Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Remember what they said then?

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.


Anonymous said...

Pres Bush has always said that this war on terror would be very long.

Topwomen said...

I'd rather the next administration have the task of selecting new china for the "plate room", than figuring that one out....

Eli Blake said...

The war on terror, yes.

But Iraq was a separate war. True, there are terrorists there now, because they come there to fight us. It's no secret in fact, that Zarqawi went to Iraq in December 2002, a few weeks before the war started, precisely to organize an al-Qaeda cell in Iraq to fight us. Prior to that, the only al-Qaeda in Iraq were in a small enclave along the Iranian border and many miles behind Kurdish lines, far from any place that was under the control of Saddam Hussein.

Iraq was not a part of the war on terror then. If Iraq is part of the war on terror now, then that is because we created the conditions that allowed it to become part of that war.

dorsano said...

I'd like to get inside the heads of some of the apologists for this administration to find out if they're simply circling the wagons around the party or if they really believe what they say.

EAPrez said...

Unfortunately, Iraq is not the only mess the next president will be left with. There's the mess of the deficit, the mess of health care, the mess of the middle class, the list is endless. I'm so angry at the new spin (old spin but being retried...) that its the media's fault the president is polling badly. The media's fault for failing to report the 'good news' about Iraq. People who run to wrap their arms around that one deserve to have their sons and daughters sent over there, deserve to go to the poor house when they are bankrupted over a catastrophic health care event, deserve to loose their homes because their job has been outsourced. Too bad the critical thinking part of the country has to suffer with them!

Karen said...

It's a damn copout, Eli. The f*cker doesn't know how to get us out of EYE-RACK so he's passin' the buck. I hope the American people aren't stupid enough to vote in another rethug... heaven help us all!

(now I will concentrate on the Pistons win over the Heat tonight so I can at least have peaceful dreams) :-)

Anonymous said...

Let's say in two years we still have troops there (on a base, doing things troops do in Germany and other places) but they are not getting shot at on a regular basis...will the war in Iraq be over?

Eli, how will you determine if the war in Iraq is over IF we have a permanent base there. I know people are saying we are not going to have a permanent base there. But let's just say what if...

dorsano said...

We lived under the Articles of Confederation for over seven years - independant states with a weak central government - until it almost bankrupted us.

If the plan in Iraq was to allow three economically viable regions to coexist side by side under a lose confederation until such time as they wanted to work closer together

AND our troops were off on the sidelines somewhere, both out of harms way and out of the faces of Iraqis - providing on base medical care and a guarantee against foreign invasion

I think Americans would accept a more lengthy and costly involvement

Until the violence is racheted down in big way, there will be no real progress

and ultimately failure I think.

The neo-conservative wet dream of a U.S. style democracy in Iraq is decades, if ever, away.

Anonymous said...

Wow. In this list of comments from the enlightened left we have the word f*cker and a reference to wet dreams. But that is typical of the illogical rage and thinking that the left feels toward President Bush.

Any President whether it had been Gore or Bush would have had to deal with Iraq, they may have made different decisions, but something drastic would have had to be done.

The difference between your irate readers and I is that I look at elections and Presidents believing that both parties have the good of the nation at heart and therefore when a president makes tough calls involving military force then I support him or her. If the president was wrong, then let history decide.

I have been predicting a democratic win in the next presidential election, but if the democrats continue an irate approach, then I may be proven wrong and the Republicans may win.

dorsano said...

Ah yes - anyone that critizes the administration is ____ raging, unAmerican, against the troops, a terorrist, Saddam lover (fill in the blank)

I suppose apolists for this administration have no arguments left - just empty bluster

When I rage Mark, you'll know.

The difference between you and me is that I look at elected officials and when I find one that is incompetent, regardless of party, I speak out in hopes that he or she won't cause any more harm.

If the president was right, then let history decide - but I'll wager that this one will be ranked among one of the worst.