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Saturday, May 1, 2004
The Carrier Speech

By Steven Taylor @ 9:26 am

If I may point out, those who wish to characterize the Bush speech on the USS Abraham Lincoln and the declaration of the end of major combat operations (and yes, the “Mission Accomplished” banner as a speech intended to proclaim our entire involvement in Iraq to be complete, I would note the following quotes from Bush’s speech:

  • “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.”

    (And yes, I know the response from some on the WMD question-I still think that that issue is not wholly solved, as while I do not think that caches will be found, the weapons that he did have have still not been accounted for).

  • “We are helping to rebuild Iraq, where the dictator built palaces for himself, instead of hospitals and schools for the people. 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. Then we will leave - and we will leave behind a free Iraq.”

    Source: Text of Bush’s speech

    I can accept an argument that the speech did not sufficiently deal with the issue of rebuilding. I will concede that the administration has consistently done a poor job of clearly outlining what has to be done. However, to argue that this event was supposed to signal that that mission is Iraq was over is to ignore the words spoken that day. The mission that was accomplished was the toppling of Saddam-that we did accomplish.

    I agree that the speech is primarily remembered for the banner, which fits into my Iron Law of Speeches: the sound bites are what matter (in this case, a specific image). And, I certainly understand how critics of the administration didn’t like the landing at the time, or now

  • Filed under: Iraq

    Click here to go to the main page.

    6 Comments»

    1. BTW I’ve been meaning to point out something about your Iron Low of Speeches.

      A few weeks back Kerry spoke for 35 minutes to a Union group. Somewhere nestled in those 10 thousand words was, “I actually voted for the 87 billion before I voted against it.”

      The other 9,988 words were irrelevant.

      Comment by Paul — Saturday, May 1, 2004 @ 11:48 am

    2. “Admiral Kelly, Captain Card, officers and sailors of the USS Abraham Lincoln, and my fellow Americans: Major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed. ”

      Um, yeah. So he clearly didn’t say “we won.” It’s obviously just stupid liberals fetishizing that one banner.

      Comment by Stephen — Monday, May 3, 2004 @ 6:59 pm

    3. We did prevail. The Iraqi regime under Hussein was utterly defeated. That part is rather incontrovertible.

      Are you really going to aruge that the “mission” that was “accomplished” was the removal of the regime and the reconstruction of Iraq? This strikes me as a position that is difficult to defend.

      Comment by Steven — Monday, May 3, 2004 @ 7:08 pm

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