President George W. Bush has taken time during his trip to Iraq to thank hundreds of US troops at Camp Victory. The president defended the war and said his administration would take good care of the soldiers' families and their wounded friends. He told the troops Sunday that Iraq is much safer than it was when he took office in 2001. The president praised the soldiers for volunteering to defend the United States in a time of danger. He said American troops are returning home because of success in Iraq. And he said retreat would have meant failure - and failure is never an option.