RIGA, Latvia — President Bush said Tuesday he will not bow to calls to begin pulling U.S. troops out of Iraq “before the mission is complete,” setting the stage for Wednesday’s face-to-face meeting in Jordan with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, and delivering a response to critics demanding an immediate withdrawal.

“Tomorrow I’m going to travel to Jordan, where I will meet with the prime minister of Iraq. We will discuss the situation on the ground in his country, our ongoing efforts to transform more responsibility to the Iraqi security forces, and the responsibility of other nations in the region to support the security and stability of Iraq,” Bush said in a speech ahead of the NATO summit in Riga, Latvia.

“We’ll continue to be flexible. And we’ll make the changes necessary to succeed. But there’s one thing I’m not going to do: I’m not going to pull our troops off the battlefield before the mission is complete,” he said.

This is good news. If the troops are allowed to finish the mission, we win. The American people win. The terrorists lose and so do the Democrats.