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Happy Birthday "Mission Accomplished." Are We Even Close?

Happy Birthday "Mission Accomplished." Are We Even Close?

Today marks the fifth anniversary of George W. Bush standing on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln, with the now infamous banner declaring, "Mission Accomplished." Bush didn't utter those words himself — what he said was:

"Major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed."

In "prevailing", we've recently seen the fifth anniversary of US presence in Iraq, and seen more than 4,000 casualties.

In convenient timing, the US State Department released a report yesterday confirming al-Qaeda is still the greatest terrorist threat to the US and its allies. The news is part of the department's annual Country Reports on Terrorism. In year five of "Mission Accomplished," the number of terror-related deaths rose by 8 percent in 2007, and says "the ability of [Iraqi] attackers to penetrate large concentrations of people and then detonate their explosives may account for the increase in lethality of bombings in 2007."

The White House announced yesterday that they've paid the price for the banner. Press Secretary Dana Perino said the sentiment, which now seems laughably premature, was actually just not specific enough. The banner apparently was meant for the ship's crew. Perino said, "President Bush is well aware that the banner should have been much more specific and said `mission accomplished' for these sailors who are on this ship on their mission. And we have certainly paid a price for not being more specific on that banner."

Do you buy that explanation? Regardless of Bush's words on that day, saying combat has ended and the US has prevailed, did we all just misunderstand the intended recipient of the prominently located banner? Has the White House paid the price for the vagueness of the message? After five years, is the fact that the State Department is still calling al-Qaeda the greatest threat mean we're surprisingly far from accomplishing any mission?

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UnDave35 UnDave35 7 years
Because he stole the Presidency? Not True. Get over it Because he lied about WMDs to start a war on a country that had nothing to do with 9/11? Another Lie. Shock and surprise Because he's BFF with a Saudi Prince, and that has nothing to do with the fact that the majority of the 9/11 hijackers were Saudi? Does this mean that because the American citizens perform illegal acts throughout the world, everyone should hate the American leaders, even of those citizens peroforming those illegal actions have no connection to the nation's leaders? Because as a result of his war we're spending trillions of dollar on the infrastructure of a country that did not welcome us as liberators instead of investing in our own crumbling systems? Most of the people did and do. There are a few provinces where fighting is still heavy, and the residents don't want to die, so they don't say anying pro-American, lest they be the victim of the next terrorist attack. Because he ignored Hurricane Katrina victims while his mum toured their deplorable facilities and said it was the best lodgings they'd ever had? I'd just like to point out that the MAYOR of New Orleans and the Governor of Louisanna ignored those residents for SEVERAL YEARS! Because he's systematically dismantling freedom of choice AND the separation between church and state? What freedoms do you and I not have now, that we had before? Is there a national religion that the masses must be a part of yet? no Because he's The Decider? He's the president. As Harry Truman once said "The buck stops here." The mission will never be accomplished because the mission--and his Presidency--was a farce to begin with. No one is going to win in this situation. No one. Especially with this attitude
piper23 piper23 7 years
"The pres knows stuff I don't, and there is really no getting around that. I just plan to vote for one that has an outlook of the world I agree with." Me too! :)
megnmac megnmac 7 years
cabaker - I was just pushing back... I think we're in separate but equal situations. I practically needed witness protections as the liberal kid. I used to spar with my 8th grade homeroom teacher and point out problems with his love of Limbaugh. I didn't even know how conservative I was till I left AZ for college/lawschool and met real liberals... And I've had so so many conversations where I have identified 'friends we don't talk politics with' b/c I have much the reverse conversation (accusations that Dems want us to fail in Iraq so they can be right - seriously, I just want a happy world, if you get it for me, power to ya!). I'm w/ hypno "The bottom line is those options will be dictated by the circumstances at that time not the circumstances now." The pres knows stuff I don't, and there is really no getting around that. I just plan to vote for one that has an outlook of the world I agree with.
hausfrau hausfrau 7 years
When did I imply that?!??! I certainly wasn't trying to! My walk was excellent! And yes, the bra situation worked out well yesterday. I just wouldn't do it running, but for weight lifting and the elliptical I think I'll be ok! Thank you for your concern! :) OHhhhhh I see what you mean. I copied and pasted that from John McCain's website. So he's implying! I am not! :)
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 7 years
How was your walk cabaker27 and did you ever get your braw sorted out yesterday? I also take it that you're implying that Sen. Obama as President would ingage in un-conditonal talks with our disagreeable neighbors. I think that this is an unfair presumption on your part my little cup cake.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 7 years
I agree Jillness. I think that although McCain has not been aggressively vocal in regards to Afghanistan and Pakistan he does realize the importance of those two investments. I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt with respect to this.
hausfrau hausfrau 7 years
Jill, McCain does mention other areas besides Iraq - "The answer is not to enter into unconditional dialogues with these two dictatorships from a position of weakness. The answer is for the international community to apply real pressure to Syria and Iran to change their behavior. The United States must also bolster its regional military posture to make clear to Iran our determination to protect our forces in Iraq and to deter Iranian intervention in that country."
stephley stephley 7 years
Staying or going can't be totally circumstantial, at some point, we have to decide (publicly as a nation, not secretly) what our intentions toward Iraq are. Bush has signed agreements on presence there that haven't been approved by Congress - we need to decide how many lives and how much money we want to invest there before circumstances (for instance, if we don't leave before a full scale civil war breaks out) force our hand.
Jillness Jillness 7 years
I agree hypno, but I think our current President has shown how much the strategy ideas of the President shape what actually gets done. I think that we need to have more focus on Afghanistan and Pakistan, and McCain hasn't been mentioning this very important area when he presents his thoughts on strategy.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 7 years
Personaly I believe all this talk of withdrawl, stay or maybe half way is completely political. The bottom line is those options will be dictated by the circumstances at that time not the circumstances now. The President whether it be McCaine, Clinton, or Obama is going to lean heavily on the judment of the Joint Chiefs and commanders on the ground and the out come of those discussions at that time is what is going to happen regardless of what any of them say now.
stephley stephley 7 years
The President could walk in and order everyone out of Iraq, but they couldn't all leave the next morning. He would not need to walk in and rethink whether he actually wanted to start pulling troops out. "No wonder Bush didn't know the threat that Al Queda posed. After all, he was only in office nine months before 9/11." I hope you didn't mean that the way it sounds. It wouldn't have taken any reasonably intelligent person 9 days to grasp that Al Queda was a serious threat, if they were paying attention to the experts.
Jillness Jillness 7 years
"Obama may SOUND tougher on Al Queda but what has he DONE to prove that?" Unless he is commander in Chief, it isn't like he has the power to direct the troops. What he has done, since 2002, has been to vocally push for more focus on Afghanistan and Pakistan where Al Queda is. Bush has NOT done this. Most democrats have not done this. Obama has remained on point since 2002, and recent information suggests that we should have been listening to him. Al Queda and the Taliban HAVE regrouped in this area, and they are becoming more powerful. 2 days ago there was another assasination attempt on the President of Afghanistan. Obama has been saying, and has been supported by General Casey, that it is more productive to have troops in Afghanistan and Pakistan than Iraq. He plans on bringing troops home from Iraq in a measured way (over the course of 18 months), but yes, more troops would be sent to Af and Pak. He has talked a lot about bringing troops home from Iraq, but he has never said that he plans on bringing troops home from Afghanistan and Pakistan to my knowledge. Strategically, he has supported air raids on specific targets in Af and Pak, which our government has since started doing with success.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 7 years
Understood piper23.
MarinerMandy MarinerMandy 7 years
Several people have alleged that the Clinton administration warned the incoming Bush administration about the threat of Al Quaeda, but they were more concerned with Sadam Hussein from the get go. Clinton himself said that in a speech last year (can't seem to find it at the moment) and Richard Clarke mentioned that as well, among others. Of course Clinton and other members of his administration have reasons for saying that now so who knows how accurate it really is.
piper23 piper23 7 years
I am in no way pardoning Pres. Bush. He came into a legacy of al queda terrorist attacks on the US. He's not the first President that could have put a dent into Al queda. That's all I'm saying. And Stephley, are you saying that Obama wouldn't have time? or the intel it would take to cancel military orders? how much time would he need? Would you agree that a new President would need time to gather information before action is taken on such an important matter? Guess it takes time to assimilate that kind of information. No wonder Bush didn't know the threat that Al Queda posed. After all, he was only in office nine months before 9/11.
MarinerMandy MarinerMandy 7 years
If anyone out there reads Playboy (I think they have fabulous, thought provoking articles...it is liberal, yes, but hey) they interviewed Fareed Zakaria (Jon Stewart's "Man Crush"). It was a really interesting article about our foreign policy and place in the world. One point he brings up that I've been arguing with people over for a little while now is the current administrations inability and unwillingness to talk to leaders of "rogue" nations and try to understand their position. I felt like he brought a lot of things into perspective. As for the Mission Accomplished banner I thought that was blown way out of proportion.
hausfrau hausfrau 7 years
Well technically the President can cancel orders whenever he wants, but yes, thats very, very unlikely. But I think this is a valid question because there are a lot of families that want to know the real deal. I think I would rather have Obama say "listen, we're gonna take the force down by x amount and then we're going to redirect people to Afghanistan" or even just that we're going to redirect everyone to Afghanistan... I feel like he needs to be more clear on this.
stephley stephley 7 years
There are new terrorists signing up every day as a result of our attacks on two nations and our threats against another. You know as well as we do that Obama couldn't be sworn in in January and start cancelling orders for February. The Spurlock documentary doesn't sound like its worth the effort.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 7 years
piper23:To say that there were opportunities to strike Osama Binladin during the Clinton administration is fair enough. However, we do not know what stayed President Clintons hand other than it was stayed. "CLARKE: Well, I'm not prepared to call it a mistake. It was a judgment made by people who had to take into account a lot of other issues." If the so called conveyer belt had been destroyed in Afghanistan which I do wish would have happened. Do not kid your self for one moment that another was not readily available else where. Look all Presidents’ F up no matter how popular they are. But if you think that by presenting us with the missteps of President Clinton that some how President Bush is pardoned for his poor decisions you are in my opinion mistaken .
syako syako 7 years
I thought Paris Hilton was to blame for 9/11 :shrug: carry on.
cine_lover cine_lover 7 years
Just going to pop in for a second. People can hate Bush, but Clinton has to take a large part of the blame for 9/11. ...Continue
hausfrau hausfrau 7 years
Jill I'm not trying to slam Obama. I'm sure he's got a lot of good ideas. I just don't understand this one at all... I want to believe he will be tough on terror, I do. But I don't know whats in his record to show that.
piper23 piper23 7 years
And besides, Jill, like Cabaker and I were trying to ask you the last time, if he pulls our guys out of Iraq, is he planning on sending them to Afghanistan? Because like I said, my husband leaves for Iraq in February and Obama may be in the Oval Office by then. I would so love to know that Obama is going to cancel those orders. Any thoughts?
hausfrau hausfrau 7 years
But Jill, I think some of us don't really buy what Obama is saying based solely on the fact that you can't be in two places at once. And since he claims he will bring all the troops home, how can they be in Afghanistan and Pakistan? I still don't get it! BTW, speaking of Osama, has anyone see the Spurlock documentary on that yet?
piper23 piper23 7 years
In my humble opinion, Obama may SOUND tougher on Al Queda but what has he DONE to prove that? Until I actually see the guy in action and not speaking behind a podium I'll reserve judgement on how tough on Al Queda he really is.
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