FLASHBACK: ‘Misson (Un)Accomplished’ With George W. Bush
Matt | On 02, May 2013
Filmmaker Michael Moore reminded me of an important (yet sad) milestone this week. It’s the 10th anniversary of President George W. Bush’s ‘Mission Accomplished’ announcement of the end of major combat operations in Iraq.
The speech is now regarded as one of the biggest disconnects between policy and the reality of combat in recent memory. Bush suffered a huge blow to his already tattered credibility with the theatrics and false confidence of his announcement.
From the USS Abraham Lincoln at sea off the coast of San Diego, California, Bush told one of many bold untruths:
“Major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed. (Applause.) And now our coalition is engaged in securing and reconstructing that country,” he said moments after reaching the podium on May 1, 2003.
It was only a year after this speech that the American people began to learn that Saddam Hussein did not have the weapons of mass destruction that the Bush Administration touted as the reason for war. Still, it took 8-9 years after the conflict began, and a change in presidency, for the U.S. to see a serious drawdown in the presence of its combat troops in the country.
This is such a sad anniversary considering the thousands of lives lost in Iraq. As Americans, though, I hope moments like these teach us to be more vigilant about what the government is trying to sell us.
Click here to read the text of Bush’s speech in its entirety.