Monday, December 19, 2005


Bush on Iraq: 'We're winning'

President admits mistakes were made, but insists course in Iraq is right; asks Americans to fight off 'defeatism'


December 19, 2005

WASHINGTON -- President George W. Bush last night appealed to Americans not to give in to "defeatism" in Iraq, warning of more sacrifice in the months ahead but insisting, "We are winning the war in Iraq."

"Do not give in to despair, and do not give up on this fight for freedom," Bush said in unusually personal terms at one point, speaking directly to those who oppose his decision to invade Iraq.

Bush hinted that Iraq after last week's legislative elections "should require fewer American troops" in the new year. But he stopped well short of announcing any specific steps to reduce the 153,000 U.S. troops in Iraq today.

Instead, Bush used the inherent drama of a rare Oval Office address to convey the importance he places on keeping U.S. troops in Iraq, posing the choice before the American people as stark - "victory or defeat."

Bush said, "To retreat before victory would be an act of recklessness and dishonor, and I will not allow it."
A few observations here:

1) The last time a President said "Mistakes were made" --
As Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein tied the scandal to top officials in the Nixon administration, Ziegler routinely dismissed their reports as inaccurate. But the press secretary publicly apologized to them and their newspaper the day after the April 30, 1973, resignations of White House counsel John Dean and Nixon aides John Ehrlichman and H.R. Haldeman.

"I would apologize to the Post, and I would apologize to Mr. Woodward and Mr. Bernstein. ... We would all have to say that mistakes were made in terms of comments. I was overenthusiastic in my comments about the Post, particularly if you look at them in the context of developments that have taken place," he said at the time. "When we are wrong, we are wrong, as we were in that case."
Again, are these guys sure they want the ghost of Nixon hovering over this corrupt administration?

2) Someone will have to define for me "winning". We're about to spend another $100 billion dollars between Afghanistan and Iraq, combined. What are we winning for that money, first off, and secondly, is it worth that much money in a nation that's seeing an entire major metropolitan area demolished, it's future in doubt? Is it worth around $10,000,000 per vote in Iraq to see homeless people in our streets, hunger creep back across America, unemployed skilled laborers working the doors at Walmart? IS IT???

3) On the "winning" note...who said this?"I don’t think you can win [the war on terror]"? Was it the same person who said “[B]y helping democracy succeed in Iraq, we bring greater security to our citizens here at home. The terrorists know that democracy is their enemy. And they will continue fighting freedom's progress with all the hateful determination they can muster.”