BUSH GOT IT RIGHT - MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!
It has been fairly easy, and not without a certain amount of satisfaction, to expose the propaganda, half-truths, and outright lies of the Bush administration regarding the invasion of Iraq. Talk about a target rich environment. However, in the interest of fairness, it is important to highlight the times when the President manages to stumble into the truth. This is a long overdue acknowledgment of one of those rare occasions.
The President has taken a lot of flack for his dramatic May 2003 landing onto the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln. In particular, the huge “Mission Accomplished” banner hung from the ship’s superstructure, after only six weeks of combat, has been the cause of some rather harsh ridicule. This is primarily because, in the opinion of many, the mission in Iraq has not been accomplished.
However, upon further reflection, it would seem that the President was absolutely correct in his assessment of the situation as he presented it from the Lincoln’s flight deck. Looking back, there can be no doubt that…
Bush had it right – it was “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!”
In the months leading up to the invasion of Iraq, the President defined “the mission” in no uncertain terms. He was able to effectively articulate, almost daily, his case that the threat from Iraq was immediate and grave. He convinced Congress the threat was so severe that they gave (abdicated) him the authority to invade Iraq.
Granted, we now know that all the “intelligence” data the President used to justify the war - the WMD storage sites, the potential mushroom clouds, and the Iraqi ties to 9/11 - were complete fabrications. But, that does not change the stated purpose of the invasion as he explained it very clearly at the time.
On the eve of the invasion, the President spoke with great clarity and passion as he outlined “the mission” our soldiers were about to undertake. There was no confusion in his speech about the purpose for which so many of our finest young men and women were going to die:
We can argue over whether Iraq was ever really a threat, or whether the President lied about the WMD evidence. Those will be important determinations to make during Bush’s impeachment proceedings, or during his war crimes tribunal. For now however, that is academic.
At the time of the invasion, the mission was specific and unambiguous: to defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq. That also happens to be, and this may sound a bit old fashioned, the ONLY mission that was authorized by Congress.
The questions we need to answer are: Have we finished “the mission?” Have we eliminated the Iraqi “threat?” Has our military accomplished what we sent them over there to do? Without a doubt, the answer is…
During the early days of the occupation, our troops scoured Iraq from one end to the other looking for “weapons of mass murder.” They found no chemical weapon stockpiles, no rogue nukes squirreled away; and they never located the fleet of WMD spraying drones that was poised to attack our east coast.
Were the weapons ever really there? Who knows. Were they spirited away to Syria, buried in the desert, or beamed up by space aliens? It doesn’t really matter now. There were no weapons then, and there are no weapons now.
From a military and strategic standpoint, “the mission” as defined by the President, and as authorized by Congress, was essentially completed before we ever set foot in Iraq. But certainly, at the time of Bush’s speech from the USS Lincoln, our military had removed any chance that Iraqi was a threat to American interests. The dreaded weapons were gone, the Iraqi Army was utterly vanquished, and most of the leaders of the “outlaw regime” were either dead or in jail.
Today, Iraq is a defeated nation. Tens of thousands of their people have died as a result of our invasion, and the survivors just want to get on with their lives. As far as planning any international mischief in the future, we can be confident that Iraqi will not be a threat to anyone for a very long time.
We probably need to send the President an apology for all the scorn we heaped on him over that carrier landing. He had it right all along. As far as Americans no longer living “at the mercy of an outlaw regime that threatens the peace with weapons of mass murder,” it is most definitely…
So, what do you say we mark this one down as a win - and bring our boys home?
© 2005 David Brownlow - All Rights Reserved
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David Brownlow, a regular columnist for NewsWithViews.com, is the Executive Director of Life Support, an Oregon based "No Abortion, No Excuses" anti-abortion organization that is focused on eliminating all government funded child-killing. David, an engineer, former Constitution Party candidate, and 25 year political activist, resides in Damascus, Oregon with his wife Suzanne and their four children.
As far as planning any international mischief in the future, we can be confident that Iraqi will not be a threat to anyone for a very long time.