Action star Arnold Schwarzenegger (search) traveled to Iraq Friday to pump up American GIs at their Independence Day festivities.
Schwarzenegger addressed an enthusiastic crowd of soldiers at one of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's presidential palaces.
"I play the Terminator, but you guys are the true terminators," he told the cheering crowd of soldiers.
Schwarzenegger's address came hours after one American was shot and killed; in a separate incident, 16 were injured in an ambush on an American convoy.
"First of all, congratulations for saying 'hasta la vista, baby' to Saddam Hussein. I came here from the United States because I wanted to pump you all up," Schwartzenegger said. "I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart and I want to thank you from everyone in the United States."
The hulking Austrian-born actor thanked soldiers for making the American way of life possible, furthering political speculation that he will run for governor of California if efforts to recall current Gov. Gray Davis (search) are successful.
"It is really wild driving around here, I mean the poverty, and you see there is no money, it is disastrous financially, there is the leadership vacuum -- pretty much like in California right now," he said.
Schwarzenegger brought a copy of his recently released blockbuster Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines for a special screening with a group of GIs; the actor left soldiers with his established catch phrase, "I'll be back," as he continued his tour of the war-torn country.