a citizen’s journal by Thomas Nephew

Happy Birthday Mission Accomplished

Posted by Thomas Nephew on May 5th, 2005

Back on May 1, 2003, President Bush pulled a little carrier-and-a-flightsuit stunt that even embarrassed Glenn Reynolds, and gave the “Mission Accomplished” speech. (That was the backdrop, the main quote was “Major combat operations in Iraq have ended.”)

Matt of “Today in Iraq” just republished that speech … meticulously interspersed with news item after news item after news item contradicting every single element of Bush’s message that day. It’s one of the more impressive things I’ve ever seen on a blog. You should read it.

And I should re-read it.

Oh: Glenn, Dean, Jeff, etcetera — you may feel, or pretend to feel, or have convinced yourself you have always felt, or something, that the war was all about ‘bringing democracy to Iraq.’ But that’s not really how the Bush administration sold it, and more importantly, that’s really not what most Americans were buying. No WMD, no case, no sale. You expect anyone to believe the same Bush America that chortles about ‘towelheads’ or Abu Ghraib really gives two hoots about democracy in Iraq? They barely give two hoots about it in the United States. Just win, baby.

We should surely try to make the best of a bad situation — stick with the Iraqis worth sticking with, assuming that’s ever very clear, not build permanent U.S. bases (oops), leave when asked, that kind of thing.

But it’ll be a lot easier if we start by being honest with ourselves — that’s about all most of us can do as far as Iraq is concerned. Sometimes that means you look in the mirror, and you say “I was wrong.” It’s not so hard. I speak from experience.

CREDITS: “Today in Iraq” via The Poor Man, Glenn Reynolds via Kevin Drum, opinion surveys via University of Maryland/PIPA,”not really” supplied by Julian Sanchez, who reminds us through the medium of a commenter that the party line before the war was that if Saddam “disarmed,” we would not go to war. Right?

One Response to “Happy Birthday Mission Accomplished”

  1. » Blog Archive » With regrets, indeed: confessions of a one-time Iraq war supporter Says:

    […] again… and what I know now.  I’ve done so a few times before — here, here, and here to name a few. But the occasion, and honesty, and sorrow at the debacle I too was a part of — […]

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