with Zarqawi's death "the ideology of terror has suffered a severe blow," but also said there were difficult times ahead in Iraq. The Democratic leader in the Senate replied that after Zarqawi, Mr. Bush should present the country with a concrete plan for making it "a year of significant transition."
  • Injured CBS News correspondent Kimberly Dozier returned to the United States, where she was admitted to Bethesda Naval Hospital near Washington.