This comes as a timely post, because I posted part of this in my comments section of the last Iraq related post in response to a troll who prefered to stick his head in the sand and forget what was actually said.
I guess since President Bush was the guy to get us into Iraq, he figures he can 'share the wealth,' and it will be up to his successor to figure out how to get us out of Iraq.
WASHINGTON -- President Bush suggested yesterday that US troops might stay in Iraq beyond his presidency, which ends in 2009, saying at a press conference that the issue of removing troops from the country ''will be decided by future presidents and future governments of Iraq."
The president, responding to aggressive questioning at the hastily arranged morning session, declined to give a timetable for pulling US soldiers out of the increasingly unpopular war. But he warned several times about the danger of a 'premature" withdrawal.'
So he figures that the war will last at least until 2009, or six years (which would make it the third longest running non-Indian war in American history, after Vietnam (fifteen years, give or take depending on when you say it started) and the American Revolution (eight years). But there is no guarantee that it could last for only six years, so the sky could be the limit here.
This wouldn't be so bad except that when they were trying to get us INTO the war, this is what they said about its duration:
Feb. 7, 2003, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, to U.S. troops in Aviano, Italy: "It is unknowable how long that conflict will last. It could last six days, six weeks. I doubt six months."
March 4, Air Force Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, at a breakfast with reporters: "What you'd like to do is have it be a short, short conflict. . . . Iraq is much weaker than they were back in the '90s," when its forces were routed from Kuwait.
March 11, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, in a speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars: "The Iraqi people understand what this crisis is about. Like the people of France in the 1940s, they view us as their hoped-for liberator."
Kenneth Adelman, a Reagan administration official who serves on a Pentagon advisory board, said in a Washington Post column in February (2003) that the war would be "a cakewalk."
Richard Perle, who chaired that board, predicted that any resistance in Iraq would "collapse after the first whiff of gunpowder."
Well, you remember that. We were supposed to waltz in, get rid of Saddam, find all those bunkers full of nerve gas, the people would throw flowers at us for getting rid of the evil dictator, and our troops would be home for Christmas that year (2003). That is what they told us then, and all the historical revisionism from the right can't expunge from the pages of history what they said then, or even in many cases after the war started (i.e. the President announcing on May 1, 2003 'the end of major combat operations' and Dick Cheney saying in June of 2003 that any acts of violence were just 'Saddam dead enders,' or last year that 'the insurgency was in its last throes'
So now George Bush has generously announced that he can't get us out of this mess, and as such he will be passing this mess on to his successor.
Nice housewarming gift for the next President.