The Fighting Ends
By Steven Ehrenberg

Friday, May 2—President Bush declared an end to fighting in Iraq from aboard an American warship on Thursday.

President Bush poses with the flight deck crew of the USS Abraham LIncoln on Thursday. (White House photo by Paul Morse)

"Major combat operations in Iraq have ended," announced President Bush. "In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed. And now our coalition is engaged in securing and reconstructing that country."

But President Bush stopped short of declaring the war over. The war on terrorism, he stated, was still on.

"We will continue to hunt down the enemy before he can strike," he said before the crowd of cheering officers and sailors aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln.

President Bush had another reason not to declare the war over. Under international law, once a war is declared finished, the victorious army must release its prisoners and stop going after specific leaders. The U.S. military is not yet ready to take those steps.