But progress has been steady. Iraqis have ratified a progressive, democratic constitution.
Government Accounting Office (GAO)
“This Saturday in Baghdad, the new Prime Minister of Iraq announced a national unity government… There have been setbacks and missteps… Yet we have now reached a turning point in the struggle between freedom and terror. ” —Bush, 5/22/2006
DOD Report to Congress, 8/29/2006
“I appreciate [Rice and Rumsfeld sending] my best wishes to the new government and to Prime Minister-designate Maliki, as well as the new Speaker and the President… This is a — we believe this is a turning point for the Iraqi citizens.”
About the new Prime Minister, Maliki
“Q: About a year ago, you said that the insurgency in Iraq was in its final throes. Do you still believe this? Cheney: Yes.”
“Sunni Insurgency Remains Strong and Resilient”
Sunni support for the insurgency is up to 75% from 14% in 2003 — ABC news Sept. 20, 2006. Source: ABCnews.go.com/WNT/story?id=2470183&page=1
“I believe that the elections were the turning point. And we had that election in January — first free election in Iraq in decades — and that we will be able to look back from the perspective of time, and see that 2005 was the turning point, was the watershed year.”
The December 2005 elections heightened sectarian tensions
“2005 will be recorded as a turning point in the history of Iraq, the history of the Middle East, and the history of freedom.”
DOD graph show “Sectarian Incidents” turned up sharply after the Dec. 2005 election. They went from Sectarian casualties went from 300/month in December 2005, to 400 in January, 800 in February, 1700 in march and 2000/month in June. See DOD graph from the Dept. of Defense Report to Congress, August 29, 2006.
“They’re in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency.”
Insurgencies last up to nine years
What was going on in May, 2005 to provoke Cheney’s comment on the 29th?
The American military commander in the Persian Gulf, General John Abizaid
“See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda.”
Bush used “As the Iraqis stand up, we will stand down.” and variations of it on 77 public occasions starting on June 28, 2005 and ending on June 26, 2006. —based on searches of GPOaccess.gov/wcomp/search.html. Cheney used it a similar number of times.
Children love to hear the same stories over and over again. —Bush, Oct. 3, 2001.
“On January 30th in Iraq, the world witnessed an important moment in the global struggle against tyranny, a moment that historians might one day call a major turning point.”
Iraqi casualties continue to increase
“Tomorrow the world will witness a turning point in the history of Iraq.”
Takeover by fundamentalist Shiites
“Two days ahead of schedule, the world witnessed the arrival of a free and sovereign Iraq.”
At the handover ceremony, Bremer read a letter … Less than an hour later, he boarded a helicopter, according to coalition military spokesman Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmett, and within two hours, he was out of the country. –CNN, “US returns sovereignty to Iraq,” June 28, 2004.
“A turning point will come two weeks from today. On June the 30th, governing authority will be transferred to a fully sovereign interim government, the Coalition Provisional Authority will cease to exist, an American embassy will open in Baghdad.”
|Bush, 11/6/2003. “We’ve reached another great turning point — and the resolve we show will shape the next stage of the world democratic movement.”
This was four days after 16 men were shot down near Fallujah. On Nov. 14, Gen. Abizaid said the insurgents were “increasingly well organized and well financed, and are gradually expanding their attacks” (NY Times). On Nov. 15th the US shifted course in response to growing problems and agreed to grant “sovereignty” to Iraq before they wrote a constitution (NY Times).
|Rumsfeld, 7/24/2003. “Q: “Quagmire”? // Rumsfeld: No. That’s someone else’s business. Quagmire is — I don’t do quagmires.”
Troop levels hit 115,000 in Feb. 2004www.usnews.com/usnews/news/articles/050808/8forces_2.htm
|Bush, 7/2003. “Let me finish. There are some who feel like — that the conditions are such that they can attack us there. My answer is, bring ’em on.”
Saying “bring it on,” kind of tough talk, you know, that sent the wrong signal to people. I learned some lessons about expressing myself maybe in a little more sophisticated manner — you know, “wanted dead or alive,” that kind of talk. –Bush, 5/25/2006
|Bush, 5/3/2003 “I delivered good news to the men and women who fought in the cause of freedom: their mission is complete and major combat operations in Iraq have ended.”
|Wolfowitz, 3/27/2003. Iraq: “can really finance its own reconstruction.” Source:House Committee on Appropriations Hearing
|Cheney, 12/18/2005 “CHENEY: My own judgment based on my time as secretary of Defense, and having operated in this area in the past, I’m confident that our troops will be successful, and I think it’ll go relatively quickly, but we can’t… // SCHIEFFER: Weeks? // CHENEY: …we can’t count on that. // SCHIEFFER: Months? // CHENEY: Weeks rather than months” Source:Defenselink.mil/transcripts/2002/t11152002_t1114rum.html
|Rumsfeld, 2/7/2003. “It could last, you know, six days, six weeks. I doubt six months.” Source: Whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2005/12/20051212-4.html
|Adelman, 2/12/2005. “I believe demolishing Hussein’s military power and liberating Iraq would be a cakewalk.” Source: Washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A1996-2002Feb12