After Only 1,000 Days, Bush Takes Credit for Iraq
“We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction… Saddam may well hide his most lethal weapons in mosques, schools and hospitals. If our forces attempt to strike such targets, untold numbers of Iraqi civilians could be killed.”
Senator Teddy Kennedy
September 27, 2002
Most agreed about the dangers of Iraq in the runup to the war in 2003.
Yet, critics to the war argued that:
* “Millions of people in Baghdad will be victims of bombs and rockets.”
* “A war on Saddam might also cause an unprecedented humanitarian crisis with an estimated 900,000 refugees, a pandemic and an environmental disaster as Saddam lit the oilfields on fire.” ..
* “The U.S. could run through “battalions a day at a time” and that the fighting would look like “the last fifteen minutes of ‘Private Ryan.'”
* “A more contained conflict could cause half a million deaths and have a devastating impact on the lives, health and environment of the combatants, Iraqi civilians, and people in neighbouring countries and beyond.”
The war went better than anyone predicted with very few casualties compared with other horrible losses in American military history.
But, even after the quick defeat of Saddam’s forces, the disheartened Hans Blix said that the Iraqis were better off before the war when Saddam was digging his mass graves and keeping state hired rapists on his payroll. Sad.
Well, it has been just over 1,000 days since the US and a coalition of nations began the War on Iraq. What exactly has been accomplished in those 1,000 days of war in Iraq:
March 20, 2003, America launched its first series of air strikes on Baghdad. By April 9, 2003 marines help topple a statue of Saddam Hussein in Baghdad.
April 10 2003- After the unexpectedly quick defeat of Saddam Hussein’s forces, Paul Wolfowitz announces the US intentions, “We want to see a situation where power and responsibility is transferred as quickly as possible to the Iraqis themselves, with as much international assistance as possible … We have no desire to occupy Iraq…”
December 14, 2003- Saddam Hussein captured in spider hole in Tikrit.
June 28, 2004- At 10:26 AM, the US-led Coalition Provisional Authority formally transferred sovereignty of Iraqi territory to the Iraqi interim government, two days ahead of schedule.
January 30, 2005- An estimated eight million people vote in elections for a Transitional National Assembly. The Shia United Iraqi Alliance wins a majority of assembly seats. Kurdish parties come second.
April, 2005- Parliament selects a Kurdish leader, Jalal Talabani as president. Ibrahim Jaafari, a Shia, is named as prime minister.
August 2005 – Draft constitution is endorsed by Shia and Kurdish negotiators, but not by Sunni representatives.
October 2005- Trial of Saddam Hussein on charges of crimes against humanity opens in Baghdad.
October ,2005- Voters in a referendum approve a new constitution which aims to create an Islamic federal democracy.
December 15, 2005- Iraqis go to the polls to choose the first, full-term government and parliament since the US-led invasion.
Of course, these are just a few of the political highlights in the historic transition of a Middle East dictatorship into a functioning democracy. But, things look good in all areas and as Glenn Reynolds notes, George W. Bush is starting to take credit, as he should. Tonight the president gave a speech from his Oval Office where he told Americans that Iraq is now a strong ally against terror and a force for democracy in the Middle East.
PRESIDENT BUSH PRAISES IRAQIS FOR THEIR FREEDOM AND PROGRESS,
Mr Bush insisted the war had helped stave off new terror attacks on the US since 9/11.
Terrorists in Iraq, he said, felt a “tightening noose and fear the rise of a democratic Iraq”.
“I know that some of my decisions have led to terrible loss and not one of those decisions has been taken lightly,” he added.
“I know that this war is controversial, yet being your president requires doing what I believe is right and accepting the consequences.”
Bush talked directly to his critics but mainly took responsiblity for the War in Iraq, a sure sign that things are going well in the new Middle East Democracy.
And, if you look at what has been accomplished in so short of a time, you understand why he wants to own this difficult but historic decision.
And, am I the only one that think there are lefties who will blow a gasket over this line:
“I also want to speak to those of you who did not support my decision to send troops to Iraq: I have heard your disagreement, and I know how deeply it is felt. Yet now there are only two options before our country — victory or defeat.”
This war is good and over! The only thing left is for the media to catch up.
Lorie Byrd at Polipundit has great analysis as usual.
Powerline says Bush struck the right tone.
Dog Pundit notes the media bias.
Blogs for Bush says it is unfortunate that our left wing is seemingly blind.
California Conservative says the media is suffering from myopia.
Pajamas Media has a terrific roundup.