"Mission Accomplished" at Year Three


Where were you on May 1, 2003, when "major combat operations" in Iraq ended? President Bush, as you may recall, was on an aircraft carrier festooned with "Mission Accomplished" banners. From his speech that day:

We have difficult work to do in Iraq. We're bringing order to parts of that country that remain dangerous. We're pursuing and finding leaders of the old regime, who will be held to account for their crimes. We've begun the search for hidden chemical and biological weapons and already know of hundreds of sites that will be investigated. We're helping to rebuild Iraq, where the dictator built palaces for himself, instead of hospitals and schools. 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.

Whole thing here.

At that point in time, fewer than 150 American soldiers had been killed. That number now is about 2,400. And there's this from today's Wash Times:

The troop training program that the United States began in 2003 to protect Iraq's oil and electrical lines is a failure and the Bush administration has dispatched a team to Baghdad to draft a new strategy, according to an inspector general report.

The report said the Bush administration and Iraq government poured $147 million into trying to create an Iraqi Oil Protection Force of 14,400 and an Iraqi Electric Power Security Service of 6,000 guards. But today, the electric security service no longer exists, and the oil force has shown only sporadic success.

More here.

What say the American public? According to a CNN poll, only 9 percent think that the mission in Iraq has been accomplished. Forty percent think it will be someday. And 44 percent say it never will be. More here.