On Mission Accomplished, Plus Four Years

Said President George W. Bush on May 1st, 2003:

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.

Wrote I in September 2006, for the Star Trek: Constellations annotations:

On May 1, 2003 President George W. Bush, standing on the deck of the US aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln before a banner that read “Mission Accomplished,” stated that “major combat operations in Iraq have ended.” American casualties in the war stood at 137.

As of this writing American soliders continue to be involved in combat operations in the Iraq theatre. American soldiers continue to be sent to the Middle-East. Reservists, even those on the inactive rosters, continue to be called up. American casualties stand at 2639–fully 2500 since Bush stood before a banner that said “Mission Accomplished.”

As of this writing there is no end in sight to the American involvement in Iraq. Combat operations have not ended, and every speech President Bush gives about “staying the course” in Iraq only proves that his speech of May 1, 2003 was a lie.

For up-to-date casualty figures on the Iraq War, I recommend the Casualties in Iraq website.

In the seven months since I wrote those words, American deaths in Iraq have passed 3300. Seven hundred in seven months.

The President has accused Congressional Democrats of “playing politics” by tying funding of the war to timetables for American troop withdrawal. Was it politics when Congressional Republicans did the same to President Clinton in the Bosnia/Kosovo conflict? The American public voted in November 2006 and said, “This isn’t working. We need to do something else.” Pretending otherwise doesn’t make it so.

Have we accomplished the feat of bringing al-Qaeda to heel? Have we made the world safe from the threat of terrorism? Neither! al-Qaeda still exists, and we’ve now turned Iraq into a breeding ground for terrorists who have ready targets for their anger.

“Mission accomplished” was a lie. At the span of four years we must call it that. A lie.

Who will stand up and ask the question Senator John Kerry asked so many years ago–“How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?”

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