May 3, 2007

Mission Accomplished...Only Not So Much

Four long years ago - almost to the day - President Bush stood on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln, an aircraft carrier floating off the coast of California, and delivered his now-famous Mission Accomplished Speech

You know my feelings on the whole war thing. You know that I've always thought the war was an unbelievably bad idea based on lies and unsubstantiated facts. At best, it was a knee-jerk reaction to the continued threat of terrorism - which I don't deny existed and still exists - in the wake of 9-11.

When I heard that it was the fourth anniversary of one of the most tragically timed and heavily orchestrated speeches in the history of the United States, I decided to revisit the transcript. What I found angered me more than the speech did upon its initial delivery. Look at the following quotes and see for yourself.

  • ...major combat operations in Iraq have ended. 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.
  • No device of man can remove the tragedy from war, yet it is a great advance when the guilty have far more to fear from war than the innocent.
  • Decades of lies and intimidation could not make the Iraqi people love their oppressors or desire their own enslavement.
  • America and our coalition will finish what we have begun.
  • The war on terror is not over, yet it is not endless. We do not know the day of final victory, but we have seen the turning of the tide.

See, major combat operations didn't end. They're still happening, unfolding daily. Soldiers are still dying every day. Major combat shouldn't be defined by the size of targets being leveled but by the cost of human lives. And while decades of lies and intimidation may have been ended in one country, they were given a new lease on life in this country. We've had almost eight years of both. When do we get a break? No device of man can remove tragedy from war but they can, in the form of improvised explosive devices, remove brave young men and women from this earth, from their families and friends. The war on terror is not over, granted, but it certainly seems endless from this vantage point. The tide hasn't turned. The day of final victory is nowhere close.

As of this morning, 3,355 United States citizens have died in combat operations in Iraq. Over 24,000 have been wounded. This past April saw the heaviest number of fatalities in 2007.

You can't tell me that the tide has turned. You can't tell me that the mission has been accomplished.

I refer you to my friend Trixie, who, I just discovered, said something similar with even more eloquence than I. She should know - her son's there. Hang in there, Trix.

Posted by Chris at May 3, 2007 7:00 AM

"The day of final victory is nowhere close."

Nope. The day of final victory is January 20th, 2009 (or well, whenever that day is that the new president gets put into office). You can count on Bush not pulling out while he is in office. Count on more lies and humiliation for the USA until then. Doesn't he just make you want to move to a different country?

My mom agrees with this war. We don't discuss it, because we know we stand on different ground. The thing that truly twists the knife in my stomach is when our newsbroadcasters refer to some Iraqian or whatnot as an 'insurgent'. No. That is THEIR OWN country. We are the insurgents. We are the ones who continue to invade a country not our own (because honestly, that is the true title of what we are doing, but no one says invade anymore, its not PC.)... *sigh*

Posted by: Phoenix at May 3, 2007 7:27 AM

Victory will be in 627 (days B has left in office.

I don't know how he sleeps at night.

Posted by: Maria at May 3, 2007 7:48 AM

I think in Shrubya's mind it really was a mission accomplished back then - in that there was success in getting Saddam out of power and running underground. Because really I think that was what Iraq was about - getting the man that "threatened my daddy"...

He just couched the personal vendetta in the guse of the liberation of a country that never asked to be liberated in the first place.

Posted by: suze at May 3, 2007 7:57 AM

I enjoy your political posts. I don't always agree with you but I enjoy them. The mission accomplished speach will go down in history as a political blunder. I agree with most of the points you made here about the speach.

Posted by: William at May 3, 2007 8:21 AM

For more depressing information on the cost of war

Take a look at Iraqi forces and civilian deaths it is beyond depressing.

Posted by: rwhgeek at May 3, 2007 9:08 AM

He celebrated the occasion yesterday with a veto.

We invaded a sovereign nation on the flimsiest of information which turned out to be a lie. Now we can't seem to get out.

What's next I wonder.

Posted by: ann adams at May 3, 2007 9:22 AM

Thank you so much. I am hanging in there but it's getting harder and harder with the lies and intimidation - and now the powers that be have restricted military blogs and posts, so I'm pretty fired up about that. There is a difference between operation security and suppression of speech.

Mission accomplished, my ass.

Anyway, thanks, again - for your support. I know it matters so much to me and it matters to Josh.

Posted by: trix at May 3, 2007 10:05 AM

I was reading a military blog yesterday by way of Wired's article on the elimination of blogs and email from deployed personnel. The man was a veteran of this war, a Bush supporter, and proud conservative. I read several posts that condemned the Democrats. I tried to put myself in his boots. He was right in so many things, but the one answer he couldn't give was when the fighting would end. I'm proud of my countrymen who fight bravely and with so much conviction, but I fear that they don't have the perspective or detailed knowledge (CIA Intel) to understand what it would take to truly have a "mission accomplished". The body count, financial drain on America, and the religious and political implications are simply too great to remain there.

Posted by: Brad at May 3, 2007 10:33 AM

Wonderfully written post...

I saw a bumper sticker on a car yesterday that simply said "1-29-2009... End of an Error"
I thought that was the best bumper sticker I've seen in a long long time.

And yet... that seems so far away.
With a good friend who had to serve in Iraq three seperate times and one of my brother's best friends over there now it is my only hope that this ends very soon and that all of our soldiers can come home safe.

I will be praying for Trixie's son... and for all of the other men and women serving our country. They don't choose the wars...

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