Sunday, July 27, 2008

U.S. winning war in Iraq!!!

The Lexington Herald-Leader said so on their front page this morning.

The story was actually written by AP writers Robert Burns and Robert H. Reid.

Nice of the main stream media to catch up.

Burns and Reid still couldn't help getting a dig in at Pres. Bush when they wrote:


That does not mean that the war has ended or that U.S. troops have no role in Iraq. It means the combat phase finally is ending, years past the time when President Bush optimistically declared it had.

While Bush did announce and end to "major combat operations" in 2003 speech on the USS Abraham Lincoln, he did not say the battle was over. He explained that the offensive phase had ended (which it had), and a new phase, that of securing the country and establishing democracy, was only beginning.

In the years since the press has never given the military credit for what they accomplished in the spring of 2003. They crushed the 4th largest military in the world in a matter of weeks.

Bush was recognizing that accomplishment on the USS Abraham Lincoln.

Unfortunately, the images of the banner proclaiming "Mission Accomplished", which was actually directed toward the ships crew who were heading back to port, has haunted the administration.

Still, nobody recognized at the time the difficulty and bloodshed that was still to come. I think both the military and politicians underestimate the work ahead. Uncertainty and fluidity come with warfare.

But on the other hand, Bush never claimed an easy path to ultimate victory. In fact, part of his speech proved somewhat prophetic.

"We have difficult work to do in Iraq. We are bringing order to parts of that country that remain dangerous. We are pursuing and finding leaders of the old regime, who will be held to account for their crimes. We have begun the search for hidden chemical and biological weapons, and already know of hundreds of sites that will be investigated. We are helping to rebuild Iraq, where the dictator built palaces for himself, instead of hospitals and schools. And we will stand with the new leaders of Iraq as they establish a government of, by, and for the Iraqi people. The transition from dictatorship to democracy will take time, but it is worth every effort. Our coalition will stay until our work is done. And then we will leave — and we will leave behind a free Iraq," he said. (emphasis mine)

One can fault Bush for many things, but history will record that he refused to back down and stood his ground in Iraq. He has prosecuted the war without regard to the polls or his own popularity and his determination has turned things around in that country.

That type of steadfastness defines leadership and I for one am thankful that we've had a true leader in office through this time.

3 comments:

Bryan said...

I do think it is fair to say that Bush probably had a false expectation when he made his speech aboard the U.S.S. Lincoln that operations such as the ones in Fallujah and Baqubah would not be necessary.

But I also agree with you that the way the phrase is used in the story is easily seen as a gratuitous swipe at Bush.

Robert Burns has tended to do a terrific job with his reporting on Iraq, however. He admitted the signs of success for the surge before Petraeus testified before Congress in Sept 2007, putting him ahead of the curve for the MSM.

Michael Maharrey said...

I think you're right in terms of expectations. I don't think anybody realized the difficulty the U.S. would face after Baghdad fell.

I think Bush's problems in large part stem from an inability to communicate his plans to the masses. His failures have been less tactical and more PR. He just falls apart in front of a camera. It's a shame really, because from all I've heard and read, he's pretty engaging one on one.

Ky Woman said...

Michael,

Amazing, huh? What we've been reading in the blogs for months now finally reaching the reading material of the masses...

btw, could you send your email addy? Have that blog list for you to peruse.

;)